Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance is the true story of the legendary Aboriginal resistance fighter, Jandamarra. Set within the last stages of Australia’s invasion and colonisation of the Kimberley region – in particular the lands of the Bunuba people – in outback Western Australia, the story traces the turmoil and tension of the acquisition of Indigenous land through lease, and the relationships, often contradictory, between the colonisers and the Indigenous peoples of the area. The work is a powerful collaboration between a non-Indigenous historian, Howard Pedersen and the Indigenous custodians of the legend of Jandamarra, given voice through Banjo Woorunmurra.

Introductory activities

Activity 1 

Complete a 3-2-1 Bridge thinking routine to assess student knowledge and prior understanding regarding the topics of first contact and colonisation of Australia in general, and the Kimberley region in particular. Have students reflect on:

  • three thoughts or ideas they have about European settlement and race relations
  • two questions they have about these sometimes hidden aspects of our history
  • one analogy to explain it.

Direct students to firstly share their thinking in small groups and then provide feedback to each other, before discussing as a wider class group.
(ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)

Activity 2

Direct students to research and review different front covers/designs used for the text Jandamarra and Bunuba Resistance over the years. Students are to identify what aspects of the covers are common and repeated across various editions. Discuss with students how each cover might be used to introduce key themes and ideas in a text and how this might apply specifically to Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance? Have students set up a reading journal in which they can begin to record their personal expectations of the text, according to the identification of ‘a true story’ (as per the current cover) and their thoughts as stimulated by reviewing the different covers.
(ACELA1552)   (EN5-2A)

Activity 3

To help set up context, location, and setting have students identify key aspects of West Australian geography, and in particular the location of the Bunaba people on the Indigenous Nations Map.
(ACELT1634)   (EN5-5C)

Activity 4

Based on their earlier work with the 3-2-1 activity, have students plot out ten to fifteen key events on a timeline based on the experience of Aboriginal people in Western Australia during the nineteenth century. This Australian Government Department of the Environment site may also be useful.
(ACELT1634)   (EN5-5C)

Activity 5 

Paul Kelly is quoted on one of the front covers as saying ‘[Jandamarra is] a true Australian hero’.

  • Have students discuss together the qualities that make someone a hero.
  • In their discussion, students can consider what other Australian heroes they can think of and why they are known as such. How is Jandamarra similar or different to these other figures identified?
  • Play for the students Paul Kelly’s song, ‘Jandamarra/Pigeon’, and read the lyrics here. Have students act out the narrative that’s presented in the song and ask them to consider to what extent this particular narrative is depicted in the non-fiction text.

(ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)


Personal response on reading the text

So as to record their impressions, responses and reflections whilst reading the text, students should set up their own individual reading journals. These will be a helpful method of reflection and processing for students, in which they can also make note of questions and comments they have when reading. Given the, at times, confronting and mature content, providing a space for students to reflect and process their thinking and feelings is very important. The journal will become a valuable resource for them when they have finished the text to then refer back to and reflect upon. It will enable them to track their own growth in knowledge and understanding, undertaken throughout the reading process as well as the unit as a whole.
(ACELY1742)   (EN5-2A)

Set up ‘reflection walls’ in the classroom where students are encouraged to share some of their written reflections, personal connections, key learnings, and insights as they read the text. This physical space is open in that it’s also an opportunity for other students to reflect on the thinking of their peers and also to feel comfortable in sharing their own responses. Clustered topics/ideas might be around:

  • ‘What I’m learning about history’
  • ‘What I’m learning about Indigenous culture’
  • ‘What I’m learning about the value of stories’ and
  • ‘The impact this text is having on me’.

(ACELY1747)   (EN5-2A)

Set up and share with students a vocabulary list that they can add to with an accompanying definition as they read the text, including words that are new and/or challenging. Some examples might include:

  • frontier
  • colonists, colony, colonisation
  • settler, squatter, pastoralist
  • usurp, dispossess.

(ACELY1743)   (EN5-2A)

On completion of their initial reading, have students plan and compose a personal response entitled: ‘What Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance has taught me.’ This personal response could be in the form of a separated journal entry (as part of the wider reading journal approach suggested above) or it could be in the form of a reflective essay. Perhaps students might have already taken some time to reflect on the impact of the text in their own life, as part of a wider reflection activity mentioned above. Students are encouraged to use existing points from their thinking to build a thoughtful response.
(ACELY1745)   (EN5-1A)


Key elements of the text

Plot (synopsis from notes by Magabala Books)

Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance is the true story of the powerful resistance put forth by Aboriginal freedom fighter, Jandamarra, in the closing years of the nineteenth century. To protect the Bunuba people of the Kimberley region, Jandamarra courageously and cleverly manoeuvred an opposition to the final stages of white invasion in Australia.

