Australian Human Rights Issues - Refugees and Asylum Seekers
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Australian Human Rights Issues - Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Resources for teaching Stage 3 students Australian human rights issues, past and present in HSIE - refugees and asylum seekers in particular.

Related outcomes:
CCS3.1 - Explains the significance of particular people, places, groups, actions and events in the past in developing Australian identities and heritage.
CCS3.2 - Explains the development of the principles of Australian democracy.
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A New Life - Focus on Africa

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Description:

This document has been put together by the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Citizenship for Australian Primary Schools. It contains photos, real stories, facts, and other information about refugees settling in Australia. It also contains classroom activities, in particular a role play activity. Students are given a scenario and list of items that they could take with them. They must choose five items and explain why they chose them. They will then have to go through various situations and make decisions about losing/trading these items. 

 

Teaching idea:

Keep in mind the problems with role play (van Ments, 1999, p.16), particularly that students may become emotional as the topic is sensitive and that it is not a realistic representation of actual events. Outline that students can opt out of the role play at any time if they do not feel comfortable.

 

Begin in the classroom - this is the home country. Bring in the 24 items listed or replicate them (eg. $100 in Monopoly money) in the classroom. Find images of the items and print them on small pieces of card. Students take the pieces of card representing the items they have chosen. Students discuss in pairs the reasons why they chose their items. Select a few students to share their thoughts and their partner’s thoughts.

 

Move outside of the classroom into the playground where a “security point” is set up (eg. two large cardboard boxes students have to pass between). Have support staff or parent play the guard. Students must bribe the guard with two of their items.

 

Move to the “refugee camp” set up in another area of the playground (eg. witches hats fencing off a small area). To gain extra food, the students must trade another of their items. Next, students have the option of trading the last two items to receive information about their families, who they have been separated from.

 

Return to the classroom and break out of the role play. Students discuss with a different partner their reasons for deciding to trade their items at each stage of the role play, and report back to the classroom.

 

Discuss the limitations, challenges, and positive outcomes of the role play with the students. How did they feel at each stage of the role play? Have they learned anything?

 

van Ments, Morry. (1999). The effective use of role play: Practical techniques for improving learning. (2nd edition). London (Great Britain): Kogan Page Limited.

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Interactive: How Australia ranks in asylum seeker applications

Interactive: How Australia ranks in asylum seeker applications | Australian Human Rights Issues - Refugees and Asylum Seekers | Scoop.it

"Not all asylum seekers apply to come here and not all countries pull their weight - where do you think Australia ranks?"

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This site is an interactive graph of asylum seeker applications for "44 industrialised nations" in 2011, including Australia, USA, France, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. The data is represented using different sized circles, and they are ranked in order overall, per 1000 inhabitants, USD/GDP per capita, and side by side. 

 

Numeracy strategy:

DS3.1 - Displays and interprets data in graphs with scales of many-to-one correspondence

 

As a whole class, students discuss the differences and similarities between the four representations. Discuss the position of Australia compared to other countries. How does the position of Australia differ when the type of data changes? How might the selection of data (44 industrialised countries compared to every country in the world) affect the results?

 

Students are grouped and each allocated a type of graph or data representation tool (a pie chart, a column graph, a line graph, and a picture graph). They must represent the total application rank from 2011 using their allocated graph on an A2 piece of card or paper. These will be displayed in the classroom under the heading "How does Australia compare?" Discuss which is the most appropriate graph to represent this information if you wanted people to understand how Australia compares to the rest of the world.

 

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Aboriginal people seek refugee status | Treaty Republic - Indigenous Australia Sovereignty, Genocide, Land Rights and Pay the Rent Issues

Aboriginal people seek refugee status | Treaty Republic - Indigenous Australia Sovereignty, Genocide, Land Rights and Pay the Rent Issues | Australian Human Rights Issues - Refugees and Asylum Seekers | Scoop.it

"We feel like an outcast in our community, refugees in our own country."

Tali Sarkoezy's insight:

Description:

This page includes three online news articles reporting on the request of 4000 Indigenous people to be declared refugees due to the poor living conditions and inequalities they face every day. The final report includes a comment from Professor Mary Crock who believes these claims are unfounded and more of a political statement.

