Australian people

Australia is one of the most ethnically diverse societies in the world today.

Almost one in four Australian residents were born outside of Australia and many more are first or second generation Australians, the children and grandchildren of recently arrived migrants and refugees.

This wide variety of backgrounds, together with the culture of Indigenous Australians who have lived on the Australian continent for more than 50,000 years, have helped create a uniquely Australian identity and spirit.

Indigenous peoples and cultures

Before the arrival of British colonisers in 1788, Australia was inhabited by the Indigenous peoples – Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, sometimes referred to as the First Australians. Aboriginal people inhabited the whole of Australia and Torres Strait Islanders lived on the islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea, in what is now called the Torres Strait.

There were over 500 different clan groups or ‘nations’ around the continent, many with distinctive cultures, beliefs and languages.

Today, Indigenous people make up 2.4 per cent of the total Australian population (about 460,000 out of 22 million people).

The first colony

New South Wales was settled as a penal colony – a place where Britain could send convicted criminals because her prisons were overcrowded. Many convicts had grown up in poverty and committed only minor offences, such as the theft of a loaf of bread. Conditions in the new colony were little better than at home – it took many years for British settlers to understand the different environment of the new colony, and disease and malnutrition were widespread during the first decades of settlement.

Convicts formed the majority of the colony’s population for the first few decades of settlement. Convicts continued being sent to New South Wales until 1823, although as time went by, convicts were increasingly seen as a source of labour to build the colony, rather than just being sent away from Britain as punishment for their crimes.

Free settlers

The first wave of migrants to Australia included men of capital who were attracted by the colony’s agricultural prospects and the availability of convict labour. Their enthusiasm, together with the Gold Rushes era of the mid-nineteenth century, pushed out the boundaries of the new settlement and by the end of the 1850s there were six separate Australian colonies:

  • New South Wales
  • Tasmania (originally settled in 1803, but separated from New South Wales in 1825)
  • Western Australia (established in 1829)
  • South Australia, including the Northern Territory (established in 1834)
  • Victoria (detached from New South Wales in 1851)
  • Queensland (detached from New South Wales in 1859)

Settlers living in Australia in the nineteenth century lived at the frontier of not only a new land, but of a new society.

Becoming Australians

The six Australian colonies were governed independently of each other, but during the second half of the 19th century there was a growing sense of an Australian identity and a push towards establishing Australia as an independent nation under a Federation.

The new nation remained loyal to Britain, and retained its identity as part of the British Empire. Many people thought of themselves as British people, living in a different land. However, substantial migration from Ireland enhanced an Australian identity that was increasingly independent of Britain.

Non-white immigrants were essentially excluded by the restrictions of the new Immigration Restriction Act, which required that they take a dictation test in a specific language with which they were not necessarily familiar. Non-white immigrants were often seen as a threat to working conditions in Australia and to Australia’s ‘British’ character.

Policies such as this were to remain in place until after World War Two, when the government implemented migration schemes that actively sought first British, then European, migrants. Since then, the face of Australia has changed remarkably. While large numbers of migrants have continued to come from traditional sources like the United Kingdom and New Zealand, there have been large numbers of people from countries as diverse as Italy, Greece, China, Vietnam and Lebanon. Their contribution to Australian society, culture and prosperity has been an important factor in shaping the modern Australia.

Population today

Australia’s population today is roughly 22 million people. The country’s vast openness means it has the lowest population density in the world – only two people per square kilometre.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produces population estimates for the Australian Government and people. The ABS Population clock– external site displays the current estimate of the resident population of Australia.



During this course i have found it super hard to try and agree with the statement given for assignment task 1. I agree with the fact that the Aboriginal histories and their past needs to be taught in schooling from a young age, but i disagree with the Government aspects of things. During classes i have tried to listen and take in what other class mates have said and also my lecturer, trying to let it change my mind on things, but i seem to always argue back and have a reason as to why i disagree. writing this assignment has put a lot of pressure on myself as i cannot find anything to say to agree with the statement. so i sit here reading every article and paper on the moodle site trying to put words onto paper, but i just can’t. I know a lot of Aboriginals that are sweet and caring and such amazing people, and some non-Aboriginals who are nasty and terrible people, in saying that I’m not racist, but i believe the government makes us out to be racist, with all the benefits the Aboriginals get from them us non-Aboriginals seem to be racist as we sit and complain about the benefits they get. We then occur to be racist to the Aboriginals because they don’t like us complaining about all the benefits they claim.

Personal Reflections on the impact of a shared Australian History

Reflection 1

I believe that we should incorporate the Aboriginal histories within the classroom and teach students about their histories and the stolen generation. In saying that i believe it should be incorporated under the domain of either History or Geography. i don’t think it should be a daily lesson, maybe just a weekly lesson at the most. Its fair to say we need to teach students about the history and the stolen generation but when is enough? It might be exciting for Aboriginal students to listen about their histories and the Aboriginal families might be happy that it is incorporated within the lesson/lessons but when is enough? where do teachers stop? there is only so much teachers can teach and students can learn before the Non-Aboriginal students get bored of learning about the Aboriginal culture and history. I believe all students need to learn about it and have clear understandings of the Aboriginal history but especially in primary school teachers shouldn’t need to go overboard with teaching it. I think it should be compulsory in schooling, but not to the extent where it is taught everyday.

