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


[Episode 26 | Before Time : Barangaroo]

Barangaroo and her friends are warned not to go near Mumuga country, and they discuss the nature of the Mumuga. To cheer up Mung they decide to host a cook-up. Barangaroo and Mani have a dance-off  to see who is the most worthy to carry the spear.


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: Dreaming stories
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Subtheme(s): Beliefs; Culture; Indigenous perspectives
  • As a class, view the clip and discuss the relationship between Aunty and the children. She warns the children to stay away from Mumuga. Discuss why Aunty would have warned the children of this 'spirit'. Indigenous Australians have passed on information from one generation to another over many thousands of years, predominantly through the spoken word. These oral traditions exist in many different forms. The main forms include, but are not limited to:
  1. group stories or collective histories that are usually about early contact periods with colonists
  2. cultural practices that are passed down through generations 
  3. life histories of individuals told as biographical stories
  4. spiritual narratives that are based on teachings about law including relationships with family, with land and seas, and gathering food. Some groups separate these narratives into creation stories and dreaming stories.
  • Ask students to list the skills and knowledges that the children are learning in the clip and the type of oral exchange that takes place between Aunty and the children.
  • Some useful background notes may be found at the following websites: 
  1. ABC, 'Ancient Stories, New Voices', www.abc.net.au/dustechoes/
    Stories from the Northern Territory
  2. Australian Museum, 'Stories of the Dreaming', australianmuseum.net.au/Stories-of-the-Dreaming
    Stories of the Dreaming from each Australian state
  3. Grey Matter, 'Aboriginal Elders Voices', www.greymatter.net.au/pdf/book/AVE.pdf
  4. National Library of Australia, 'Bringing Them Home Oral History Project', www.nla.gov.au/oh/bth/
    Includes many oral histories of Indigenous peoples experiences from across Australia
  • As a class, listen to or read some of the stories on the websites (preferably from your local area or state) and talk about some of the similarities to and differences between the different types of stories. Make a list of the similarities and differences.
  • Find out about the Indigenous language groups of your local area and talk to Indigenous families, groups and communities who now live in the region or neighbouring areas about local stories from your (or their) region. Remember to observe Indigenous protocols carefully and be aware of the sensitive nature of some information and experiences. Don't include anything the local community does not consider appropriate to share. 
  • For suggestions about appropriate protocols and working with Indigenous communities see:
  1. New South Wales Board of Studies, 'Working with Communities', http://ab-ed.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/go/7-10/science/working-with-communities
  2. Queensland Studies Authority, 'Indigenous perspectives support materials', www.qsa.qld.edu.au/3035.html

  • Ask students to choose a story, nursery rhyme, myth or legend from their culture, heritage or religion, such as a family history (group or individual) or a story connected to spirituality or particular practices shared. They should examine the story and research its origins, characters, setting and plot. 
  • Students can then choose to present their story through a particular medium such as song, dance, art or storytelling. Ask them to draft their story and illustrate their ideas using the storyboard/graphic novel strip provided in Student Activity Worksheet H26.1: Dreaming stories.
  • If students select an Indigenous story, remind them that they are not allowed to copy the ideas, designs or symbols. They are to develop their own personal symbols and use their own style of interpretation to present their story. The collection of stories and presentations should be presented, displayed or developed into a class storybook or calendar using illustrations and photographs.


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