1—Introduce the unit with Australia’s migration story
This unit of work, Global people, explores migration — ‘forced’ migration and ‘voluntary’ migration. Migration occurs within countries and between countries, for many reasons. Migration could be for the short term, such as seeking a better climate during a particular season, or for much more serious reasons, such as fleeing persecution, hunger, racial discrimination, or to provide better work, living or educational opportunities. People have been on the move throughout human history. Whenever our basic security and opportunities are seriously threatened, many of us would rather take the risk of moving than stay where we are. (Find information on the subject of 'People Flow' (.pdf 541 kB)).
As communication and transport technology have improved, costs have fallen and migration has increased. International migration should be understood as part of an overall growth in mobility. International mobility increases the connections between different parts of the world. In 2010, 25 per cent of the Australian population was born overseas and 52 per cent had at least one parent born overseas. Many Australians are in Australia as a result of voluntary migration. Forced migration has a long history in Australia from convict times, and it continues as a result of upheaval of various kinds displacing and uprooting people from their countries of origin. We refer to people forced to leave their countries as refugees and asylum seekers.
Activities around migration
Use the following activities adapted from Get Connected: Issue 8 — Migration, people on the move, to inform teacher talk about the key terms of migrant and refugee in this unit. Start with a cartoon and a cloze activity.
Australia’s immigration story
World events have resulted in significant numbers of people migrating to Australia for more than 200 years. In 2010, nearly one half of all Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. See a graph for settler arrivals in 2008–09.
Share a timeline of migration (.pdf 481 kB) with the class. To which part of the story can students see a connection with their own family story?
Read the first sentence in 1788 together and ask the students:
- Who is taking part?
- What happened to them?
- When did it happen?
Repeat this pattern of questioning for the timeline and complete this table, discussing the function of each language feature.
Types of migration
Introduce types of migration to the class with the following three recounts. After reading the recounts by Lay Htoo and Violeta Veliz, ask students to comment on the function of the words in yellow (past tense verbs) and blue (present tense verbs) in the highlighted versions.
Research and writing activity
In pairs, have students reflect on the timeline and recounts and research a member of their family to write a brief imagined first person recount (perhaps just 150 words) of that person’s migration experience.
For their own recounts, using the recounts above as a model, and choosing between types of migration, they might change the name of this ancestor if they so wish, but should convey some of the facts of the person’s life, as a first Australian experiencing the effects of migration, or as a person in migration if in a later period.
Have pairs share their recounts with other pairs in the class.