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


[Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

Bunda and his brother Garadi are competing with each other to find the best method of transporting water. Bunda constructs a raft to carry the water down the river, while his brother carries his water on foot. Bunda's father then tells his sons to bring him something that takes two to get.


The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [1]

Activity 1: Waterwise
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Subtheme(s): Beliefs; Customs and traditions; Inventions and electronic media
  • As a class, view the clip and discuss the solutions that both brothers come up with for fetching water. The clip illustrates the education of the boys in the ways of bushcraft, bush medicine and working as a team. Ask students to list the skills, knowledge and technologies that the boys are learning to use.
  • Divide the class into small groups and provide each group with two buckets, one filled with water and one empty, placed 3 metres apart. Instruct students to design a water carrier which will transfer as much water as possible from one bucket to the other. Allow students time to gather natural materials to create their water carrier. If natural materials are difficult to find, provide students with wet newspaper instead. Once groups have made their water carriers, have a competition to see which group can transfer the most water in one minute.
  • When you return to class, show students some images of traditional water carriers. Some examples can be found in the collection of the National Museum of Australia: [see Document download for table]
  • Sensitivities to be aware of:
  1. Over time, artefacts, including artworks and implements, have been removed from their context and placed in museums for scientific purposes and observation only. Some Indigenous people feel strongly that these items should be returned to the country, place and people to which they belong. Be aware that Indigenous students in your classrooms may share these understandings. Be open to discussing these ideas. Connect with your local Indigenous community to discuss and share their ideas about such issues.
  • For each item, ask students to find the place where the item was made (if known) on a map of Australia. Explain that the items are from different areas and the people who made them were from different cultures and spoke different languages.

  • As a class, explore the spiritual and cultural significance of water for Aboriginal people. Read through water stories at the website below:

Queensland Government Environment and Resource Management, 'Australian Water Stories', www.derm.qld.gov.au/waterwise/resources/pdf/activities/p3australianwaterstories.pdf

  • Watch the clip at:
  1. Australian Museum, 'How the water got to the plains', australianmuseum.net.au/movie/How-the-water-got-to-the-plains/
  • Ask students to analyse the story or local stories. Discuss the following points:
  1. What lessons are learnt from the story about water?
  2. What does it reveal about local attitudes towards the use and preservation of water? 
  3. What does it reveal about knowledges about the location of water on Fraser Island or in your local area? How was this information shared?
  • Ask students to reflect on the different ways they use water in their lives today. How does use vary at different times of the year and during times of drought. Discuss some of the similarities and differences in how families and individuals use and think about water.


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