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Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away.

3 — Land rights: Great speeches – part 1

This sequence is the first of three about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Rights in general and the Gurindji people’s struggle in particular. The issue of native title is not dealt with in this unit. In some communities and schools it may be decided that both native title and land rights be researched, particularly in places where native title has recently been granted and community interest is high. In this sequence students learn about famous speeches and how the power of oratory has been used when talking about rights.

Activity 1: Thinking about great speeches

Students brainstorm speeches they have either heard others deliver or delivered themselves. For example, students may talk about school captain speeches, speeches made at special school assemblies, acceptance speeches at the Logies. Discuss the contexts and purposes of these speeches.  ACELT1613

Ask the students if they know of any famous or great speeches? For example: ‘I have a dream...’ or ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears ...’ Individually or in small groups they complete the Great speeches worksheet after being led through the example provided at the top of the worksheet. Students can then share some of their responses with the whole class and create a common list of reasons for deciding what makes a speech great.

Activity 2: Finding more information

Singer–songwriters Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly in an extract from the video 'Blood Brothers – From Little Things Big Things Grow'

Above: Paul Kelly (on the left) Kev Carmody (on the right) in From Little Things Big Things Grow produced by Ned Lander and Rachel Perkins, directed by Trevor Graham. Reproduced with permission of Ned Lander Media, © Ned Lander Media P/L, photograph by Trevor Graham.

Students take notes as they watch the video clip Wave Hill Walkout’, an extract from the 1993 documentary Blood Brothers – From Little Things Big Things Grow and read the notes on the same site.  ACHASSK135

Return to the photograph of Gough Whitlam and Vincent Lingiari in the co-operative quiz cards from Sequence 1 and review the comments written by students about the image. Students record additional information and highlight any previous comments that contradict the information in the film clip.  

Activity 3: Listening to and reading Whitlam’s speech to the Gurindji people

Students listen to an audio recording of the speech made on 16 August 1975 by Gough Whitlam to Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji people. The audio recording also includes a part of Vincent Lingiari’s response and commentary about the speech and its context. Note the reference to Vincent Lingiari’s response in the foreword to From Little Things Big Things Grow and read the transcript of part of the speech. ACHASSK137  

Discuss the similarities and differences between the two speeches, drawing particular attention to the level of formality in each, the use of the Gurindji language, Gurindji Kriol and Standard English. You should first analyse the text of the speech to determine vocabulary and concepts that might need to be explicitly taught before students can engage with the speech.  ACELA1515

Activity 4: Text structure, purpose/function and language worksheet

Complete the Text structure, purpose/function and language worksheet. Depending on the abilities of the students, this could be done as a whole-class activity or with the you modelling the Introduction, jointly constructing the response to the Body of the speech with the studnets, and the students either individually or in small groups independently completing the Conclusion. (You may prefer to have the students cut and paste the parts of the text into a blank template.) When writing about purpose, students may refer to both social purpose and how each section functions within the overall text organisation. When writing about language, they should describe the way language has been used to affect the reader or listener.  ACELY1711ACELY1801

Students discuss the speech, stating and justifying their opinions. Some may choose to add this speech to the Great speeches worksheet.