What happened in a frontier conflict near Broome in 1864?

PLEASE NOTE: This case study contains names, images and/or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Case Study Overview

Students investigate an incident of frontier conflict in Western Australia and are challenged to consider different interpretations of the event. They carry out an inquiry, calling witnesses and critically analysing the evidence presented. They also investigate a memorial, called the ‘Explorers Memorial’, which carries both the original inscription from 1913 and a later interpretation of events by Aboriginal people from 1994. In doing so they experience how history ‘hears’ and ‘silences’ voices and how people use the past in the present.

An interactive entitled, Key moments — can you make key decisions in Australian history, is also available for this case study. This module is currently under re-development due to FLASH being discontinued. 

Case Study unit of work inquiry structure (pdf)

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Activity 1: Comparing inscriptions
    Understanding the main concept(s) raised in the case study
  • Activity 2: Video visit
    Looking at the video segment of this case study and answering questions about it
  • Activity 3: Holding an inquiry
    Interrogating the evidence of witnesses to the event
  • Activity 4: Four representations of the event
    Discussing different images of the event and assessing their strengths and weaknesses as evidence
  • Activity 5: Reflection
    Examining the Explorers’ Memorial

About the Interactive

This module is currently under re-development due to FLASH being discontinued. 

Key Moments — can you make key decisions in Australian history?
In this activity you get the chance to be a decision-maker in some of the most significant events in Australian history. These events, spread over more than 200 years, helped determine the way that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians reacted to each other. Make your decisions about what you think should have happened – and then compare that with the historical reality.

For Primary & Secondary Students

• First contacts

• Making a nation

Case Study Resources

  • Teacher Guide
  • Print Resources (PDF)
  • Interactive
  • Downloadable High Quality Video
  • STUDIES Magazine Unit
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