Author: Julie Hamston with Kath Murdoch
Format: 64 pp book
ISBN: 9781863665841 SCIS No: 1180082
Publisher: Education Services Australia 2004
Audience: Teacher and student resource
Audience year level
Who is an Australian? How can ‘Australian identity’ be defined? How has Australian identity been defined in the past? How might Australian identity be defined in the future?
These challenging questions underpin Australian identity and provide an inspiring lead-in for students to explore the varied contributions Asian cultures and people have made to the cultural diversity and richness of Australian society.
Australia Kaleidoscope presents a wealth of teaching strategies and activities for use in the SOSE/HSIE classroom, and provides a variety of written, spoken and visual texts and contexts for studies of citizenship and values education. Focusing on six diverse and colourful case studies, students will explore a kaleidoscope of stories, people and places that demonstrate the influences of Asian traditions, beliefs and people on Australian culture. Students can:
- see how some of the most popular Australian circuses have drawn on the Chinese skills of acrobatics, tumbling and balance to create thrilling performances
- imagine life in 1930s Broome, Western Australia, where pearl divers from Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines sought their fortunes in the pearl industry
- spend a day with a Vietnamese Buddhist monk in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria
- interview a practitioner of Chinese medicine who uses traditional remedies based on yin-yang philosophy
- meet warrior girl Li Ji, the creation of artist Kate Beynon, who confronts racism and discrimination as an Asian Australian
- join Aisha’s campaign for peace and harmony as a young Australian Muslim woman.
Steve Holden in Teacher: The National Education Magazine
One effect of the so-called and hopefully temporary Age of Terror has been to blur the distinction between being alert but not alarmed and being racist - watch out against being 'unAustralian' and keep that magnet on the fridge so you know who to call when you suspect the latest bogeyman Other.
The result? Australians of Asian background and Muslims are are reporting an increasing number of cases of harassment. There's all the more need, then, for books like Australian Kaleidoscope that invite us to recognise, explore and celebrate the diversity of our society. Julie Hamston's focus on the stories of individuals provides primary-aged students with a clear way to begin thinking about identity and culture. Kath Murdoch's pre-reading and post-reading strategies and activities are useful for extending the teaching and learning experience.