Senior phase (Grades 11-12)

Download the PDF version of the Senior Phase Notes.

Pre-visit activities | During visit activities | Post visit activities

Pre-visit activities

Suggested teaching and learning experiences

Subject and learning focus

Research tips:

  • Use the background notes to brief the students about the exhibition.
  • Use State Library’s One Search catalogue to locate relevant resources. Click on the ‘tags’ button and search for ‘Tranforming Tindale’. Library staff have pre-tagged some useful material.

Investigate values and attitudes: Historical ways of defining and classifying Aboriginal identity

  • List words and phrases used to define Aboriginal Australians today. Look at a variety of sources, i.e. government policies, newspaper articles, publications by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • In groups, search Trove for news reports, images and maps about the lives, treatment and views towards Aboriginal people from 1930 to 1950. What words and phrases were commonly used? (Use the advanced search feature to refine results.)
  • Present each group’s findings for discussion.
    • Outline the language used. Is there a difference between how non-Aboriginal Australians refer to Aboriginal Australians and how they identify themselves?
    • Compare the language of the past to that of today. Does society still use the same terms now? Why/why not?
    • Whose history is being portrayed in these sources? From what standpoint and in whose interests?
    • What do these sources tell you about the treatment of Aboriginal people in the 1930s – 1950s? What were the significant events and policies at the time?
    • Consider Australia 50 years from now: how will society define and classify Aboriginal identity then?










Modern History

Plan and use an historical research process independently

Engage critically with historical sources

Investigate the role of values in history, and refine their own values

Understand the forces and influences that have shaped the modern world

Empathise with the perspectives of people remote in time and place

Understand the work of Norman Tindale

  • What is anthropology? Search onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au. Does anthropology play an important role in science and society?
  • Who was Norman Tindale?
    1. Search Trove for articles written by or about Norman Tindale and his ethnology works. Use example resources, such as note cards, ID cards and photographs, to assist with discussion.
  • Discuss the example Tindale images and compare with modern day portraits (i.e. celebrity headshots or family portraits in a “typical” pose – relaxed and smiling). Note the identifying number assigned to each Tindale subject.
    1. What impression does the identifying number give to the viewer?
    2. What does it say about Tindale’s work and the mindset of 1930s Australia?
    3. How are these images important to anthropological work?
    4. How do they differ from today’s portraits?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Apply principles of social justice to analyse the distribution and effects of power, in order to identify and deal with prejudice, stereotyping and racism
  • Show an example of Tindale’s note cards featuring anthropological measurements and facts
    1. What information was recorded? Why?
    2. In pairs, take measurements to describe each other in scientific terms.
    3. Discuss how it feels to be described this way. What if the information recorded was inaccurate? How would you prove your correct identity in the future, if this is the only written record?
    4. What is your perception of identity? Is it just your birth date or the colour of your eyes?
    5. How is identity constructed – personal, family, cultural, historical, spiritual and political? How do both connections to and disconnections from your country impact on your identity?
    6. To what extent have the dominant culture constructions of Aboriginal identities contributed to the myth-making processes and stereotypes surrounding Indigenous Australians?
    7. How does spirituality inform one’s identity and place in Australian society?
    8. How have your beliefs about Aboriginal identity changed over time: primary school, secondary school, home, friends, and social groups?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Value, understand and respect Aboriginal cultures, past and present, as contributing to the heritage of all Australian

Artist study: Vernon Ah Kee

  1. View an example of Vernon Ah Kee’s artwork from the exhibition website
  2. In small groups, investigate Vernon’s background and body of work. Each group could research one topic – biography, art, media coverage, previous exhibitions – and report back to the class.
  3. Discuss what motivated Vernon to create these artworks. What might he think about Tindale’s collection? What might he be trying to tell contemporary audiences? (During your visit, watch Vernon’s interview and compare his responses to your class discussion.)
  4. How has Vernon, and his artwork, contributed to / added value to Australian society and Aboriginal Australian identity?
Extension: Art students can look more closely at Vernon’s technique

Visual Arts

Affirm and value the contributions of visual artists

Be inclusive and appreciative of multiple perspectives and philosophies and the meanings of artworks.

During visit activities

Suggested teaching and learning experiences

Subject and learning focus

SLQ Gallery, level 2
Please note that photography is not permitted in the gallery. Sketchbooks, notepads, tablets and pencils are welcome.

  • Complete the following activities.
  • Comment on your visit via the visitors’ book, onscreen survey or post-visit email.

Take your time exploring Transforming Tindale.

