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Human rights

The following clips have teachers’ notes related to this topic:

Fiction of terra nullius

from the documentary After Mabo (PG)

Peter Yu of the Yawuru and Bunuba, Kimberley Land Council, talks about Indigenous relationship to land and the High Court decision in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) (1992) 175 CLR 1. Paul …

A country’s shame

from the documentary After Mabo (PG)

It is 1993. Dr John Hewson exclaims to the Parliament that the passing of the 'Mabo Bill’ will be a day of shame for Australia. Titles on the screen summarise the key points of the …

Law stick

from the documentary After Mabo (PG)

John Howard responds to the High Court’s decision on the native title of the Wik and Thayorre peoples in Wik Peoples v Queensland (1996) 141 ALR 129. News footage shows a …

Recollection of childhood

from the documentary Angst (PG)

Three Jewish comedians, Deb Filler from New Zealand, Sandy Gutman (Austen Tayshus) from Melbourne and American Moshe Waldoks, talk about their childhoods as children of Holocaust survivors.

MV Tampa and September 11

from the documentary Anthem: An Act of Sedition (PG)

News footage of the Norwegian freighter MV Tampa carrying over 400 rescued asylum seekers off the coast of Australia is accompanied in a split-screen by barrister Julian Burnside QC who outlines the international laws protecting …

The trauma of Bali

from the documentary Anthem: An Act of Sedition (PG)

A split-screen shows images of the Bali bombings memorial service in Canberra in October 2002 and Brian Deegan, who lost his son Josh in the bombings. As the images of the memorial service unfold on …

Best man on ground

from the feature film Australian Rules (PG)

Prospect Bay has won the grand final in spectacular fashion. At the awards presentation that night, star-player Dumby Red (Luke Carroll) fully expects to be named best player on ground, but the local publican, Big …

A project about kids

from the television program Australian Story – Absolute Beginner (PG)

Marg is now involved in a very different mission, in charge of looking after street kids in a provincial Chinese city. She lives in an apartment and travels to work on a bus. It’s …

This child, Zita

from the documentary Beyond Sorry (G)

Aggie Abbott tells of how, when Zita returned to her mother after years of being absent, her mother said that her daughter was dead. Ron Wallace, Zita’s husband, talks about Zita’s experience of …

Back to country

from the documentary Beyond Sorry (G)

Zita is sitting on a stool feeding a poddy calf. In voice-over Aggie Abbott says most children who were taken away never returned to their country. Zita on the other hand has sought her family …

According to the Geneva Conventions

from the television program The Cowra Breakout (PG)

Corporal Stan Davidson (Alan David Lee) is still recovering from his war injury when he’s posted to the prisoner of war (POW) camp at Cowra. He assumes he’ll be guarding Italian prisoners. The …

We Are Going

from the documentary Dreamtime, Machinetime (PG)

Aerial views of Minjerriba (Stradbroke Island), and Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) walking along the beach with children. Oodgeroo tells us the inspiration for her poetry, and its role in personal and political resistance to white …

‘Long live human rights’

from the documentary Fond Memories of Cuba (PG)

Dissident writer Mario is interviewed in the street where pro and anti Fidel protestors gather and argue. Mario is facing an eighteen-month prison sentence for criticising the government. Some of the gathered crowd shout 'Long …

Business as usual

from the television program Four Corners – The Kilwa Incident (PG)

The United Nations has just completed a report on the Democratic Republic of the Congo detailing how President Joseph Kabila and his cronies are pillaging the country of its mineral riches, aided and abetted by …

‘As much right as anybody’

from the feature film The Fringe Dwellers (PG)

The girls walk into a cafe for milkshakes. They are told to drink them at the counter. Trilby (Kristina Nehm) urges her family to sit down in a booth. The white patrons taunt them with …

No future

from the short film From Sand to Celluloid – No Way to Forget (PG)

Night-time. White lines disappear into the darkness as a solitary car drives along a lonely stretch of country road. Files stacked beside the driver tell us that he is a field officer for the Royal …

A family dilemma

from the documentary Homelands: View from the Edge (PG)

The war has ended in El Salvador and the Robles family have some choices to make. While Maria has adapted well and has found a fulfilling job, her husband Carlos longs to return to El …

‘Welcome to Manila’

from the documentary In Limbo (G)

Linda Phillips, a volunteer law student from Australia, is met by Hoi Trinh, an Australian-Vietnamese lawyer at Manila Airport. Hoi has volunteered to help the Vietnamese boat people who are living in the Philippines as …

Refugee Studies Centre

from the documentary In Limbo (G)

Hoi Trinh is an Australian-Vietnamese lawyer. Oxford University has accepted him into one of the few academic courses dealing with refugees in the world. The clip shows Hoi in class with his teachers Professor Guy …

Escape to Australia

from the documentary The Isabellas: The Long March (G)

Chen Xing Liang describes how and why he came to Australia. Both his parents were tortured and died during the Cultural Revolution in China and the clip implies he was a participant in the Tiananmen …

‘No clouds in the sky’

from the documentary The Isabellas: The Long March (G)

Refugee Chen Xing Liang revisits the Port Hedland Detention Centre where he was detained for six months after arriving in Australia illegally. He was one of 56 Chinese refugees. He recalls crying from loneliness.


from the documentary Jimmy Little's Gentle Journey (G)

Historical footage of Jimmy Little. Jimmy’s daughter Frances Peters-Little talks about her father, and how their shared passion for music ensured a great family bond. Russell Taylor talks about Jimmy Little overcoming stereotypes.

