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Cattle, gold and sugar cane: Working in the past


Academic year: 2023

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Middle Primary: Level 1 2 3333 4 5 6

Cattle, gold and sugar cane:

Cattle, gold and sugar cane:

Cattle, gold and sugar cane:

Cattle, gold and sugar cane:

Working in the past Working in the past Working in the past Working in the past


Culture and Identity

Systems, Resources and Power

Core learning outcomes Core learning outcomes Core learning outcomes Core learning outcomes

Culture and

Identity CI 3.1 Students identify the contributions of diverse groups, including migrants and indigenous peoples, to the development of their community.

Systems, Resources and Power

SRP 3.2 Students create a representation of occupational specialisation and interdependence in an industry from the past, present or future.

Purpose and overview Purpose and overview Purpose and overview Purpose and overview

Students use historical photographs to develop understandings about people at work in Queensland industries of the past. Students analyse these photographs to identify the contributions a range of groups have made to the development of Queensland. These groups include Indigenous peoples, migrants, South Sea Islanders, children and women.

Students investigate the development of industries in a region of Queensland, such as their local area. The development of the Innisfail region is used to demonstrate the growth of primary industries such as cattle, banana and sugar farming and gold production and to explore how associated industries emerge to form communities.

Students use photographic evidence to make inferences about the occupational specialisation and interdependence associated with industries of the past, particularly gold, beef and sugar production. They synthesise their investigations by creating concept maps and other representations to show occupational specialisation and interdependence within and across industries.


Phases Activities Core learning outcomes

Assessment opportunities

1. Tuning in What is work?

1. How did Queensland develop?

2. Workers are connected 3. Types of work in the past 4. Who worked? What work?

CI 3.1 SRP 3.2

2. Finding out Gold workers in Queensland

5. How was work made easier?

6. The development of the Innisfail area

7. Gold!

8. The Palmer River gold rush 9. The work and life of Ah Long, the


CI 3.1 SRP 3.2

Oral, drawn or written responses to questions:

In Activities 7 and 9, students show understandings of work contributions, specialisation and interdependence associated with the Palmer River gold rush.

3. Sorting out How did work build Queensland?

10. Images of work

11. But wait, more industries!

12. Woolly connections — interdependence 13. Children, work and home

CI 3.1 SRP 3.2

Oral, written or gestured responses to questions: In Activities 11, 12 and 13, students show understandings of work contributions, specialisation and interdependence associated with various industries in Queensland’s past.

4. Going further South Sea Islanders

14. Who are the South Sea Islander Australians?

15. The Queensland sugar industry

CI 3.1 SRP 3.2

Photograph descriptions: In Activity 15, students describe work contributions, specialisation and interdependence related to photographs of South Sea Island labourers.

5. Concluding Student representations

16. Creating a representation of a past

industry SRP 3.2 Representation: Students create

a pictorial, written, multimedia, 3-D or other representation of an industry in the past or present that shows specialised workers and interdependence.

Assessment Assessment Assessment Assessment

Assessing learning

The assessment opportunities outlined are examples of how to assess students’

demonstrations of the identified learning outcomes. As often as possible, negotiate assessment with students and support a variety of ways of demonstrating the learning outcomes. Reflect with students on evidence gathered when making judgments about their demonstrations of learning outcomes. Some students may require more time and/or other contexts in which to demonstrate these learning outcomes. Other modules may provide such time and/or contexts and the ‘Levels 1 to 6 module learning outcomes maps’ in the Years 1 to 10 Studies of Society and Environment Sourcebook Guidelines can be used to identify these modules.

Activities are designed primarily for students working towards demonstrations of Level 3 learning outcomes. Assessment opportunities may need to be modified or created to


For example:

− Level 2: TCC 2.2, TCC 2.3, TCC 2.4, CI 2.1, SRP 2.2

− Level 3: TCC 3.1, TCC 3.2, TCC 3.3, TCC 3.4, TCC 3.5, PS 3.4, CI 3.5

− Level 4: TCC 4.1, TCC 4.2, TCC 4.3, PS 4.1, CI 4.4, SRP 4.1

Using this module Using this module Using this module Using this module

Photographic resources

Resource 1

Activities are based around photographs of workers in Queensland industries of the past. These workers represent a number of the cultural groups that contributed to the development of Queensland. The photographs are sourced from the Queensland State Library’s Child’s Play website and the John Oxley Library. Resource 1 describes these photographs and how to source them. The photographs may be used for research and study. If downloaded, it is recommended that they be labelled with the descriptions included in Resource 1 and placed in plastic sleeves for protection and display.

Pictures from the Past Years 4–7: Work and Workers (Queensland Department of Education 1986) is another useful source of photographs, although examples that depict cultural diversity are limited. The cover of the Years 1 to 10 Studies of Society and Environment Syllabus includes two images of Queensland workers in the past — Torres Strait Islander soldiers and colonial women burning prickly pear.

Group work and learning centres

Activities are based on the use of photographic resources by small groups, followed by whole group discussion which should enable students to reach conclusions. Activities in Phases 2 and 3 that use the photographic resources need not be presented in

sequence, but may be organised as learning centre activities for individuals and/or small groups.

Contextualising activities to the local area

Activities promote the key value of social justice and the core content topics of work, cultural diversity, Australia, the Asia–Pacific, gender, Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people. Examples of workers and industries in particular places within

Queensland are provided in the activities. These examples can be replaced to create localised contexts for the investigation. However, it is important that activities cover a wide range of groups, including Indigenous groups. In particular, it is recommended that the contributions South Sea Islanders have made to Queensland’s development are included in this study.

South Sea Islanders in Queensland

Resource 4

Including studies of South Sea Islanders can enable students to understand how the experiences of this group differed from those of other Australian groups. Many issues associated with South Sea Islander labour in nineteenth-century Queensland are controversial and socially sensitive and a range of perspectives about aspects of their history exists within the Australian South Sea Islander community. Resource 4 provides information about South Sea Islanders in Queensland. Australian South Sea Islanders:

Stories and Activities for Primary Schools (AusAID and Education Queensland 1997) is a valuable resource. A copy was provided to Education Queensland schools.

