Learning Pack: Freedom Then, Freedom Now


From citizenship, censorship and the collective good to marriage, miniskirts and mortgages —what are the freedoms that Queenslanders take for granted? Freedom Then, Freedom Now is an intriguing journey into our recent past, exploring the freedoms enjoyed and restricted in Queensland and examining what happens when collective good intersects with individual rights. Freedoms often depend on your age, your racial or religious background, gender, income and where you live. Freedoms change over time and with public opinion. The exhibition draws on the extensive collections of State Library of Queensland to reminisce, reflect, and explore freedoms won and lost in Queensland.

Education Overview

Freedom Then, Freedom Now offers a range of curricular connections. All subjects exploring issues of human rights, ways to give voice to those rights, weighing up beliefs and values, and the way global influences act on these will benefit from engagement with the exhibition and its associated resources. The rights of Australia’s Indigenous people weave their way through the exhibition and is complemented by Don’t Just Count Us, Let Us Count!, an exhibition running concurrently in kuril dhagun at State Library, which honours the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum; a significant event that resulted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders being included in Australia’s Constitution.

Cross Curricular Connection: This exhibition addresses cross-curricular needs in terms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. Additionally, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, they can strongly see their identities and cultures reflected. And, for all students, there are opportunities to gain respect for and recognise the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. There is a lot to be gained for all high school students in attending the exhibition or viewing some of the archival footage online.

Targeted learning programs have been put together as part of the Freedom Then, Freedom Now Learning Pack for:

  • Year 10 History, Civics and Citizenship, and English;
  • Senior English

Other Connections

  • This exhibition may have relevance to Modern History Students, and Unit 2, Global Movements in particular, as the content touches on issues related to Women’s Movements and Indigenous Rights, and provides a general context to global movements post Second World War – the Year 10 History activity program may be relevant. There is a Senior Modern History learning program ‘Scenes of ‘67’’ for the Don’t Just Count Us, Let Us Count! exhibition.
  • Connections may also be found for students of Philosophy and Media Studies.

Attending the Exhibition

Attending the exhibition brings access to a range of objects and interactive activities for students’ engagement. An excellent way to prepare students is by viewing the Freedom Then, Freedom Now Online Showcase and/or the exhibition list found on State Library’s catalogue One Search to introduce them to the types of objects and materials they will encounter. The Freedoms Manifest Task Sheet (available both online and in the exhibition) may help to focus students and assist them to reflect on what they are experiencing.

Online Activity Programs

If you are unable to attend the exhibition or would like to extend the learning experience, the activity programs have been designed to provide engaging ways for students to encounter the exhibition materials to prompt new perspectives and insights. The following programs have been designed with strong curricular connections.

  • Freedoms, Rights and Movements
    Explores: Human Rights and impact of major global movements in Australia
    Focus : History Year 10; Civics and Citizenship Year 10
  • Global Influences on Popular Culture
    Explores: Global influences on beliefs, values and living standards and its reflection in popular culture
    Focus: History Year 10
  • Participate!
    Explores: The language of protest and persuasion
    Focus: English Year 10; Senior English Unit 2; History Year 10
  • Scenes of ’67
    Explores: First-hand perspectives of the importance and impact of the 1967 Referendum on Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders. The perspective is gained through scripts, video footage of the theatre production, and digital stories created from interviews
    Focus: History Year 10, Modern History Unit 2, English Year 10 and Senior English Unit 2


Freedom Then, Freedom Now is located in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery on level 4 from 5 May until 1 October 2017. The online resources will remain accessible into the foreseeable future.