The first long march

from the documentary Letters to Ali (G)

In June 2002, Trish Kirby, her husband Rob and their four children travelled thousands of kilometres from their home in Melbourne to Port Hedland Detention Centre to meet fifteen-year-old Ali, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan …

Like one big family

from the documentary Lousy Little Sixpence (G)

Two people removed from their families as children to enter into servitude, Margaret Tucker and Bill Reid, speak of their experience growing up. Historical footage shows children placed in missions.

‘Pretty frocks’

from the documentary Lousy Little Sixpence (G)

Flo Caldwell, born 1910, from Ulgundarhi Reserve and Violet Shea, born 1912, talk of their experience of schooling on the reserve and being selected by the Protection Board inspector for cheap labour.

‘Send a petition to the King’

from the documentary Lousy Little Sixpence (PG)

The clip begins with historical footage of King Burraga who speaks about equal rights and justice for Aboriginal people. William Cooper, an Aboriginal elder, begins the fight for rights by having a petition signed, with …

The wrong place

from the feature film Lucky Miles (PG)

The six Iraqis and six Cambodians have swum ashore from the Indonesian fishing boat. The captain Muluk (Sawung Jabo) tells them to climb a sand dune and wait for a bus, but he knows there …

World class

from the television program Message Stick – Child Artists of Carrolup (G)

This clip describes the constant disruptions to the boys’ preparation for an exhibition, and the discouragement of art as a vocation. Noel White’s daughter and excerpts from White’s diary describe the interference from …

‘Work or die’

from the documentary Paying For the Past (PG)

Slave labourers were used by German industry during the Second World War. Siemens, BMW and Krupp are named. Survivors Kitia Altman and Abraham Biderman recall the horrors of being slave labourers.

‘We want an apology’

from the documentary Paying For the Past (PG)

The organisation The Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany seeks to compensate the victims of slave and forced labour by German industry during the Second World War. Karen Heilig works for victims and …

‘Victims’ justice is going to prevail’

from the documentary Paying For the Past (PG)

President Rau of Germany publicly apologises to the forced and slave labourers used by German industry during the Second World War. German lawyer Dr Michael Vitti says that getting closure is difficult for the Holocaust …

Across the colour bar

from the documentary Pioneers of Love (PG)

Historical footage is intercut with an interview with Flora Hoolihan, daughter of Leandro Illin and Kitty Clarke. She tells of her mother being pursued by the police. We also see historical footage of children eating …

The stealing of children

from the feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence (PG)

As Constable Riggs (Jason Clarke) arrives, Maude (Ningali Lawford) realises he has come to take the children. They run, but Riggs cuts off their escape route and seizes the children one by one. He warns …

Mr Neville says no

from the feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence (PG)

At the Moore River Aboriginal settlement, Molly (Everlyn Sampi) is called out of the assembly to be inspected by Mr AO Neville (Kenneth Branagh), the Protector of Aborigines. Mr Neville checks the colour of her …

The wrong fence

from the feature film Rabbit-Proof Fence (PG)

Mr Neville (Kenneth Branagh) tells the police inspector (Roy Billing) that the three escaped girls must be following the rabbit-proof fence north, to their home. He devises a plan to catch them, sending police troopers …

‘Mothers don’t give up their babies easily’

from the television program Touch the Sun – Princess Kate (G)

Kate visits a volunteer organisation to get help to locate her birth parents. Barry (Nick Enright) explains why there is so much secrecy around the details of adoption.

The power of fear

from the documentary The White Monkey (PG)

Father Brian Gore describes how he educates the poor people of Negros in the Philippines to become empowered against oppression. He stresses the values of human dignity and a display of fearlessness.

They know about you

from the documentary You Have No Secrets (G)

Governments collect and process data for a range of reasons, including law enforcement, ascertaining voting trends and surveillance of citizens. Databanks exchange information to refine that information. The narration suggests that this may be a …

Target demographic

from the documentary You Have No Secrets (G)

Frank, a political direct mail consultant, shows how electoral rolls can be analysed to reveal particular demographic groups in an electorate. He says political parties can then more effectively target issues specific to particular groups.

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