Reflection 2

I believe the Government spends to much money on creating these policies to put in place, but there is not enough funding provided to educate teachers and schools with the knowledge of how to address areas that creates the gap. The Government money needs to be spent on appropriate areas of teaching, and needs to be spent on school and teachers and how they need to teach these areas within the classroom. Also educate teachers who have come from other countries to teach. The government spends all this money on Aboriginals because of what has happened in the past, but yet they expect us Non-Aboriginals to be able to sit back and watch them get all this money for nothing and we are here trying to do our best and educate students, trying to ensure the non-aboriginals why they get so much funding but yet we don’t. Yes we all know what happened in the past and yes Aboriginals where on this land way before we were, but we need to Acknowledge it and move on, the government keeps that gap wide open, by putting these policies in place does not close the gap, it widens it if anything.

Reflection 3

The Aboriginal people/person, of the past few years don’t make things easy for aboriginal students now days. Because this grudge has been brought down through generations, aboriginal students feel they need to live up the the expectations of their nation. By forgetting the past and moving on there would be no racism and no conflict between the two races. i believe we should all learn what the culture was and what it can become. The world is not a happy place because of all the conflict, especially between aboriginal and non aboriginal. Some nations have moved on from the past and started to make a better future but others are so stuck in the past and their history that they cannot let things go and move forward.



Assignment 1: Final blog reflection weeks 6-8

The last few weeks we have been focusing on Digital technologies. I feel as if i have a more clear and better understanding of what digital Technology is. At first i was a bit confused as to why we only got 3 weeks to cover all the materials in Digital Technology when we had 5 weeks to cover design and technologies. I didn’t think i would learn everything i needed to within the 3 weeks, but as the 3 weeks have concluded i have now realised that Digital technology doesn’t have as much material to learn as Design and technologies did. I believe i have learn all that i needed to about Digital technology and i am able to walk away with more knowledge when what i originally had.

The challenges i participated in within the past 3 weeks have got me half way between understanding and confused. Some of the activities had me lost as to what to do, Binary codes and the activity scratch had me more confused than any other activity. After some explanation from my lecturer and other class mates i started to understand more about what was needed for the activities. i find that Binary codes will be useful for me to use in my classroom as a primary school teacher and i wish to be able to help my students understand the meaning of codes.Throughout all the many games and activities throughout the weeks i found love towards the game ‘Angry birds’. I found it very easy to use and very simple to play. I would defiantly use this in my upcoming years of a teacher.

I have since learned that technology played a huge role in the Australian curriculum, not just within design and digital technologies. Before starting University i had no knowledge of the Australian Curriculum and now i realise that it plays a bigger role for teachers than i will ever imagine. Im still a little confused as to how to read the curriculum and understand the strands, but from not knowing what it is to having to understand it all in one hit i believe that I’m doing okay. I will from now on refer back to the curriculum for everything, including technology, as i will be using it within the years of my teaching.

i have leant a lot within the last 3 weeks, i never knew what codes or algorithms where and i didn’t understand the concept of computational thinking. i believe i have come a long way in this subject, even though i still have a few difficulties with design and digital technologies, i feel as if i am improving. I will encourage technology in my classrooms and strive high. overall this course has helped me understand a lot and i will bring what i have learnt and more to my own teachings. At first i didn’t agree with technology in the classroom, but this course has opened my  mind and i see reasons as to why technology is useful for students in the classroom. Today technology is used for almost everything. Like it states (chapter 17- Teaching and learning with ICT in the primary school, Rory McGann and Aisling Leavy) “Most pupils today are proficient at playing games on their mobile phones or communicating with their friends on social networks”. Technology is everywhere and used for everything, iv now opened my mind and come to realisation that technology in schooling would be beneficial for students learning.


McGann, R., & Leavy, A. (2015). computer programming in the primary school:an introduction. In Sarah Younie, Marilyn Leask, Kevin Burden (Ed.), Teaching and learning with ICT in the primary school (second editionth ed., pp. 198-209). New york: Routledge. (Original work published 2015).

Australian Curriculum, Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2015). Australian curriculum. Retrieved from


This Scratch program is very effective, it would be beneficial to primary school aged children as its fun and engaging. You are able to change the background as well as the character. I actually found this game hard to understand, it took me a while to understand how to use it. i personally would not use this in my classroom because i found other activities where a lot more simple and easier to use, but if my students wanted a challenge then i would get them to use this program. Similar to the Angry birds game, it has the codes labelled and ready to use, which makes it more effective and easier for students to learn about coding.

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Digital learning challenge

Here is an example of an unplugged algorithm. For this activity we had to make a step of instructions that can be followed on how to make toast with butter and vegemite. It is an unplugged algorithm because there is no use for a computer. This challenge is easy as buttering toast with butter and vegemite is basic and everyone should know how to come up with steps of instructions to follow.

what you will need:

  • bread
  • butter
  • vegemite
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • toaster
  • plate

instructions to follow:

  • Get everything ready to go (ingredients etc).
  • place a piece of bread in the toaster and set it to a time limit (e.g. 2 minutes).
  • once the toaster has popped, take the toast out of the toaster.
  • place the toast on a cutting board
  • using a knife spread the butter over the toast-then complete this step again but with Vegemite.
  • you can either leave the toast as whole or cut into pieces, (choice is yours)
  • place on a plate and serve.


Angry birds

Throughout the week i had a little play around with the ‘Angry birds’ game. This is a great activity for students to use to help them to understand the meaning of coding. In the game you are given challenges which make it harder to move on to the next level. You are given steps to move the angry bird so that it gets to the green pig without getting blown up or running into a wall of boxes or sharp objects. I believe this is a really easy and interesting game to use, because the codes are already labelled and ready to use. This online activity links to both strands in the Digital technologies Australian curriculum. This game helps to provide knowledge and understanding of how to use coding. The game also helps students to learn process and production skills by playing the game and following the algorithms within the game. I found this game one of the easiest so far. It is a simple game full of instructions and appropriate for primary school aged children. This game would be beneficial as students would learn quickly about algorithms and coding.Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 11.11.54 am