Historian Howard Pedersen has interwoven written records including many primary source documents from the era with the oral history of the Bunuba people as told by Banjo Woorunmurra. The end result is an insightful and detailed account of the remarkable struggle against the many injustices suffered by the Indigenous peoples of Western Australia at the hands of white colonists, government officials and the police force. 

Most outstanding about Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance is the heroic and spiritual leadership of Jandamarra, a man whom his own countrymen greatly respected and regarded as a warrior with the gifts of magic and immortality. This he earned through his actions and pure courage. Indeed, Jandamarra is both legend and hero, a pivotal character in Australia’s past, present and future.

There are several key events and social contexts in the story of Jandamarra that direct his thinking and action throughout the text. Ask students to identify these events and write a short explanation of each and how it is significant to the playing out of the historical story line.
(ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)   (ACELT1635)   (EN5-7D)   (ACELY1739)   (ACELY1744)   (EN5-2A)


  • Jandamarra (also known as Tjandamurra, and Pigeon to European settlers): a Bunuba tribe member who led a resistance against European colonists in Western Australia (lived 1873-1897). A separate biography by Howard Pedersen can be found here.
  • Bill Richardson (also referred to as Trooper Richardson): of Lillimooloora Station, employs Jandamarra as his tracker when he joins the police force.
  • Mick: an Aboriginal tracker said to have had equally legendary powers as Jandamarra.
  • Bunuba: the language group and people of north Western Australia. Bunuba country includes the township of Fitzroy Crossing in the West Kimberley.


Indigenous history and culture

The richness of Indigenous cultural life stands in stark contrast to the Europeans’ approach to it, which was to attempt to abolish all aspects of traditional Bunuba life and culture. To draw out this theme in their own reading, direct students to track and document aspects of Indigenous history, culture, and life of the Bunuba and wider Indigenous groups throughout the text. Note the ongoing references to Creation, sacred spaces, ceremonies, connection with land, and other aspects of cultural life which is so sacred and is referred to in the text.
(ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)

Bravery and resistance

Jandamarra fights until the very end (literally, having been ambushed and wounded). Jandamarra leads a strong resistance for his people, most commonly non-violent. His tactics and strategy are exemplary. Time and time again Jandamarra and the Bunuba people demonstrate outstanding bravery in fighting for their land and culture. Again students can track and document aspects of this resistance of oppression and supression.
(ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)

Contact and colonisation

The ongoing tensions between settlers, squatters, police, and the traditional owners of the land, the Bunuba, are documented in Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance in a way that is very rare, and almost unique, in Australian history. The degradation of Aboriginal life and culture for the Bunuba, as well as other language groups, is captured through ongoing references to slavery and servants, abuse and misuse of people and land, the impact of alcohol and tobacco, and on the wider social structures of Indigenous society.

Kinship, community, identity

Community and associated social interactions and connections are extremely important in Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance. Bunuba life and culture was characterised by a close network of groups and extended families. This is most significant in a time when European settlers had no regard for such communal relationships.

Ways to bring this out for students can be seen through a consideration of the different ways in which the Aboriginal cultural groups and their social and cultural organisation are defined (Chapter 1 has some really rich material on this, especially pp. 27–29). Encourage students to note how this directly contrasts with European values and culture. As a class review the section from page 131 where Lilamarra calls Jandamarra ‘wadu’, meaning brother-in-law, and how this name changes the direction and focus of Jandamarra’s life.
(ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)


Synthesising task

Visual representation

Looking back to the earlier activity involving the various covers the text has had over the years, critically review the different versions for cultural and textual significance. Have students plan and then design a new book cover. This can be done via a number of tools such as Canva, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe PhotoshopPicMonkeyUnsplashPadlet, Paint, or Microsoft Word. Students should provide a written rationale/reflection to accompany their cover designs, justifying key choices made. Students can peer assess with the key criterion being: how the cover can best capture the impact of the Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance narrative.
(ACELT1638)   (EN5-4B)