  • What is your initial impression walking into the gallery? Consider the curatorial design. How has State Library used the space, lighting, surfaces and text to provide deeper meaning and evoke a reaction from visitors?
  • As you walk around the gallery, take notes on some of the objects you see. Which images attract your attention? Why do you think that is?
  • Read the anthropologists’ notes. How and why do anthropologists continue to study people?
  • Watch the interviews with Vernon Ah Kee and Michael Aird. From their perspectives, why is Transforming Tindale an important exhibition? What motivated them to create and curate these artworks?
  • Stop in front of a portrait that attracts your attention. Analyse the artwork by comparing it to the original Tindale photograph. Comment on Vernon’s technique. (Consider the quality of the media used. Is it conventional or unconventional? What do you deduce about his approach to drawing and painting? How has he tried to change the way the subject is seen by others? Why?)
  • Read the stories hanging near the portraits. How does reading “their own words” affect the way you think about the people in these photographs?
  • How might non-Indigenous audiences react to these portraits? How might Aboriginal people react? How might descendents of the subjects react?
  • Sketch the images that most grab your attention.

kuril dhagun, level 1

  • Walk through the Indigenous Knowledge Centre (kuril dhagun) and out to the Talking Circle. Once settled, begin your discussion with an acknowledgement / Welcome to Country. (South Bank was originally a meeting place for the traditional custodians of the land.)
  • As a group, share stories about your experiences in Transforming Tindale.
  • State Library has restrictions on who can access the Tindale collection. Should anthropological studies be made accessible to the people involved, their descendents and the general public? Who should be in charge of this information – universities, libraries, local communities?
  • Before you leave, explore the State of Emergency exhibition in kuril dhagun, open 30 Sep 2012 – 19 Apr 2013, for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on Queensland history.

River walk

If you have time during your visit, walk along the river’s edge past the Cultural Centre. Try to imagine this land 300 years ago. What might it have been like for the traditional custodians of the land? Sketch or record your thoughts and share with the group.


Extension

Attend one of State Library’s Transforming Tindale events, such as:

  • Symposium: The legacy of Tindale – Mon 24 Sep, 9.30am – 4pm [$40 adult, $25 concession, bookings required]
  • A night by the fire with Michael Aird – Tue 2 Oct, 6.30pm [Free]
  • Deepen the conversation – Thu 25 Oct, 6pm [Free, bookings required]

Visual Arts

Engage with Indigenous Australian art Examine and affirm personal and community perspectives relating to past and present, social and cultural contexts


Modern History

Empathise with the value positions and consequent actions of others in both the past and the present, leading, where appropriate, to tolerance of differences

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies


Explore historical issues of cultural importance from the perspectives and beliefs of Aboriginal groups Understand that culture is dynamic: it allows individuals and groups to construct their own identities and to adapt to and modify the changing world around them

Post-visit activities

Suggested teaching and learning experiences

Subject and learning focus

How would we choose to be remembered?
In groups or pairs, sketch/photograph each other to show how you would want to be seen and remembered by your descendents. (Note that Tindale’s subjects didn't have a choice about how they were captured or what information was recorded about them.)

Consider the information you upload to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This information is freely available and will be accessed by your future employers, partners and descendants. Record what information, e.g. personal attributes, interests or hobbies, you would want posted about yourself for posterity. What do you not want recorded?

If using digital photography, use an app or website like Skitch (skitch.com) to annotate the images. Alternatively, print the image and write/type the information. Combine the images and notes to create a class collage. Upload the collage to the school intranet or curate a year level / whole school exhibition.

 

What do you think?
Consider your response to this statement: “Tindale’s records are both a source of contention surrounding the treatment of Aboriginal Australians and a valuable resource for relatives.” Decide whether you believe anthropological studies are necessary and, if so, how the information should be collected, who should be responsible for storing it, and who should have access to it.

Plan, rehearse and deliver an argument to justify your position. Use your pre-visit research and your own comments and reflections of Transforming Tindale to support your argument. Use a variety of media: written, oral, dramatic and graphic to persuade your audience to see things your way.

Visual Arts

Engage with Indigenous Australian art Examine and affirm personal and community perspectives relating to past and present, social and cultural contexts


Modern History

Empathise with the value positions and consequent actions of others in both the past and the present, leading, where appropriate, to tolerance of differences

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies


Explore historical issues of cultural importance from the perspectives and beliefs of Aboriginal groups Understand that culture is dynamic: it allows individuals and groups to construct their own identities and to adapt to and modify the changing world around them


State Library gratefully acknowledges the support received from the South Australian Museum to provide access to the Tindale collection.

South Australian Government | Sout Australian Museum
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