Critically analysing photographs

As students will be using photographs to create understandings about the past, critical analysis and evaluation are important. For example, photographs are subjectively shaped by the photographer and students may make different meanings depending on their prior knowledge. Throughout activities, students should consider the construction of the photograph, the information that may be missing and the intention of the

photographer. Students can also compare their interpretations of photographs.

Constructing Realities: Media Curriculum Guide for Years 1 to 10 (Queensland Department of Education 1994) provides case studies and information about the analysis of photographs.

Human resources protocols

Where possible, invite guest speakers from the communities being investigated to talk to students. Keep in mind that their stories represent individual perspectives and may not be representative of that cultural group. When contacting Aboriginal communities and Torres Strait Island communities, it is important that protocols are followed. These are detailed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Resources Protocols on the Equity page of the Queensland School Curriculum Council website at



Background information Background information Background information Background information


In this module students have opportunities to become familiar with and use the following terminology:

Aborigines agriculture

analyse concept map conclude contribution cultivation development European evidence Indigenous industry


interdependence Kanaka

labour/labourer occupation pastoral photograph

photographer’s intention production

productive Queensland region

represent representation retrieval chart skills

South Sea Islanders specialisation technology

Torres Strait Islanders transport


School authority policies

Be aware of and observe school authority policies that may be relevant to this module — for example, policies regarding community involvement and visitors in class activities.

Equity considerations

Activities take place in a supportive environment. They provide opportunities for students to increase their understanding and appreciation of equity through valuing diversity and challenging inequities. Activities encourage students to:

− demonstrate an understanding of the value of cultural diversity in Australian society

− appreciate the contributions diverse cultural groups have made to the development of Queensland

− critically analyse and evaluate photographs to understand that they are subjectively constructed and are open to various interpretations according to prior knowledge

− begin to identify the power relationships between interdependent groups and understand that these relationships are often not equal.

Some students with disabilities may need assistance with some activities. Advice should be sought from their support teachers. It is important that these equity considerations inform decision making about teaching strategies, classroom organisation and assessment.


Studies of Society and Environment

This module is one of a suite of modules for Levels 1 to 6. See the Queensland School Curriculum Council website at www.qscc.qld.edu.au for more information.

This module has conceptual and process links to the following modules:

− Level 3: It’s my turf: Local area study

− Level 3: Australia’s past: Australia circa 1788

− Level 4: Our rights: Origins of Australian democracy (workers’ rights, citizenship rights for Australian South Sea Islanders)

− Level 4: Where do my sneakers come from? Industry links the world (worker interdependence, unequal power relationships between interdependent workers).

Other Studies of Society and Environment learning outcomes associated with the effects of economic development on environments and Indigenous groups can be


English (in development) links include the critical analysis and evaluation of viewed texts.

Science links may be made when investigating agricultural, pastoral and mining industries.

Technology links may be made when investigating industrial technology in the past.

In Phase 5, students create a representation of work specialisation in an industry of the past. This may provide opportunities for students to demonstrate learning outcomes from other key learning areas such as:

The Arts: Dance, Drama, Media or Music strands

Technology: Technology Practice or Information and Materials strands

English: Cultural and Operational strands.

Evaluation of a unit of work

After completion of units of work developed from this module, collect information and make judgments about:

− teaching strategies and activities used to progress student learning towards demonstrations of core learning outcomes

− opportunities provided to gather evidence about students’ demonstrations of core learning outcomes

− future learning opportunities for students who have not yet demonstrated the core learning outcomes and to challenge and extend those students who have already demonstrated the core learning outcomes

− the extent to which activities matched needs of particular groups of students and reflected equity considerations

− the appropriateness of time allocations for particular activities

− the appropriateness of resources used.

Information from this evaluation process can be used to plan subsequent units of work so that they build on, and support, student learning. The evaluated units of work may also be adapted prior to their reuse. For further information, refer to the

‘Curriculum evaluation’ section in the sourcebook guidelines.


Activities Activities Activities Activities

Phase 1 Tuning in: What is work?

Core learning outcomes emphasis: CI 3.1, SRP 3.2

In this phase, students explore the concepts of industry and occupational specialisation and interdependence by examining the work done by people at their school. They view historical photographs to identify some Queensland industries and some groups of people who worked in these industries.

Focus questions:

• What is industry?

• What groups of people worked in the past in Queensland?

• What is work interdependence?

Activity 1 How did Queensland develop?

Explain the meaning of ‘industry’. Ask students the following questions to gauge prior knowledge and to stimulate the formation of some focus questions:

• What things is Queensland famous for?

• What industries does Queensland have? How do you know?

• What jobs do adults that you know have? What does this tell you about industries in Queensland?

• What factories or industrial places do you see locally? What does this tell you about industry in the local area?

• What local industries were there in the past? What evidence is there?

• What is development?

Explain to students that they will be investigating Queensland industries in the past and the workers involved. Explain the core learning outcomes so that students understand your expectations of them for assessment.

Assist students to frame some questions that they can use to seek answers to the questions above — for example:

• What industries helped to develop our local area in the past? The present?

• What industries helped to develop Queensland?

• What work did people do in Queensland in the past?

• What groups of people worked in the past?

Extension activity

Students may compile a learning log by listing each question on a separate page. At the end of each phase, students record responses to these questions. At the conclusion of the module, students share any unanswered questions in small groups and gather information to help them answer these questions. This log can be kept in each student’s portfolio as evidence of demonstrations of the learning outcomes.

Activity 2 Workers are connected

Teaching considerations

This activity uses the think/pair/share strategy to help students come to conclusions. Students think independently about the question, form pairs to compare ideas and then share their thoughts in a whole class discussion.

Resource 2 On a large chart or OHT, model a concept map showing the range of workers involved in a familiar industry — education. Refer to Resource 2 for a sample. Ask students:


Pose some ‘What if’ scenarios — for example:

• What would happen if the mail were not delivered?

• What would happen if bus drivers were not available?

• What would happen if plumbers could not come to repair things at school?

• What would happen if bookshops were not available?

• What would happen if there were no students to educate?

Explain that this relationship between people is called interdependence. Students could consider examples of class activities that reflect student interdependence. Ask students to think/pair/share definitions of the terms ‘specialisation’ and ‘interdependence’.

Activity 3 Types of work in the past

Resources 1 and 3

Teaching considerations

Any or all of the photographs listed on Resource 1 can be used in this activity. Resource 3 is needed for this activity and Activity 5.

