Continuity and Change in the Local Community
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Continuity and Change in the Local Community
Exploring continuing and changing roles, traditions, practices and customs in the local community. The community focus is on the Sydney suburb of Redfern, and the HSIE level is S2. Each of these resources show in one way or another continuity and change in the local community.
Curated by Rhys Hill
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Shane Phillips 2013 Local Hero of the Year

Rhys Hill's insight:

Shane sets the scene with his family connection to Redfern. He starts out by describing the change he has seen in the community in his lifetime: a strong community which collapsed amid substance abuse problems, explaining how this affected the whole community and how he went about fixing the problem. Shane's solution was partnerships: community members coming together over common ground. He emphasises that as Redfern grows and "gentrifies", that it's important to build and strengthen identity as a community. The people on board in Shane's program have overcome troubled pasts to gain a sense of belonging and worth.

 

Shane Philips is an important figure in Redfern. He is visible on The Block scoop (see http://www.sbs.com.au/theblock/shane.html), and actively involved in a lot of community projects. It would be amazing if he could visit a local school as part of a Module working towards CCS2 syllabus outcomes and talk to a S2 HSIE class. His story is proof that people from all kinds of backgrounds can come together as a community and bring about change for the better. Importantly, in the video he also pays homage to continuity by stressing the need for strengthening identities: maintain the traditions that are important.

 

Off the back of Shane's visit, teachers could get students to think about their identity and what's important to them. What do they believe in? The values Shane shares with the class would probably give them a lot of inspiration to get started with this.

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The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place

The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place | Continuity and Change in the Local Community | Scoop.it
An interactive documentary by SBS exploring the people and events that have shaped the Block in Redfern, Sydney.
Rhys Hill's insight:

From stories told by the residents, explore the history of The Block.

 

In the 1960s, a lot of Aboriginal people started to come back to Redfern culminating in the birth of The Block in the 1970s. Following the Black Power Movement, community leaders set about establishing local Aboriginal services in response to inequalities in mainstream services. However, from the 1980s, Diane (see http://www.sbs.com.au/theblock/diane.html) explains in her story that indigenous culture in and around The Block was changing to suit the "State of the Western World", compromising their sense of identity. The Stolen Generations impacted their culture and language groups. Alcohol and drugs were used as painkillers to cope with the pain. Fred (see http://www.sbs.com.au/theblock/fred.html) that the 2004 riots brought about change in attitudes from the police towards the Aboriginal people because it brought to light perceived injustices facing the people.

 

The feeling from the stories told by locals swings from optimism in the 60s and 70s with the establishment of infrastructure being established to cater specifically for the Aborignal community's needs, to the drug and alcohol issues so problematic through the 80s and 90s to a renewed sense of optimism post-2004 riots. These videos alone would be excellent reference points to demonstrate continuity and change within the local community to Stage 2 HSIE students. The great thing about video-based content is that the content can be more challenging than written texts because there is no decoding involved to make meaning (unlike reading from written texts).

 

Introduce The Block's history with a quick overview. Then, in front of the class, navigate through the site and highlight some of its key features. Emphasise the non-linear journey one can take through this site. Allow students some time to explore.

 

For a class exercise, divide the class in to x number of groups (however many videos with stories of continuity and/or change, minus one so that the teacher can model an example for the class to follow). Following this, assign each group a resident's story and get them to fill out a worksheet together with dot points under the sub-headings of continuity and change which they noticed in the story. Re-group and share with the rest of the class to create an aggregated list of the class's findings.

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Barami/Barabugu Walking Tour

Rhys Hill's insight:

This resource provides a history of sites within the City of Sydney that have associations with Aboriginal people. Barani / Barrabugu translated in to English means 'Yesterday / Tomorrow', which seems intrinsically linked to the themes of change and continuity. In particular, there are many examples of changing roles, practices, traditions and customs of men and women in the community (see Sport and Leisure, Performing Arts and Visual Arts).

 

There is a section dedicated to Redfern (see 'Journey One: Redfern, Alexandria and Waterloo'). For a school excursion, guide the class around the area and seek out the points on the map. Students will already have an awareness of some local landmarks and their historical significance from previous units. This is the opportunity for students to connect new information to what they already know. The experience would be further enriched by having a member from the local Aboriginal community act as a guide for this tour and offer his or her perspectives of time and place at each of the sites, and also single out points of significance for them, not necessarily marked. One of the Elders featured in The Block stories would be excellent for this.

