The overview of this learning area focuses on “the relationships people have with place and their interconnection with the environments in which they live,” Indigenous knowledge and practices related to the connection to land, water and sky, and “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ use of the land, governed by a holistic, spiritually-based connection to Country and Place.” These issues can be explored in various ways through the Living Archive, for example stories of fire management in the desert (Allen, 2005) and the top end (Tipungwuti, 1990); further exploration of the seasons in Kriol (Wesan, 1985), and Warlpiri country (Spencer, 2005).

To bring a different cultural perspective to geographic and environmental knowledge, students can explore traditional stories about how landforms were created by ancestor spirits such as the Djaŋ’kawu in the Yolngu area (Bäriya, 1974) or the rainbow serpent, represented in both the desert region (Inkamala, 1988) and the top end (Kerinaiua, 1986a).

This area is another ideal opportunity to invite Indigenous local authorities to share about the local area, for example in Darwin a local school has developed a website including local Larrakia perspectives on Rapid Creek (Millner Primary School, 2005). The ABC TV documentary on Kakadu (ABC Television, 2013) is just one of many resources available to explore Indigenous understandings of and relationships to land, many of which also include materials specifically designed for teachers.

Taken from Bow, C. (2016). Using authentic language resources to incorporate Indigenous knowledges across the Australian Curriculum. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 20, 20–39. Available from