Explain unfamiliar or abstract terms from the text of Resource 3 — for example,

nineteenth century, colonies, labour intensive, agriculture, cultivating, pastoral, maritime and Kanaka.

Provide students with a copy of Resource 3. Read the first section of the text. Ask students to circle the words that refer to groups of people and to underline the words that describe industries or work. Discuss these classifications.

Arrange students into small groups and distribute individual photographs (not grouped in any way). Allow students time to peruse and discuss the work shown in the photographs.

Focus on the evidence of work in the past depicted in the photographs.

Ask students, still in their small groups, to think of ways they could categorise the types of work they see — for example, farming, transport, education or banana growing. Ask the students to explain why they grouped the work as they did.

Activity 4 Who worked? What work?

Resource 1 Teaching considerations

Photographs 4, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 are needed for this activity. These photographs could be reproduced on OHTs to facilitate whole group discussion. Other photographs of culturally diverse groups at work may be added.

Place a chart entitled ‘Who works?’ on the wall. Ask the students to suggest which groups of people worked in Queensland in the past. Have them recall the workers from the previous activity and write these on the chart. Pose the questions:

• What groups do you know were living and working in Queensland in the nineteenth century?

• Which groups have we left off this list?

Organise students into small groups. Distribute the photographs to groups on a rotational basis and have students analyse the photographs and record their answers in a table like the following:

Photo analysis: Who is working?

Photo number

Groups represented in the photo Work being done in the photo

Conclude this analysis activity with a whole group discussion of the findings. Ensure groups include women and children as well as Chinese people, Aboriginal people, Italian people and South Sea Islander people.


Focus students’ attention on the work of women, South Sea Islander people and children, using questions such as:

• What work did you see women doing?

• In photo 20, what might the South Sea Islander woman be doing in the garden?

• What might her responsibilities be?

• What type of garden do you think this is?

• Do you think this garden was productive? Why do you think this?

• In the photographs showing children at work, what types of jobs were they doing?

• Why do you think the children were working?

• Can you suggest other types of work young people might have done?

• Do you think they went to school as well as doing these jobs?

• Did you know that the groups in these photographs were working here in the past?

Students can compare their interpretations of these photographs and also consider which interpretation the photographer intended. Invite students to discuss any points of interest about Queensland workers.

Phase 2 Finding out: Gold workers in Queensland

Core learning outcomes emphasis: CI 3.1, SRP 3.2

In this phase, students use historical photographs and information from the Internet to explore the development of the Innisfail region. They identify various occupations that are directly and indirectly associated with industries of the Innisfail region and study a Chinese family’s role in the Palmer River gold rush.

A study of industry and occupations in your own local area may be undertaken in this phase. Innisfail has been used in the following activities because of its significance as the centre of a number of important past and present Queensland industries and because of the diversity of cultural groups that have made a contribution to the region.

However, the following activities can be used as a model to develop localised examples.

Focus questions:

• How did gold contribute to Queensland’s development?

• What groups worked in this industry?

Activity 5 How was work made easier?

Resource 1 Teaching considerations

Photographs 1, 5, 9, 13, 14 and 16 are needed for this activity. Other photographs showing how animals and technology were used in past industries may be added.

Resource 3 Ask students to recall the section of Resource 3 that describes why agriculture was a labour-intensive industry. Pose the questions:

• What does ‘labour intensive’ mean?

• What other jobs or work may have been labour intensive?

• What did people in these jobs do to make the work easier?

• What technology did they use to help them do their work?

• Did children work because jobs were so labour intensive?


3 and 4 Read the remaining sections of Resource 3. Refer to Resource 4 to briefly explain:

− the arrival of South Sea Islanders as cheap labour in Queensland

− the term ‘Kanaka’ used to describe these people

− that this story will be investigated in detail later.


Organise students into groups and distribute the photographs listed above. Ask students to note the things that workers used to make their job easier. Create a whole class retrieval chart, such as the following, and have students record their findings on it.

Type of work or industry Assisted by

sugar tramline

mining horses, pulleys, ropes

collecting water horses, dogs

Conclude the analysis with a whole group discussion. Ask students to consider ways that the examples in the ‘assisted by’ column could be classified (for example, tools, technology, animal labour). Assist students to come to some conclusions about:

− the types of work identified

− how workers may need each other

− how workers were assisted by animals, tools and technology

− the development of support industries to provide animals, tools and technology

− power relationships between people (for example, groups which appear to do hard work for little pay, employers and employees, women’s unrecognised work).

Activity 6 The development of the Innisfail area

Teaching considerations

Prepare a large outline map of Queensland. To develop specific mapping skills, students could be provided with a blackline master map of Queensland on which they could independently record information.

Explain that industries often develop in certain places because the environment in that area is suitable for them — for example, it provides the resources, vegetation or climate required. Place the large outline map of Queensland on the wall. Assist students to use an atlas to identify simple environmental regions of Queensland — for example, mountains, forests, grasslands, islands and deserts. Help students to create a way of showing the various environments on the map — for example, rainforest areas could be coloured dark green, grasslands light green and desert yellow. Devise a legend.

Assist students to locate Innisfail, Tully and the Johnstone River in the atlas and to mark these on the large map. The large map will be used to record information as activities progress.

Resource 5 Use Resource 5 to provide information about groups of workers who contributed to the Innisfail community. List and discuss these workers. The list will include:

Anglo–Celtic people explorers South Sea Islanders Chinese goldseekers Irish people the Mamu people.

European cedar cutters native troopers

Hmong refugees shipwreck search party

Assist students to locate the countries of origin of these workers on a world map.

Revisit the information in Resource 5 and identify the industries and occupations that the Innisfail people of the past and present have been involved in. Ask students to consider:

• Which jobs probably no longer exist?

• Which industries no longer exist? Why do you think this is?

• Have these industries become the basis of newer industries — for example, tourism and heritage trails? Why might this be?

• Which industries continue to this day?

• What are some new industries in the Innisfail region today?

Conclude this activity by discussing any points the students find interesting.

Extension activity

Students could design symbols to represent industries, both past and present, and add them to the wall map and/or their Queensland maps. The symbols should be added to the legend.


Activity 7 Gold!