The writer’s craft


  • The text is pre-layered with a foreword, a list of language place names reference section, a contents page, preface and an introduction, all before the first chapter! Direct students to an examination of this structure and how it might differ from the structure of a novel or other texts they look at in English. Given the subject content, have students justify why such detail and establishment of context are so important in telling a story such as Jandamarra’s.
    (ACELY1739)   (EN5-8D)
  • The text is structured in chapters whose titles are based on a very briefly stated fact/event. Students are to critically reflect on the chapter structure and identify the impact that the chapters have on them as readers (i.e. in the first half of the text the chapters are typical non-fiction factual narratives with dates and figures, whereas the chapters on Jandamarra’s story are more narrative driven and engage readers in a very different way).
    (ACELY1744)   (EN5-2A)
  • Have students reflect on the value of what is presented in the epilogue and why it’s needed/appropriate. Discuss with students the ways it provides a sense of closure.
    (ACELT1772)   (EN5-6C)
  • Direct students to discuss in pairs the interview excerpt with Banjo Woorunmurra and Stephen Muecke (p. 210). In their discussion, students should ask each other why this was placed after the epilogue and before the chapter notes, as well as what this interview adds structurally to Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance.
    (ACELT1772)   (EN5-6C)

Approach to characterisation

The characters in Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance are real individuals; students should be careful to distinguish that they are not simply representations of people as made in fictional texts, but actual people who were and are part of a real historical and cultural context. Observations about their characteristics and qualities should always be tempered and guided by this reality.

  • Students are to create written character profiles based on the main protagonists presented in the text. Information about these individuals can be added as students find more evidence, building on a developing and detailed character profile. Individuals can be grouped according to context: e.g. political characters (police, governors, magistrates), Europeans (squatters and settlers) and Indigenous Australians. Students are to consider the ways that different individuals and groups of individuals are displayed, and are to note the representations that are presented using non-fiction storytelling tools such as a range of historical sources, dialogue, and reflection.
    (ACELY1743)   (EN5-2A)
  • Closely read page 87 with students, in particular, the introduction of Jandamarra (for the first time). Have students complete a character profile based on the information presented about him. Students are to read page 88 and reflect on the way that Jandamarra gained the name ‘Pigeon’. Students are to make notes on the relationship and impact that Jim Crow had on Jandamarra, and how foreshadowing has been used.
    (ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)
  • ‘The Land Between’ is the title for Chapter Three which explores different aspects of Jandamarra’s identity and story – a highly symbolic chapter name. ‘[Jandamarra] was seen by his elders as an incomplete initiate of the law that flowed from his ancestral lands.’ Note the circumstances in which Jandamarra and Richardson are united: ‘a rare and special friendship grew between two men from opposing cultures. Both were excluded from their respective societies’ (p. 100). Direct students in a teacher-guided reading of this chapter, drawing out the symbolism and significance of the quotes referred to above.
    (ACELA1561)   (EN5-1A)


Setting is key to Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance, not only in time (end of the nineteenth century) but also of place (Western Australia, Kimberley Region). Encourage students to be in constant reference to the ‘Language Place Names’ page which will help to build up a consistency of use and imagery as the number of physical locations in the text is significant. Helping to map the Kimberley Language Groups (p. 222) is also a resource that is worth having at close hand for students’ reference. As these references to setting via time and place are made, encourage students to identify these in two different colours as this will help draw out the main points of impact on the Bunuba as presented in the text.
(ACELA1561)   (EN5-1A)

Use of parallels and contrasts

  • This powerful literary device is used regularly in Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance through the non-fiction lens of what was reported as happening (at the time) and what actually happened (confirmed by eyewitnesses, written accounts, etc.). Have students set up a table with two columns ‘Reported’ and ‘Actual’ so that they can document any parallel and/or contrasting events or interpretations in the historical account.
    (ACELY1739)   (EN5-8D)
  • The text rightly posits that the Bunuba land was some of the most contested in North Western Australian culture, resulting in many divisions, failed pastoral associations, many attempts of explorers to reach and colonise it, etc. Draw out for students the contrast of the harmony described between the Aboriginal cultures who had respect for the custodianship of the land prior to European occupation and settlement, with the impact and effects of that settlement and subjugation. Direct students to discuss and reflect on the significance of this. Teachers may wish to follow this up with students writing a reflective piece in their reading journals.
    (ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)


