Resource Four: Extract from Episode 1-‘They have come to stay’ of documentary series ‘First Australians’.
Deriving from the SBS documentary series ‘First Australians’ (SBS, 2009), the introductory 13 minutes of Episode 1 ‘They have come to stay’ supports the teaching of Colonial Australia in regards to our selected HSIE focus outcome as well as supports the learning needed for students to create their own multimodal text.

Containing interviews with Australian historians of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous decent, oral readings of primary sources (diary extracts) dating from the colonial period and representations of colonial artwork, this short documentary extract provides accurate and engaging information on the history of Indigenous occupation within Australia as well as the events leading to and immediately following the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788.
As well as describing the events of British settlement in Australia, this extract examines the ranging consequences of British colonisation on the Indigenous culture; specifically for the people of the Borogegal, Birrabirragal, Gadigal, Gamaragal and Wallumedegal clans in regards to health and cultural practices. Furthermore, this extract explores the environmental impact of colonisation as well as the juxtaposing attitudes between the British settlers and Indigenous peoples towards the use of the physical land. Through the interpretation of primary sources dating from the colonial period as well as a discussion on historically accurate facts which directly corresponds to the Stage 2 HSIE Change and Continuity content, this resource allows students to examine this significant Australian historical event from differing perspectives and thus, supports their achievement of the identified focus outcome.

Further, this resource is highly relevant to the chosen outcome as it reinforces the learning which occurs during Lesson One within the unit. By briefly examining the contribution of a select few significant individuals of colonial Australia (such as Bennelong, Pemulwuy and Captain Arthur Phillip), this video revises the content examined by the students within the Jigsaw Learning Activity and consequently, contributes to an authentic integration of connected and meaningful learning activities.

This resource supports the learning needed for students to successfully create a multimodal text based upon Colonial Australia as it develops their knowledge and understanding of the conventions of visual literacy within a multimodal text through its incorporation of key features such as transitions, text, still images and voice over to create meaning.
As stated by Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl & Holliday (2006, p. 54) visual literacy is becoming an increasingly important component of modern text. Utilising this resource within the unit facilitates the integrative teaching of visual (as well as verbal) literacies by allowing students to view and critique the differing elements of multimodal texts and discuss how these come together to create meaning for the viewer. By engaging in discussion, students are additionally developing their skills in responding to a variety of texts as well as talking and listening, both of which constitute important elements of the English K-6 curriculum (Board of Studies NSW, 2007).
Therefore, by utilising this documentary extract as a tool for examining visual literacy and supplementing it with a variety of activities which aim to have students discuss/critique techniques as well as manipulate them in order to create their own piece of visual text, students are provided with the necessary support to develop the literacy skills needed to accurately decode and obtain meaning from multimodal texts and gain “an apprenticeship into the multimodal, multimedia texts of the twenty-first century” (Unsworth, 2001, p. 71).
As discussed, this resource is highly relevant to the teaching of the identified HSIE outcome and elements of visual literacy within a multimodal text as it allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the significant events and consequences of British colonisation as well as provide a scaffold as to how the elements of a visual multimodal text are manipulated to create meaning.


DVD cover of the Documentary Series
DVD cover of the Documentary Series

References:Board of Studies NSW. (2007). English K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.Panckhurst, H. (2009, April 18). First Australians. Episode 1 [Television broadcast]. Sydney: Special Broadcasting Service.Unsworth, L. (2001). Teaching multiliteracies across the curriculum: Changing contexts of text and image in classroom practice. Buckingham: Open University.Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L. & Holliday, M. (2006). Literacy: Reading, Writing and Children's Literature (3rd Ed.). Melbourne: Oxford.-Maree Valenti