Support materials and references

Teaching considerations

Collect a range of books, audiovisual materials and artefacts that provide background information about goldmining in Australia’s past that can be used as visual aids for the remaining activities in this phase. Education Services at the Queensland Museum has suitable kits which can be borrowed by schools.

Resource 6

Ask students to recall:

− the groups that were involved in a number of early industries in the Innisfail district

− the industries that Chinese people were involved in.

Read and discuss Resource 6. Have students locate the Palmer River and Cooktown in an atlas and add them to the large wall map. Briefly discuss other significant

Queensland gold strike sites and add them to the map and legend — for example:

− Canoona 1858 − Charters Towers 1872

− Star River near Townsville 1865 − Mulgrave River 1879

− Gympie 1867 − Mt Morgan 1882

− Ravenswood 1869 − Croydon 1885.

Discuss the range of people, jobs and skills that were required for the mining industry in the Palmer River district. Review the concept map from Activity 2 and then collaborate with students to construct a concept map showing the people who were involved directly and indirectly in the goldmining industry. Label the concept map ‘Goldmining at the Palmer River’. Use the following questions to prompt students:

• How did the miners get to the goldfield?

• Which people were needed in the goldfields?

• Were there shops on the goldfields?

• How was food obtained?

• How did the people on the goldfields obtain water?

• Did people use horses to get to the goldfields? What did they need for the horses?

(for example, saddles, feed, shoes)

• What mining equipment was needed?

• Who ensured laws were obeyed?

• What became of the gold after it was discovered?

• What government officials were there?

• Who might have been there to look after the health of the people?

• Where did people place their gold or money for safety?

Focus students’ attention on power relationships between people in the goldfields — for example:

• Which groups appear to have had the most power in the goldfields?

• Why do you think this? (Worked less, owned the business, looked more prosperous.)

• Which groups appear to have had the least power? Why do you think this?

• Name two groups that needed each other. Did one group need the other more?

Why? (For example, employers could find many workers at cheap rates, workers could find work, but pay was competitive.)

Assessment Ask students to describe interdependent relationships between the workers and businesses they added to the concept map. This may provide initial evidence of students’ demonstrations of SRP 3.2.


Activity 8 The Palmer River gold rush

Teaching considerations

When analysing photographs in these activities, care should be taken to ensure stereotypes are not created about the experiences of all people in the group at that time. Attitudes, beliefs and behaviours towards various cultural groups in colonial Australia are investigated in other modules.

As a stimulus for this activity, distribute photograph 12 to small groups of students or present it as an OHT. Ask students to discuss briefly their impressions of the


• What items is he carrying?

• How might he use these items?

• Why would each item be important to him?

• How does he appear different from/the same as workers from other groups?

• What message do you think the photographer intended to convey about this person?

Use visual or other resources to explain how gold was obtained. It may be possible to borrow some mining artefacts and tools to give students an impression of their use, size and weight. The following text may assist:

Panning was an early method which involved mixing the dirt and gravel which contained the gold with water in a metal dish. When this was shaken, the heavier gold could be caught in the lip of the pan and retained.

Cradling was a quicker technique. The miner placed a shovelful of dirt and gravel into the cradle. Large rocks were separated from the rest by a sieve at the top. The miner would keep adding water and rocking the cradle. The gold was caught against small wooden bars called riffles and dirt and other material were washed away.

Sluicing was an extension of this idea. The sluice was a long, sloping wooden channel crossed with riffles to catch the gold. The debris was washed away. Sluicing required much more water and miners often dammed water carried from further upstream through a drain or flume.

Explain that many of the first miners who went to the Palmer River found gold nuggets on the ground and in dry creek beds. Very few miners found large nuggets. Most had to work hard to find gold. Have students consider:

• Why is the Chinese man in the photograph carrying his equipment in this way?

• It was a long walk to the Palmer River. How would this affect him?

• Do you think it was easy to find gold this way? Why/why not?

• What might the miner do with the gold once he found it?

• Would all miners have been successful? Why do you think this?

• What would happen if they could not find gold and the nearest shops were in Cooktown?

Distribute copies of photograph 13, which shows men sluicing for gold on the Mulgrave River in 1888. Explain the technique of sluicing if you haven’t already done so. In groups, students make brief observations about the operation these men are carrying out. Consider:

• Why is this group of diggers using this technique?

• What may have happened to make them form a group?

• Would it be easier to mine for gold as a group or independently?

• What would be the positive and negative things about working in a group? (A Plus, Minus, Interesting (PMI) strategy can be undertaken with students.)


Activity 9 The work and life of Ah Long, the goldminer

Resource 7 Teaching considerations

Each student will need a statement card (from Resource 7) that will be used to create a sequence of events. There are 30 cards. If there are fewer than 30 students, condense a few shorter statements into one. If there are more than 30 students, some longer statements can be split to make two cards or extra cards may be made.

Explain to students that they will explore the life and work of a Chinese goldminer called Ah Long who mined during the Palmer River gold rush. Take students to a spacious area and give each student one statement card. Ask them to arrange themselves in a sequence that logically tells the story of Ah Long and the Palmer River gold rush. Allow students to read out their cards and negotiate changes. Students may make a number of attempts to form a sequence that logically accommodates all of the statements. This sequence may not be the same as presented in Resource 7.

Assessment Provide each student with a copy of the sequence of statements as recorded on Resource 7. Ask students to provide oral or written answers to the following questions.

These answers can be used as initial evidence of demonstrations of CI 3.1 and SRP 3.2.

• Do you think that Ah Long had a successful life in Queensland? Why do you think this?

• How did Ah Long contribute to the development of North Queensland?

• Who else set up businesses other than mining?

• How did the miners help each other in the goldfields?

• Who helped Ah Long when he was a miner?

• Who helped Ah Long when he was a market gardener?

• How did his wife contribute to the greengrocer business?

• How did his children contribute to his business?

Extension activity

Students randomly select a statement card and enact the event for others to interpret. Students take turns to interview peers who are in role as Ah Long or other people in the statement cards.

The interviews could be recorded on audio or videotape.

Phase 3 Sorting out: How did work build Queensland?

Core learning outcomes emphasis: CI 3.1, SRP 3.2

In this phase, students use historical photographs to identify a range of groups who developed various industries in Queensland. They use concept webs to show occupational interdependence across industries.