Have students consider the use of the different voices in Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance. Discuss the ways in which the voices of Banjo Woorunmurra and Howard Pedersen are intermingled and presented in a singular, united way. Have students reflect on why this is significant for the non-fiction text type and how this helps to emphasise the importance of the Jandamarra story.
(ACELA1552)   (ACELY1742)   (EN5-2A)

Language and style 

Students are to annotate examples of different text types used and referred to in the text (diary entries, newspaper articles, legal proceedings, conversations, etc. are all referred to explicitly in the pastiche of contributions collated by the composers). Direct students to consider how these different factual accounts are intertwined in historical narrative to keep a consistent written style and voice. Have students identify what impact the use of facts and figures, specific detail and dates, locations and individuals have on the reader and the overall narrative.
(ACELA1551)   (EN5-5C)


Identify with students excerpts from the text that are factual but are written in a narrative way or which use figurative language. Such an example could be: ‘The first Kimberley settlers ignored moral questions about usurping Aboriginal people from their land. Like soldiers embarking to fight “a just war”, they acted with the full blessing of their society. In nineteenth century Western Australia, the northern squatters were revered as pioneering crusaders, extending civilised order to the wilderness’ (p. 32). The example of the simile used above is to enhance and partner with the harsh, matter-of-fact tone to tell a much wider story.
(ACELA1770)   (EN5-6C)

Point of view 

Divide the class into three groups and have the groups note down when different sides or perspectives on a particular situation are presented. A sample table demonstrating how this textual concept is used in the text can be seen below.

Bunuba Police European settlers
  • motivated by ‘settlers’ total disregard for special places’ (p. 45)
  • respectful owners and caretakers of the land
  • experienced ‘indiscriminate killing’ (p. 50)
  • little respect for the white man’s authority and power. (p. 51)
  • developed an intelligence system providing a measure of safety from attack (p. 52)
  • eating sheep for a community in flight – highly adaptive
  • sheep were often unsupervised and unshepherded
  • referred to as ‘the hills tribe’ (p. 64)
  • knew the land really well
  • fighting for freedom and independence (p. 86)
  • tried to catch the Bunuba without luck as they retreated into the mountains
  • growing tensions between police and settlers (settlers feel unsupported by police)
  • hated by both ‘blacks and settlers’ (p. 60)
  • seen as servants of the settlers (p. 61)
  • strategy of horseback continual control (p. 85)
  • ‘regularly drunk on duty’ (p. 106)


  • dismissed warnings about the spiritual significance of certain places as primitive superstitions
  • using the land for economic gain and growth
  • culturally arrogant
  • Ellemarra escaped from police and was used as a justification to ‘crush Bunuba resistance’ (p. 50)
  • caused ‘many Aboriginal deaths’ at a time (p. 51)
  • frustrated at large sheep losses, see Bunuba as sheep killers
  • dingoes and poisonous grass were responsible for killing some stock but ‘it was customary among Kimberley sheep owners to blame all losses on Aboriginies’ (p. 59)
  • often captured Aboriginal people but felt this was the police’s duty and role
  • called for police to have more power (p. 61)
  • applied pressure to the Government to increase police force and to have a more brutal role
  • wanted a servile labour force (p. 86)
  • ‘felt threatened’ (p.1 01)
  • ‘drinking shaped the culture, affecting most settlers, regardless of their economic or social position’ (p. 106)

(ACELY1746)   (EN5-1A)


Text and meaning

Exploring themes in the text

The chapter titles often outline the main theme in the upcoming chapter/text as a whole.

In small groups have students choose one of the nine chapters and complete a short summary of the content and align the events of the text with the themes as discussed earlier in this resource. An example is provided below.

Chapter 1: Colonisation

Note the authors’ use of style, tone, and voice. Have students consider the impact that the factual writing has on them as readers. Identify and consider the ways in which history is being consolidated here to set up the narrative that will evolve through the following eight chapters. Help students draw out the parallels in the hardships of settlement for the Europeans and the encounters they faced with thriving Aboriginal life and active resistance. How might this representation feed into the significance of the wider text? Note that the motivating factor for European settlers was economic: ‘This was a land irresistibly attractive to European economic interests’ (p. 27) and the ‘best grazing land in Australia’ (p. 29). Have students note and highlight any description of the land and landscape of Western Australia. What recurring images are drawn out?
(ACELY1811)   (EN5-3B)

Contact and colonisation

Look at the description on page 30 foreshadowing wider European colonisation, and the contrast of Forrest who is celebrated for the discovery of a new landscape which was described as ‘the finest in Australia’. How are the motives of greed, money and economic gain used to foreshadow eventual conflict?
(ACELT1634)   (EN5-5C)

Chapter two deals specifically with the mounting conflict. Track this theme of conflict on a timeline. Have students identify key quotes or phrases that illustrate a main theme, and plot and map these quotations to see the development and progression of a theme in context.