 

Teaching idea:

Read the three articles together as a class (handouts or on an interactive whiteboard). Discuss any terms they are unfamiliar with or any questions they may have. Students will need an understanding of what refugee status entails and Indigenous rights/issues over time before they engage with the following activity. 

 

Students debate this question: "Do you think the people of the Alyawarra Nation should be given refugee status?", with affirmative side and negative side. Students allocated to evenly to each side. Students have one lesson to research (using books, newspapers, the internet, etc.), prepare their argument, and appoint three speakers. Hold the debate the next lesson, with the teacher as the adjudicator. Students present their arguments in a sensitive and respectful manner. The aim of the debate is not to "win", but to seriously discuss and analyse this claim. 

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Rhino Stew's curator insight, May 21, 2015 8:03 AM

A bad past recognised is a better future influenced! #edse12024

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From high seas to HSC: a refugee success story

"Bashir Yousufi is an orphan who fled Afghanistan leaving behind three younger brothers. He's now a high school student in Sydney's west with a passion for the country that gave him refuge."

Tali Sarkoezy's insight:

Description:

This short clip tells the story of Bashir Yousufi. Bashir is an Afghani orphan who left for Australia by boat when he was just 14 years old. Since then he has enrolled in school and want to go to university to study to be an accountant. Together with his friend Mohsen Hussaini, he his building a new life in Australia.

 

Teaching idea:

Students watch the above clip and make notes on Bashir and Mohsen's refugee experience and what has happened since they have arrived in Australia. What are the challenges they face today? What do they like about living in Australia?

 

Students read the one of the hoax emails about refugees (http://www.kochie.com.au/the-real-benefits-for-asylum-seekers-in-australia). What does this say about refugee life in Australia?

 

Students work in groups of 4-5 to fill out a T-chart (http://www.worksheetworks.com/miscellanea/graphic-organizers/tchart.html) comparing the two representations of refugee life. (See Petty, 2009, p.133 for more information on graphic organisers).

 

Model how to locate factual information/the truth about the life of refugees in Australia from trusted sources. Students use the internet to locate this information (eg. government websites, Amnesty International website) and note down three key facts they did not know before. In the same groups as before, students create a checklist/criteria for determining the validity of websites and media/texts that report on controversial issues, such as the rights of refugees. The groups' checklists are combined to make a whole class checklist. 

 

Petty, G. (2009). Evidence based teaching: A practical approach (2nd edition). Cheltenham (UK): Nelson Thornes Ltd.

 

 

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The Facts - Rethink Refugees

The Facts - Rethink Refugees | Australian Human Rights Issues - Refugees and Asylum Seekers | Scoop.it

"It is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia, even if arriving by boat. Find out the real facts about asylum seekers."

Tali Sarkoezy's insight:

Description:

This site contains a collection of simple infographics that represent nine facts about refugees and asylum seekers, including that it is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia, and that less than 2% of Australia's annual immigration is made up of asylum seekers arriving by boat. The aim of this site is to encourage people to examine the facts, as there are many misconceptions surrounding refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. People are encouraged put their opinions and political affiliations aside to examine the facts, and contribute to the debate as an informed member of society.

 

Teaching idea:
Hold a class discussion the significance of the format of this site (eg. the simple graphics, links to social networking sites, twitter hashtag, videos) and their relationship to principles of democracy (eg. everyone has a voice - people can use social networking to strengthen the impact of their voice).

Example questions for discussion - Why has Amnesty created this site? What audience is this site trying to reach and how? Has this site altered their perspective on this issue, and why/why not?

 

Assessment task idea relating to the above teaching idea:

Students are divided into nine groups and allocated one fact each. They must represent this fact visually/audiovisually, but in a different way (eg. a skit, a painting, a collage, an interview). These visual representations will be filmed or photographed an compiled into a short film to be screened at school assembly. Students must consider the audience they are trying to reach and are encouraged to be creative.

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Rhino Stew's curator insight, May 21, 2015 8:00 AM

People seeking asylum in our country is a mark of respect and adoration not illegal invasion!! Get it right #edse12024