Focus questions:

• What other industries developed in colonial Queensland?

• How were workers interdependent in these industries?

Activity 10 Images of work

Resource 1 Teaching considerations

All of the photographs listed in Resource 1 are needed in this activity.

Explain to students that they will explore the contribution that a number of groups have made to Queensland’s development. Organise students into six groups. Allocate one industry or work category and the accompanying set of photos to each group:

− Set A: The cattle industry


Explore the ‘constructed’ nature of the photographs by selecting a few of them and asking students to consider whether they think the people in them were made to pose or whether the photograph was taken as they actually worked. Discuss how this

influences the message that the viewer might receive — for example, the photographer wanted to make the workers look healthy and happy or he wanted the employer to be standing so his position in the group stands out.

Place a retrieval chart for each industry on the wall. For example:

The cattle industry What work was done in this


What groups of people did the work?

Some suggestions … blacksmithing butchering fencing

knife sharpening riding horses making saddles

Some suggestions … Aborigines children Europeans women

Resource 8 Assist students to explore the photographs for evidence of the types of work that were carried out in the industry they have been allocated. Provide groups with discussion starter cards (Resource 8) to assist their analysis. Each group is to choose a scribe to record their findings on the chart when they have finished their discussion.

After groups have completed the chart, allow them time to read the findings of other groups. As a whole class, discuss all of the findings, including similarities in the work identified across the industries, and decide if any groups of workers made a

contribution to several industries.

Describe and discuss how particular groups are represented in the photographs — for example, the power relationships between employers and employees, between cultural groups and between colonial settlers and Indigenous people.

Assist students to use the retrieval chart information to come to conclusions about industries and workers in Queensland — for example:

− Some groups contributed to a number of industries in Queensland.

− Aboriginal people worked in Queensland industries.

A Venn diagram, drawn on a large chart or chalked on the floor, could be used to represent groups that have worked in a number of industries — for example:

Activity 11 But wait, more industries!

Resource 9 Distribute Resource 9. Explain the content of the table and any unfamiliar words. Ask students to answer independently the questions.

Assessment Use answers as evidence of students’ demonstrations of CI 3.1. The emphasis is on students’ ability to ‘identify groups’; some students may require assistance with reading to demonstrate this learning outcome.


industry Gold

industry Banana and

gold industries


Activity 12 Woolly connections — interdependence

Use the Set A photographs (possibly on OHT) and the headings from the retrieval chart in Activity 10 to focus on the Queensland beef industry in the past. Ask students:

• What message is the photographer giving you about Aboriginal workers?

• What other jobs might have been done on this station?

• Which group of workers is most prominent in the photos of the cattle industry?

• Would Aborigines be the only group that worked in this industry?

• Who do you think owned the cattle station?

• Why might Aborigines not own the cattle station?

• Why would the Aborigines have worked on the cattle station?

• What could we say about the contribution the Aboriginal people made to the cattle industry?

Organise students into small groups. Give each group a photograph of a worker from the cattle industry, such as a saddler, fencer, horserider (drover), blacksmith, butcher or knife sharpener. Ask each group to create a large concept map with the worker in the centre. The map should show tools, technology and other things required by the worker to do the job — for example:

tools equipment

Place the completed concept maps beside each other on the wall. Ask groups to look for links to other concept maps. For example, a fencer might need nails, which are provided by a blacksmith. Use wool and sticky tape to connect the words ‘nails’ and

‘blacksmith’ on the charts. Invite students to find other connections between the concept maps and use wool and sticky tape to show these.

Assessment Ask students to analyse the resulting web. Write the word ‘interdependence’ on the board. Ask students to provide independently an example of interdependence from the photographs or concept maps. This can be presented in written or oral form or by pointing to the concept map, and provides further demonstrations of SRP 3.2.

Activity 13 Children, work and home

Rotate photographs from Sets E and F around groups of students. Ask the groups to focus their attention on work specialisation shown in the photographs and to create a large retrieval chart on the wall — for example:

Industry Groups of people Type of specialised work

Farm/plantation Home

Discuss the completed retrieval chart:

• Does the chart include groups of workers that we haven’t considered before?

• What type of specialised work did children do?

• What type of specialised work did women do?

• Why do you think women and children specialised in these jobs?

• Do children still work in industry today? Why/why not?

• Would children have had the same workers’ conditions as others (for example pay, work hours)?

• Do children still work at home these days? Give examples.


coal horse food supplies


Phase 4 Going further: South Sea Islanders

Core learning outcomes emphasis: CI 3.1, SRP 3.2

Resource 4

In this phase, students learn about the contributions South Sea Islanders made to the Queensland sugar industry.

Australian South Sea Islanders are distinct from the Torres Strait Islander groups and Aboriginal groups. They were Queensland’s first significant migrant minority. The following activities emphasise the important contribution this group made to the Queensland community and the sugar industry in particular. Resource 4 provides background information about South Sea Islanders. The following activities are based on Australian South Sea Islanders: Stories and Activities for Primary Schools (AusAID and Education Queensland 1997). This book includes stories about some of the families who came to Queensland, traditional songs and stories, photographs, views on racism and information about the enslavement/recruitment debate.

Focus questions:

• Who are the Australian South Sea Islanders?

• How did they contribute to the development of Queensland?

Activity 14 Who are the South Sea Islander Australians?

Support materials and references

Teaching considerations

A number of websites and resources are available for student investigation of the sugar cane industry and the South Sea Islander contribution, including the Australian Sugar Industry Museum website and the Refined Sugar Project from the Australian Sugar Industry.

Resources 3 and 10

Ask students what they already knew or have learnt so far about South Sea Islanders in Queensland and compile a list detailing their knowledge. Ask students to recall photographs that include the word ‘Kanaka’ in the caption. Remind students that this term was used in the past to identify South Sea Islanders. Discuss the fact that some members of the Australian South Sea Islander community think the term is insulting while others are proud to be called ‘Kanaka’.

Distribute and discuss the map ‘Eastern Australia and the South-West Pacific’

(Resource 10) to familiarise students with the region from which South Sea Islanders came. Return to Resource 3 and reread the sections. Discuss significant words and dates. Add the towns and places of significance to the South Sea Islander community to the class map. Check if these places are involved in sugar production today.

