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Teaching Heritage

Board of Studies NSW

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There are three timelines featured in this section – representing three different ways of organising historical events in Australian life.

These three timelines show three different ways in which historical events can be organised to help identify threads of meaning in Australian history.

Making timelines is an activity in which we have all participated at some time or another. We frequently refer to time periods in history with such terms as the Rock'n'Roll Generation, the Swinging Sixties, the Depression Years or the Menzies Era.

We are used to making lists - the ten best Australian movies of all-time, the top ten sports-people, the ten events that shaped Australian the Australian economy.

These activities help us develop our understanding of different perceptions of time, they allow us to become familiar with the many different conventions used to describe historical periods and the passing of time. And they help us to build frameworks that show the importance of people, events and historical forces at work in our developing understanding of the changing world and the changing ways in which we understand the past.

Selecting and organising these important people, events and ideas helps us understand why histories have been put together the way they have and why our understanding of the past is shaped by the changing ideas of what we think are important.

SubSection MarkerAustralian environmental activism

An ‘Australian environmental activism’ timeline charts the growth of the environmental protest movement from 1969 until 1998.

This timeline charts the growth of the environmental protest movement from 1969 until 1998. The events selected have been chosen for their national significance or for the unusual methods of protest used by activists. Some of the protests included on the timeline succeeded in achieving their aims; others did not. Australians were taking to the streets in protest on a mass scale in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Students were calling for an end to Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war and the abolition of conscription. Women were demanding equal pay, equal access to employment, access to child care and an end to sexism. The anti-apartheid movement was gaining support and Aboriginal activists were demanding land rights, equality of access to education, employment opportunities and an end to discrimination based on race.
The environmental movement began to gain momentum during this period, when public protest became a popular and accepted method of campaigning for social change. The evolution of the Green Bans in 1971 saw the beginnings of new forms of environmental activism in Australia.

SubSection MarkerIndigenous Australian

An ‘Indigenous Australian’ timeline traces the history of citizenship and rights for indigenous people in Australia from pre-1770 to 1997.

This timeline lists many of the major events in the history of Australia's indigenous (Aboriginal) peoples.
The first contact between European settlers and the indigenous peoples dramatically changed the social and economic structures of the Aboriginal communities, and much of it was destroyed very quickly.
Despite the concerted efforts of our European forebears, the Aboriginal peoples did not die out. With increased activism on the part of Aborigines determined to maintain and revive their cultural identity, the era of European dominated decision making in Aboriginal affairs may yet come to an end.
Today, Aboriginal sites and places of heritage protection are included in the State Heritage register.
The first legislation to protect Aboriginal relics in NSW came into force in 1970 as amendments to the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1967. The 1974 National Parks and Wildlife Act further strengthened and widened legal measures to protect Aboriginal Places and relics.
However, many Aboriginal places of significance remain unrecorded, including many middens, stone arrangements and cave paintings that are to be found across the State.

SubSection MarkerAustralian 20th century

The ‘Australian 20th century’ timeline follows events and developments in Australia from Federation through to the year 2000.

This collection of events provides another means of investigating Australia's past and trying to identify what we mean by 'Our Heritage'.

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