 

Interestingly, there are also sites marked on the map with dotted lines: those that are either no longer there, not accessible or not suitable for visiting. As a follow up to the excursion, ask them to research one of these sites to find out a bit more about one of them. Students will discover the how and why: most likely a cause and effect that has brought about the change over a period of time. Hopefully the students' enthusiasm from having seen the site in real life will engage them with this activity.

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My Place for teachers

My Place for teachers | Continuity and Change in the Local Community | Scoop.it
Rhys Hill's insight:

My Place the TV series and book are great resources for an HSIE teacher in and of themselves. Although fictional and the actual location of where it's set is not explicitly mentioned (besides Sydney), with it's attention to detail of time and place context, it could so easily be a time capsule of a street in Redfern.

 

The focus for this teacher's support site is My Place the TV series. In the TV series, each episode represents a year (always on the '8', eg. 2008). The setting is always the same location and because of the 10 year gap, usually the characters in the stories have changed. Adaptations have usually also been made to the environment, but across the whole spectrum there are important aspects which remain constant.

 

The timeline-based narrative and the time-gaps between stories make it align very nicely with S2 HSIE Change and Continuity outcomes. It's also a very good model for S2 to learn from in terms of archiving and timelines. In addition, it's the right level for the equivalent stage of English. An overarching My Place HSIE theme could run whilst the text is being studied for English. Another great thing about My Place is that there is such a diverse range of cultural representation through time. The teacher's support activities sheets contain activities geared to getting students to explore this further, to share aspects of their own culture with the class members. The activities are also heavily focussed on historical contexts of episodes juxtaposed with what students know from the present, making it seem relevant to them and engaging them with the content.

 

Finally, as with all ready-made lesson plans, adapt, pick and choose, and insert appropriate relevant activities to suit the needs and wants of the students being taught.

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A History of Aboriginal Sydney

A History of Aboriginal Sydney | Continuity and Change in the Local Community | Scoop.it
Rhys Hill's insight:

Most of the stories on this site have associated meta-data to connect them to time, place and topic(s), so there are multiple ways to navigate here. Due to this non-linear structure, students can access the same information presented in different ways (in a timeline, on a map, or by topic). This allows opportunities to combine resources from different Scoops under this topic for the purposes of classroom exercises or take-home assessments.

 

First, I suggest using this resource in combination with the Barami Walk Scoop. Before their excursion, students could cross-reference the maps on this site with the Barami Map. Anything new from this resource could be incorporated in to the excursion. Second, in the timeline view on this site, compare with the timeline from The Block Scoop and create a consolidated timeline which incorporates the key events from both timelines.

 

Also, a selection of videos on this site could be viewed in class as supporting material. For any additional information gathered here, students could add to their consolidated maps and timelines.

 

To successfully complete these tasks, students use skills such as curating, comprehension and map reading, whilst at the same time learning Aboriginal and local history content that demonstrates continuity and change within the local community.

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A Sydney Suburb Draws New Crowds

A Sydney Suburb Draws New Crowds | Continuity and Change in the Local Community | Scoop.it
Redfern is being rehabilitated thanks to a cultural scene developing in all directions.
Rhys Hill's insight:

"Just a few years ago, it wasn’t safe to walk around Redfern alone at night — or maybe even at all."

Given that over half of New York Times readers are college-educated (source: http://nytmarketing.whsites.net/mediakit/online), it is pretty disappointing that they narrowed Redfern's history down to this single statement. One would expect better from a world-renowned publication.

 

This short slideshow is NYT's snapshot of Redfern now, showcasing galleries, boutique shops and hipster cafes. Alongside The Block site, for example, it's evident that there's been a lot of change within the community: a lot of people have come and gone, a lot of young people with money have moved in, and its reputation in general has risen as a result.

 

However, if we get our Stage 2 HSIE students to think critically in the context of their learnings from the previous units, it shouldn't be hard for them to work out what's wrong with this piece. Regardless of the accuracy of the opening statement, even considering that it's juxtaposed with a positive picture of Redfern today, it's a real shame for the Redfern community that it's history has been squeezed in to one trivial and damning statement. Added to that, it attributes change to a "cultural scene developing in all directions", ignoring Redfern's rich cultural history that has been evident all through its history.

 

I suggest as a wrap-up task on the unit to get the Stage 2 HSIE students to write a short piece using in the same style that fairly and accurately represents Redfern. Remember the format: a statement (can be a paragraph) that puts the community in to an historical context, followed by a statement (or paragraph) on the appeal of the community today so that the intelligent folks who read the NYT get the right idea. Remember the audience: someone who's never been to Sydney but you want to inspire them to go out of their way to see Redfern.

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