Ask the students to explain why they feel they should be studying the significance of South Sea Islander Australians. Then read the paragraph on Resource 3 that asks this question and discuss the key terms or words used, such as racism, discrimination, contribution to our society and struggle for a ‘fair go’.

Activity 15 The Queensland sugar industry

Students will be investigating an Australian industry in the next activity. Negotiate what industries they will investigate before deciding whether this activity will be an in-depth or brief investigation of the sugar industry.

Contact sugar producers and locate resources such as books, websites, picture packs and student materials that can be used to investigate how sugar cane is farmed and processed to make sugar. If appropriate, students could bring samples of sugar products and by-products to view, taste, smell and handle — for example, treacle, raw sugar, brown sugar, refined sugar and icing sugar.

Assessment Provide students with photographs that show South Sea Islanders at work in the sugar industry. To gain further evidence of students’ demonstrations of CI 3.1 and SRP 3.2, ask them to describe the specialised work that the South Sea Islanders are doing.


Phase 5 Concluding: Student representations

Core learning outcomes emphasis: SRP 3.2

In this phase, students independently or collaboratively create a representation of a Queensland industry of the past or present. This phase may provide students with opportunities to demonstrate learning outcomes from other key learning areas such as The Arts, Technology and English.

Focus question:

• How can I show work specialisation and interdependence in a Queensland industry of the past?

Activity 16 Creating a representation of a past industry

Discuss students’ ideas for creating a representation of a Queensland industry and its workers of the past or the present.

− The representation may be created independently or in a group.

− The representation is to show:

− different specialised workers

− aspects of work interdependence

− some of the technology associated with the industry.

− Queensland industries could include those studied in previous activities or other Queensland industries of interest or relevance to students.

− The representation might be in the form of a:

− cardboard concertina flow chart − multimedia presentation

− diorama − pictorial flow chart

− dramatic representation − poem or song

− model − written report with pictures.

Assessment When completed, ask students to present their representations to the class. Use questions to ensure students describe work specialisation and interdependence between workers (SRP 3.2).


Photographic resources Resource 1

These photographs have been collected from the John Oxley Library in Brisbane. They are coded with CP to indicate that they are also available from the Child’s Play website (a project of the John Oxley Library) or JOL to indicate that they are available from the John Oxley Library on CD-ROM for a fee.

To obtain copies of the following photographs:

1. Download the files Set A, Set B and so on which are associated with this module. These are available on the Queensland School Curriculum Council website (www.qscc.qld.edu.au). Click on Curriculum → SOSE → Sourcebook modules. If you have difficulties downloading PDF files, try right-clicking on the document name and saving it to your hard disk. Alternatively, you may need to close your web browser after each PDF you open.

2. Or obtain the photographs from their sources:

! Go to the Child’s Play website (www.childsplay.slq.qld.gov.au/) and click on teachers and then image database. (Enter key words from the descriptions below and print or download the image for use with your class.)

! John Oxley Library: Level 4 South Bank Building, South Brisbane

PO Box 3488, South Brisbane, Qld 4101 Phone: (07) 3840 7880 Fax: (07) 3846 2421 Website: www.slq.qld.gov.au/jol/picu/

Set A: The cattle industry

1. Aboriginal workers at Canobie Station cart water — CP and JOL negative 64024 2. Branding cattle at Glastonbury — CP and JOL negative 34748

3. Three children watch as the men butcher cattle — CP and JOL negative 152195 Set B: The banana industry

4. Banana punts coming through a lock in Innisfail — JOL negative 60933

5. Chinese workers loading bananas into the steamer from their punts at Geraldton (now Innisfail) — JOL negative 147328

6. Italian POWs working on Beattie’s Callico Creek Farm — JOL negative 161358 7. Carrying bananas to tram, No. 7 Branch — JOL negative 19468

Set C: The sugar industry

8. Cane planting in Hambledon plantation, Cairns, 1890s — JOL negative 70213

9. Two Kanakas work the tramway across Skeleton Creek, Hambledon — CP and JOL negative 63666 10. Italian sugar cane cutters in the Innisfail district, 1923 — JOL negative 67809

11. A baby with her South Sea Islander mother as the mother plants sugar cane, Bundaberg — CP and JOL negative 142325

Set D: Goldmining

12. (essential to module) Chinese digger — JOL negative 60526 (also available in Year 5 Social Studies Replacement Units 1 and 2, p. 152, Education Queensland 1995)

13. (essential to module) Mulgrave River, 1888 — JOL negative 70216 14. Gold Mines mining, Gympie, 1870s — JOL negative 36315

15. Working a mining stake — CP and JOL negative 184160 Set E: Farm work

16. Pat Hodson’s dog team carting water — CP and JOL negative 4549 17. A teenage girl watches the turkeys — CP and JOL negative 159792 18. Constancia Vineyard, Toowoomba — CP and JOL negative 138882 Set F: Work at home

19. Outdoor lessons for South Sea Islander children in Far North Queensland — CP and JOL negative 27686

20. Kanaka servant and children in the garden at Hambledon — CP and JOL negative 172485 21. Baby being bathed on the verandah — CP and JOL negative 125769

Many other photographs of diverse groups at work in Queensland industries of the past can be found on the Child’s Play website.


Work specialisation and interdependence in a school Resource 2

But wait, more industries! Resource 9

Read the information in the following table and then answer the questions below.

Past industry in Queensland Where in Queensland Some groups that worked in this industry


Beche de mer Torres Strait Islands,

North Queensland Torres Strait Islander, Aborigine, Malaysian, Japanese

Timber production Brisbane, Tweed, Logan, Albert, Maroochy and Noosa Rivers

English, Irish

Cotton growing South-East Queensland, South-West Queensland

Scottish, German, English, Irish

Fruit growing South-East Queensland English, European (e.g. Italian, German) Tropical fruit growing North Queensland English, European (e.g. Italian, German) Sheep farming Central Queensland,

Western Queensland Scottish, English

1. Name two groups referred to in this table.


Education principal and


volunteer helpers

photocopier repairers bookstore


tractor mechanics

swimming pool caretaker school

community teachers

groundskeepers teacher aides


tuckshop workers


uniform makers postal workers

delivery drivers



Industry and labour in colonial Queensland Resource 3

Labour was needed in the days of early European settlers

Many modern Australians call Queensland the

‘Sunshine State’ and love the tropical and subtropical climates of its coastal areas. This attitude is very different from that of the settlers who came from Europe to Australia in the nineteenth century.