    • For example, the theme of conflict: ‘The incident highlighted the souring relations between the Bunuba and settlers’ (p. 43) and, ‘…relations between settlers and Bunuba would never recover’ (p. 45) and again, ‘…police created such intense hostility that relations were now irretrievably bad’ (p. 50). These three quotes all relate to conflict and could be grouped closely together.

(ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)


Read as a class the situation of ‘Hanging of Nyikina man’ (p. 33–34). Have students explore the irony of the injustices experienced by the Aboriginal peoples, through the anecdote of this single person. For students, draw out the irony of what the British colonisers are thinking when they display and implement their ‘justice’, but that in reality they are actually demonstrating gross injustice as the fate of the prosecuted is decided well before the ‘trial’ even begins. ‘The old man’s trial and execution were a triumphant display by government of ‘British’ justice being imposed on the Kimberley frontier’ (p. 34).
(ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)

Spiritual connection to the land

Have students consider the ways in which a deep connection to the land is conveyed in regards to the traditional owners, the Bunuba people. Through this deep connection, the Bunuba were able to use signs and clues from their surroundings as a part of their life. For example, they used animals in association with humans: black cockatoo sightings were associated with police; settlers had connotations of king brown snakes; sheep were ‘Gugunja’ – stupid wooly animals. Identify different aspects in the text where the significance of place is highlighted – how does the impact of location enhance the narrative and emphasise the spiritual connection to the land?
(ACELY1811)   (EN5-3B)


Synthesising task

‘Bunuba society had been altered profoundly by European contact, which included pastoral activity, police patrols, and gold fossicking.’

Students are to draw up a table of these three impacts and in groups, with reference to the text, trace the longterm consequences of these issues on Bunuba society.

Pastoral activity Police patrols  Gold fossicking






(ACELA1561)   (EN5-1A)

Ways of reading the text

Perspective and Point of view

Have students write a reflective response on the different perspectives that are presented in Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance. Help students to engage with the idea of perspective, especially the fact that for many, many years the perspective of the Bunuba was silenced – intentionally. This is why this text is now so significant. Direct students to comment on the intertwining voices of Banjo Woorunmurra (the traditional custodian of the Jandamarra story) and Howard Pedersen (historian and academic).
(ACELY1811)   (EN5-3B)

A visual perspective

Have students read the text purely from a visual perspective. Direct students to focus on particular photographs and have them use key images to recount both the story and narrative from the text. The photographs supplied in the text can also be used as writing prompts and starters, as well as providing opportunity for students to match the photograph to particular content in the text. Students can re-caption photographs and sequence them chronologically. In so doing students should re-read pages 65–84 and consider the weight that the photographs bring to this section of the narrative. They could discuss and debate the impact of black and white versus colour on contemporary readers. Direct students to research online other aspects of the Jandamarra story through visuals that could also be included in a photographic essay. Impress on students that any photographs they source or use need to be Creative Commons’ licensed and that they should observe all the conventions of acknowledgement in their reuse.
(ACELY1744)   (EN5-2A)

Historical sources

Direct students to explore and consider the ways that historical sources and artefacts have been used to shape this text. Students should identify the different sources used in the text (for example, pages 50 and 51 refer to the following: ‘Ellemarra had apparently travelled widely among Aboriginal groups…’ and, ‘Ritchie noted in his journal…’ or ‘…acidic memorandum…’ as well as examples of direct quotes). For extension, students can consider the role and value of footnotes in the text and evaluate the ways they contribute to the overall authenticity of the research and the narrative presented. Students should identify a footnote of interest and then further explore that particular source, presenting back to the class what they have learnt from evaluation of the additional reading and research completed.
(ACELT1634)   (EN5-5C)

The law

The number and frequency of legal references and legislation in the text is highly significant. Students can trace and track the legal references and ramifications of different laws used in Western Australia at the time, and compare these with wider laws being passed and upheld in other Australian States and Territories. Students are then to compose either a verbal or written response to the way the ‘law’ impacted the Bunuba People.
(ACELT1772)   (EN5-6C)