When settlers moved northward and found that the land in Queensland was suitable for

agriculture, they generally believed that they were not physically able to work in the tropical climate.

In the nineteenth century, agriculture was much more labour intensive than it is today. Clearing and cultivating the land, which is now usually done by machines, was done by hand or by horse-drawn ploughs and scrapers.

Many labourers were needed to work on farms, pastoral properties and sugar plantations and in maritime industries. Convicts had provided cheap labour when they first came to Australia.

However, by the 1850s, Britain had stopped transporting convicts to the Australian colonies.

South Sea Islanders become labourers in Queensland

Therefore, landowners looked elsewhere for labourers. They turned to the South Sea Islands of the Pacific. The South Sea Islanders came from many different islands, but mostly from two island groups — the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu (which was then known as the New Hebrides).

Between 1863 and 1904, many South Sea Islanders came to work on Queensland sugar cane plantations. Brisbane, Maryborough, Bundaberg and Mackay were the major ports of entry. Bowen, Townsville, Ingham, Innisfail and Cairns were also arrival ports.

These people did not always come to Australia by choice. Some were ‘taken’

from their islands without a choice. Later, they came as ‘recruits’ to work for some money, although working conditions were very poor.

South Sea Islanders today

Australian South Sea Islanders are a community of people descended from these groups who came to work on the sugar cane plantations. The word Kanaka was used in the past to refer to people who came to Australia from the South Sea Islands. Some people think the term

Kanaka is derogatory — that is, an insult

— but some members of the community are proud of it and continue to call themselves Kanakas.

Why should we learn about South Sea Islanders?

Australian South Sea Islanders are significant to Australia’s past, present and future. They were Australia’s first

significant non-Indigenous minority group.

They have experienced, and continue to experience, racist attitudes and

discrimination. Learning about them helps us to understand more about the cultures and groups in Australia, the contribution they have made to our society and the struggle for a ‘fair go’ faced by minority groups in Australia and throughout the world.

Source: Adapted from AusAID 1997, Australian South Sea Islanders: Stories and Activities for Primary Schools, Education Queensland, Brisbane, p. 3.


Teacher information: South Sea Islanders in Queensland Resource 4

During the American Civil War, there was a world shortage of cotton and Queensland farmers began to meet this demand. At the end of the Civil War, America returned to cotton producing so Queensland farmers needed to find ways to produce at cheaper prices.

Robert Towns, after whom Townsville is named, was the first trader to use South Sea Islander labour. He had worked with South Sea Islanders as crew on his ships. Towns sent a ship to the island of Lifou to bring back native workers, using Henry Ross Lewin to recruit them. Lewin was already notorious as a slaver in Peru. The Courier-Mail accused Towns of introducing the horrors of the slave trade. Towns stated that he had instructed that the workers would do light labour, be paid and be returned after one year. However, it appears that the recruits were kept for three or more years and not returned to their correct island homes. Later recruitment methods appear to have been more brutal.

From 1863 to 1904, approximately 50 000 South Sea Islanders signed contracts to work in Australia. How many of them were ‘blackbirded’ (kidnapped) and how many actually agreed to come to Australia has been one of the great debates about South Sea Island labourers. Many historians agree that a lot of the Islanders who came to Australia during the early years of the labour trade had either been kidnapped or, at the very least, deceived. There is evidence of kidnapping on about 20 voyages, although the number was probably higher.

Kidnapping appears to have ceased after the first decade; in all, over 800 voyages were made from Queensland to recruit Islander labour. A number of factors may have contributed to the cessation of kidnapping. First, a series of tragedies increased the campaign against forced labour. Second, the Queensland Government passed the Polynesian Labourers’ Act in 1868, which regulated the trade and gave some control to the South Sea Islanders. Third, as some South Sea Islanders returned home with cloth, tobacco, axes, knives and guns, people were lured by the adventure and the goods Australia had to offer.

Islanders who came to Australia were indentured for three years. Many of these Islanders saw this period as a chance to improve their status by returning with goods that were valuable in their home society.

Some Islanders were recruited a second time or decided to stay in Australia. However, it would be wrong to think that Australia was a new paradise for the Islanders. Those who survived the potentially dangerous journey undertook hard physical labour and risked contracting European diseases, which were the

greatest killer of non-European people in colonial times. On average, Melanesian men were five times more likely to die than European males of a similar age. Approximately 40 000 South Sea Islanders returned home. After Federation, an act was passed ordering the deportation of South Sea Islanders; this move prompted a number of citizenship campaigns by Islanders in Australia.

Key events

1847 Islanders arrive to work on some pastoral properties.

1863 Robert Towns brings the first 67 Islanders to Brisbane.

1868 Queensland parliament passes the first Polynesian Labourers’ Act.

1868 Recruits bound for Fiji massacred. Europeans found guilty but sentences commuted.

1872 Christian churches and the London Missionary Society in Australia campaign for the British government to end ‘the traffic in human beings’.

1880 Queensland passes the Pacific Island Labourers’ Act.

1883 A riot at Mackay Racecourse involves Europeans and Islanders.

1884 Act of Parliament restricts Islanders to employment in unskilled jobs.

1885 Johnnie Nahlan becomes the first Islander to begin farming in Queensland.

1885 Queensland government announces it will end recruitment in five years time, but changes its mind.

1892 Act of Parliament prohibits Islander employment in sugar mills.

1901 The Immigration Act (the ‘White Australia’ policy) is passed.

1901 The Pacific Island Labourers’ Act, which orders the deportation of Islanders, is passed.

1903 The last recruits to come to Queensland arrive at Lucinda.

1903 Twenty-two Islanders send a petition to the Governor-General asking to stay.


Teacher information: How the Innisfail area developed Resource 5

Location and identification

The town of Innisfail, which has a population of about 8 000, is the centre of the Johnstone Shire, which has a population of 19 000. It is located on the Cassowary Coast (named after the rare local native bird) between the World Heritage

rainforest and Great Barrier Reef areas.

Proposed town symbols are rain, river and diverse cultures, and the shire’s floral emblem is the Hibiscus tileacus or coastal cottonwood.