Comparison with other texts

Versions of the text in other modes, media and contexts:

  • The foreword, preface and introduction all refer to other representations and versions of the telling of the the Jandamarra story. Discuss with students what effect such a variety of sources has on the reader by acknowledging the wider textual family to which this non-fiction text belongs.
    (ACELT1722)   (EN5-6C)
  • ‘Jandamarra’s story is kept alive in songs, dances, books, and plays’: National Museum Australia. Discuss with students why we should keep stories alive. The discussion might also seek to explore wider considerations for the Jandamarra story, which should not only include why Jandamarra’s story should be kept alive, but also, who should keep it alive and what we can learn from it today.
    (ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)
  • Direct students to research different versions of the Jandamarra story as per the list below and then present their research back to the class about the context and content of the story representation. These might include: similarities or differences, how the content has been changed to suit a particular audience, style, etc. Help students consider that these texts are all generally consistent in the themes explored, but are chosen to be communicated in different styles and genres.

(ACELA1561)   (EN5-1A)


Evaluation of the text

Representative of Australian culture

  • Have students identify and evaluate those sections, aspects and features of the text’s content which identify the richness of Aboriginal life and culture, pre-settlement and colonisation.
    (ACELA1770)   (EN5-6C)
  • ‘This text is widely representative for the experience of Aboriginal people, perhaps even more contextualised to the local/regional environment.’ Have students refer to a Western Australia geographical map in relation to the different pressures placed on the Bunuba by colonisation: gold rush, cattle and stock herding, police presence, etc. Students can use this information in the text as a starting point to research and compare to what extent the experience of the Bunuba was similar to that of other Aboriginal peoples. Students can present their research back to the class, and refer to what extent Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance is representative of wider Aboriginal experience and Australian culture in general.
    (ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)
  • Using specific extracts, have students examine the dehumanising ways the Bunuba were treated. Page 58 is an excellent example of this: ‘Chained and herded like cattle’, ‘cold and windswept Aboriginal prison’, ‘died in large numbers’, or ‘buried in unmarked graves’. Discuss with students in what ways this treatment was common not only for Bunuba groups, but in respect to wider contexts in state and even the national dialogue.
    (ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)

Significance to literature and the world of texts

  • This text is both remarkable and exemplary for the way in which history (an historian) and narrative (the custodians of the story) have been interwoven. Have students reflect on the nature of these two approaches, and in small groups contribute to and present reviews of the text via an online class blog, which outlines the text’s significance to the world of [Australian] literature.
    (ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)
  • The use of non-fiction textual features are well developed in Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance. Have students identify and justify the use of language and/or stylistic features typical of non-fiction text types (structure, images, facts and figures, different sources, etc.) in a narrative work. Ensure students understand that it enables the text to hold wider significance than just the purely factual, and that it’s used for wider narrative and dramatic purposes.
    (ACELY1744)   (EN5-2A)


Rich assessment tasks

Extended persuasive response

‘Jandamarra is a true Australian hero’, Paul Kelly on Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance. Have students compose an extended response that seeks to explore this idea with close reference to the text. Students will be assessed on their ability to engage with the question and judiciously select textual evidence to support their ideas.
(ACELA1553)   (ACELA1561)   (ACELT1633)   (ACELT1771)   (ACELT1635)   (ACELT1636)   (ACELT1772)   (ACELY1739)   (ACELY1742)   (ACELY1744)   (ACELY1746)   (ACELY1747)   (EN5-2A)   (EN5-1A)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-7D)   (EN5-4B)   (EN5-6C)

Representation task

As students are aware, the story of Jandamarra is currently told in many different forms. Students are to choose a form and retell the story of Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance. The form that students choose could range from a speech, poetry, performance poetry, artworks, poster, picture book, photo book, song, infographic, website, video, script, short story, museum display, etc. In their planning and composing of the representations, students are to be aware of and acknowledge the ownership of the Jandamarra story, and to be mindful and inclusive of any sensitive aspects of cultural representation.
(ACELA1553)   (ACELA1561)   (ACELT1635)   (ACELT1772)   (ACELT1773)   (EN5-2A)   (EN5-1A)   (EN5-7D)   (EN5-6C)

Synthesising core ideas

  • Students should now be directed to complete the 3-2-1 Bridge thinking routine again; this time at the end of the unit. In doing so, students are now able to compare their impressions at the completion of the teaching and learning activities to those they first thought when they started the text. In particular, students might like to think-pair-share on the growth and development of their understanding regarding the experience of Aboriginal people during the time of contact and colonisation.
    (ACELT1636)   (EN5-4B)
  • ‘Never did they [the settlers] anticipate that the Bunuba would maintain the basis of an independent society and resist the settlers through a strategic advantage…’ (p. 40). Using this quote, students are to develop a coherent, conclusive statement of understanding regarding the text and its themes. This statement should be a paragraph in length, and then peer reviewed before further drafting and final submission to the teacher.
    (ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)
  • Read together with students the article ‘How Jandamarra went from resistance fighter to a Bunuba legend. Discuss with students the representation of Jandamarra and have students make notes on the cultural significance of the text that is drawn out by the author of the article. Students can compare this interpretation with that of their own.
    (ACELY1745)   (EN5-1A)
  • Extension activity for students uses the ‘8 War Heroes You Didn’t Learn About In School article published by SBS Media to facilitate a reflection on the nature of Australian history and how it is portrayed and taught in school contexts, both in the past and now. Students might like to read the description of Jandamarra presented and think about what they could add to or enhance as part of his description. Further to this, students can research and present some materials on the other heroes listed and research to what extent the similar themes of colonisation, suppression and resistance are repeated in different contexts.
    (ACELY1747)   (EN5-2A)
  • Students are to thoughtfully reflect on their own processes of responding to and creating texts. They should re-read entries made in their reading journal or on comments written on post-it notes that might still be displayed throughout the classroom. Construct a brief five-question survey for students to complete with regards to the content and activities completed in the unit, and allow for students to evaluate their own learning contributions throughout this time.
    (ACELY1745)   (EN5-1A)
  • Direct students to view the text through the theme of resistance (resistance to contact and colonisation). Explore as a class such key quotes as: ‘The Bunuba were not ready to surrender. Reunions for hunting, religious ceremonies and recreation occurred regularly, despite the social wounds that flowed from the break-up of family groups. The limestone bastion was the bulwark of Bunuba independence’ (p .86). Students are to use the Making Thinking Visible routine compass points to review aspects of resistance for the Bunuba. This activity could also be completed by students through examining the responses the Bunuba had to European occupation (p. 87). Draw up a spectrum chart of different Bunuba responses and reactions and then track Jandamarra’s journey – ‘who ran the full gamut of Bunuba responses’ – through them.
    (ACELT1633)   (EN5-8D)
  • Students are to trace and visually represent in chart form the concept of fear in the text. Using key extracts, such as page 96 ‘…the settlers’ fears of the Aboriginal people’s ability to strike effectively against them’, and ‘This was the essence of the fear. The whites thought that extensive contact with settlers made Aboriginal people dangerous once they returned to their homelands.’ Students are to brainstorm and then include on their charts appropriate extended metaphors for the ways in which this fear is presented throughout the text.
    (ACELY1744)   (EN5-2A)
  • ‘History is written by the victor’ is a famous saying. Have students examine the tension between the recorded history regarding the ‘outrage’ on the Packers Camp and what actually happened (p. 96). Discuss the clear intention to miscommunicate what was to be in the official record versus what actually did occur. Using a range of similar examples, have students reflect on the wide-reaching impact that such false reporting has generations on.
    (ACELA1770)   (EN5-6C)


Rich assessment task (productive)

Opinion piece/Letter writing 

Students are to compose a letter to the English Head Teacher, Principal, their State Education Minister or their premier explaining why Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance by Howard Pedersen and Banjo Woorunmurra (1995) should be mandatory reading/study for every Year 9 or 10 student in the school or state. In their explanation, students should refer closely to the text and use evidence to support their ideas. They might like to relate in a personal or collective manner the different ways the text has had an impact on them. For wider discussion and consideration, students might be interested in this article published by SBS on the role of Aboriginal activists in the curriculum areas of schools.
(ACELA1553)   (ACELA1557)   (ACELT1633)   (ACELT1634)   (ACELT1635)   (ACELT1771)   (ACELT1636)   (ACELT1773)   (ACELY1739)   (ACELY1746)   (ACELY1747)   (EN5-2A)   (EN5-3B)   (EN5-8D)   (EN5-5C)   (EN5-7D)   (EN5-1A)   (EN5-4B)   (EN5-6C)