Original inhabitants and their fate The original (Indigenous) inhabitants of the Innisfail region were the five societies of the Mamu people. They followed migratory lifestyles in the rainforest and moved along the rivers in string-bark canoes. Among these societies, the

‘Cassowary Tribe’, distinguished by headdresses of scarlet and yellow feathers, was centred on the Tchuken Bora Ground on Jordan Creek, off the Johnstone River.

Today, the Djirribal or Jirribal people still occupy their original territory at Murray Upper, south of Tully, maintaining their language and the hunting and gathering lifestyle that dates back perhaps 40 000 years. In the past, all these Aboriginal people vigorously resisted the occupation of their lands.

The first resistance incident occurred in 1872 when survivors of the shipwrecked Maria arrived on the coast near the Johnstone River. Some of the Indigenous people helped the survivors;

others attacked them. A search party led by sub- inspector Robert Johnstone came to rescue the survivors and punish the Aboriginal people who had abused them. Johnstone then ventured up- river from what are now Flying Fish and Coquette Points and wrote glowing reports of the area.

Later, Johnstone escorted the explorer Dalrymple as he charted and named the waterway. During this exploration, native troopers attacked the Mamu people with rifle fire.

When European cedar cutters and Chinese goldseekers arrived in the 1870s and early 1880s, the Mamu fought them and inflicted serious injuries. Again, the Europeans sent in the native troopers. Their superior firepower broke up the Indigenous communities and dispersed or integrated the remaining original landowners.

Settlement and development

European settlement began late in the region, partly because of Aboriginal resistance. The Edmund Kennedy exploration of 1848 found impassable rainforests. So European settlement was kept to the coast, where pearls and trepang were collected.

The first permanent town was established on the southern borders of the rainforest in 1864, at Cardwell. During the 1870s, the opening of the Palmer goldfields and other mineral discoveries brought an inrush of settlers, mostly from Britain, to the north of what became the Johnstone Shire. This led to the establishment of Cairns by 1876.

Meanwhile, a variety of agricultural businesses were developed in these areas. Innisfail itself (called Geraldton until 1911) was founded in 1880 by Thomas H. Fitzgerald who took up a 10 000- hectare land grant funded by the Catholic Bishop of Brisbane and All Hallows’ Sisters of Mercy. With ten Irish and 35 South Sea Islanders as workers, he began planting sugar cane in the cleared rainforest lands, but not with success.

Those who followed him did better and the community began to grow rapidly due to the successful sugar production. The Mourilyan mill was built in 1882, the Babinda mill in 1914 and South Johnstone mill in 1915. So sugar was responsible for the growth of Innisfail (with mostly European settlers) and still exerts a major influence.

Multicultural settlers

The settlers who moved into this region from 1889 were very diverse. The first influential group were Anglo–Celtic (from Britain), but they were

outnumbered by South Sea Islanders, Aboriginal workers, Torres Strait Island workers, Chinese miners (who also developed the banana industry and shops), French merchants and German timber and sugar producers.

A large Italian migration began before World War I and continued into the 1930s and after

World War II. Much of Innisfail’s present culture is from Italy. Spanish migrants developed the first hydro-electric power plant in Northern Queensland during the 1930s and the world-famous Paronella Park tourist attraction. There were also waves of migration from Greece, Malta, Yugoslavia, India, Pakistan and the Philippines. The last big wave were the Hmong refugees who came from the border highlands of Laos following the Vietnam War in the 1960s. By 1996, Johnstone Shire residents spoke 47 different languages along with English.

Main features at present

Although the sugar industry heralded the start of a new economic era in the region, bananas now rival sugar as the area’s largest income earner. The region is Australia’s largest producer of bananas.

Tea, papaws and exotic tropical fruits are also grown. The latest expanding primary industry with long-term benefits for sustainable agriculture is millable timber.


How the Innisfail area developed (continued) Resource 5

Main features at present (cont.)

Beef cattle are processed in a modern abattoir near Innisfail for domestic and overseas markets.

Aquaculture also plays an important part in the region’s economy, ranging from prawn,

barramundi and freshwater crayfish to crocodile farming.

A large prawn and reef fishing fleet also boosts the region’s economy. The Innisfail region is also recognised as one of the best recreational fishing areas — from chasing barramundi in the estuaries to game and reef fishing on the Great Barrier Reef. Manufacturing industries include a large foundry, plastic products, farm implements and transport equipment.

The incredible natural beauty of the region, which includes the Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands and World Heritage rainforests, and its warm tropical climate allows year-round recreation and has encouraged tourism.

Massive development in Townsville and more specifically in Cairns, where billions of dollars are being invested, is now having a flow-on effect into this region. Local control is being encouraged in order to preserve the authentic culture of the Shire.

Source: adapted from the Innisfail, North Queensland, website: www.gspeak.com.au/Innisfail/hist.html

The Palmer River gold rush Resource 6

Gold was discovered in the Palmer River region in 1873. Miners rushed there when they heard stories of massive amounts of easy-to-obtain alluvial gold. This is gold which is washed up in the river.

They arrived at the Endeavour River by ship. The port of Cooktown was quickly established and became a booming service town. Cargo, supplies and stock such as horses and cattle were landed there.

A diverse range of workers, including sailors, merchants, government officials, butchers, blacksmiths and labourers, settled there too. They were needed to bring the miners to the North and to support the gold industry that developed.

While Cooktown was the closest access point to the Palmer River, the goldfield was remote. The route was little more than a track and the journey, which often took months, was difficult and fraught with danger. In the wet season, people became stranded. Swamps and rivers rose, increasing the

The dry season was hot and dusty and native animals such as snakes posed a threat. Shelters were simple and did little to protect workers from the environment. There were no shops. Food brought in by packers was expensive and the risk of starvation and malnutrition was very real.

Many miners worked the fields of the Palmer River for months without finding gold. It is doubtful whether anyone made a fortune.

The Chinese people were hardworking and reworked old sites to win their rewards.

While it is true that many Chinese came to the Palmer River as goldminers, their contribution to the North Queensland community was more extensive than this. Many became involved in businesses that supported life on the goldfield.

Others returned to the coast to establish shops, market gardens and begin the banana industry.

They made a better life in these endeavours than they did mining for gold.


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