Module 13






perspectives: Migrants


Instructions for Workshop Facilitators

Objectives Workshop Outline




Recent research has identified a need to extend the teaching of marine and coastal themes out from traditional teaching areas into the whole curriculum. Humanities, culture and the arts are useful forums for discussion of marine and coastal themes as they allow us to examine the way that we feel about the sea and use the coast and its resources, both as individuals and as a society.

It is important to incorporate cultural awareness into this broader social perspective because:

• The history of white Australia is a story of migration and of coastal settlement. To understand how our society uses and values the coast we need to include the contribution of ethnic communities in shaping this history.

• Generalized notions such as ‘Australian beach culture’ are inadequate in describing the diverse experiences of multicultural Australia. Hearing the stories of people from a diverse range of backgrounds enables us to acknowledge our differences and our similarities.
• Cultural awareness is important to instill a sense of global citizenship and responsibility. It helps us to appreciate what we have in common with the lives of people from around the planet who share with us our basic human experience and our dependence on the ocean that connects us.

One of the best ways to develop cultural awareness is through getting to know people from different cultures and hearing them talk about their personal experiences. This module provides trainers and teachers with strategies for accessing the human resources within their own school and community so they can incorporate diverse cultural perspectives into their educational programs. Structure and delivery of the workshop should be adapted according to the social and cultural context of the local area. Organizers are strongly encouraged to seek the involvement of local ethnic communities so that the case studies provided can be supplemented / replaced by the personal stories of local people.

The material in the module is not culturally specific and generalizations about the practices and beliefs of particular cultures have been avoided. It is far more valuable to give people the opportunity to speak for themselves, rather than having an ‘expert’ come and talk about ‘cultural issues’ - academic knowledge may have no relevance to the actual community and is certainly a lot harder to adapt appropriately for children. There are so many ways this kind of information can get distorted before it reaches the final audience that its educational value is questionable. Kids need something they can relate to, not abstract explanations about the ‘traditions’ of people they’ve never met!

This interactive, community based approach has been shown to be the key feature of best practice in culturally aware environmental education. It helps break down cultural barriers and fosters a sense of empathy and understanding between people from different backgrounds. Working directly with ethnic communities provides students with learning opportunities that can be deeply affecting at a personal level. For the communities themselves this process can be very empowering as they are often marginalised by mainstream society. Sharing their skills and knowledge in an educational setting allows their experiences to be valued and heard. Due to language, cultural and other barriers, it may be the first time they have had a chance to be part of an environmental project. Involving people directly allows them to participate in broader community life and contribute to building a better world for themselves and their children.


The objectives of this workshop are:

• to highlight the features of best practice in multicultural environmental education so these can be incorporated into school programs
• to bring teachers up to date with current issues in migration and multiculturalism
• to provide guidelines for incorporating cultural awareness into the teaching of marine and coastal issues
• to increase awareness of available resources and to provide tools to find new resources.

Workshop Outline

There are four parts to this workshop. Each part includes the presentation of concepts and ideas, activities and practical applications and the exchange of ideas through group discussion.

1. Introduction

• General introduction: background, aims and agenda for the workshop
• Icebreaker activity: establishes group and introduces key concepts
• Goal setting exercise: identifies expectations and skills of group members and sets ‘ground rules’ for workshop
• Workshop rationale: explores the concept of culture and highlights the need for cultural awareness in marine and coastal education

2. Cultural Perceptions of the Marine and Coastal Environment

• Historical perspective: highlights the historical contribution of migrants to shaping the development of coastal communities and the way in which we use marine and coastal resources in Australia
• Human relationships with the sea: explores the way in which culture and personal experience shape our perceptions of the coastal environment
• Migration and migrant issues: focuses on the issues facing migrant communities and how this affects the way they use and value the coast

3. Application to Teaching Practice

• Identifies features of best practice in culturally aware marine and coastal education
• Strategies for accessing ethnic communities
• Designing activities for the curriculum
• Developing sample projects

4. Conclusion

• Summary and wrap up
• Reflection
• Workshop evaluation

Materials required

Overhead Transparencies

OHT 1 Workshop Objectives
OHT 2 Workshop Outline
OHT 3 Exploring Cultural Bias
OHT 4 The Need for Cultural Awareness
OHT 5 Features of Best Practice


Resource 1 Cultural Bingo
Resource 2 Culture and Socialization
Resource 3 Cultural Origins of Surfing
Resource 4 Multicultural Broome and the Pearling Trade
Resource 5 A Childhood by the Sea
Resource 6 The Beach in Community Life
Resource 7 A Journey across Seas
Resource 8 Sense of Identity / Sense of Place
Resource 9 Accessing Migrant Communities
Resource 10 Contact list
Resource 11 Teaching Strategies
Resource 12 Sample Projects
Resource 13 Evaluation Form


Reading 1 History of Coastal settlement and the Use of Marine Resources in Australia
Reading 2 Migration Issues
Reading 3 Best Practice Case Studies

B. to be obtained

Activity 1C Butchers paper and textas
Activity 2A Butchers paper and textas. Video Ted Egan’s This Land Australia: Broome and the Pearl Coast, Australia: Sorena, 1989.
Activity 2B “Coast Action - Communities Caring For Our Coast”, Education Poster, available from Victorian Coast Action / Coast Care Community Program, Telephone 03 9412 4385. Butchers paper and textas, crayons, dress up items (eg. clothes, beach towel, bucket, spade, fishing rod, flotsam and jetsam).
Activity 3D My Place by Nadia Wheatley, Melbourne, Collins Dove, 1987. Picture book for older readers with illustrated vignettes of suburban life through the eyes of a young girl that trace the changes in the cultural and environmental landscape from 1988 back to the beginning of white settlement in Australia. An excellent basis for any study of local history and the environment.

Book or books from Macmillan folk tale series by Sheila Hatherley, Macmillan, 1991. Each book contains four stories with color illustrations on each page. Titles include: Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Melanesia, North America, Philippines, Polynesia and South America.


Alexakis, E. and Janiszewski, L. (1995) Images of Home, Hale and Iremonger.

Bouzalas, D. and Kendal, L. (1998) "Embracing Cultural Diversity in Parkland Planning and Development", in conference papers Changing Societies : Challenges for Parks and Recreation, Eighteenth National Congress of the International Federation of Parks and Recreation and First National Conference of Parks and Leisure, Australia.

Broeze, F. (1998) Island Nation - A History of Australians and the sea, Allen and Unwin.

Calder, M. (1993) "On the Seashore of endless worlds - literature, enquiry and global education" in Ethos 7 - 12, The Victorian Association of Social Studies Teachers Inc, July Edition, pp. 11 - 22.

Cigler, B. and M. (1985) Australia : a land of immigrants, Jacaranda Press.

Disher, G. (1987) Australia Then and Now, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Drew, P. (1994) The Coast Dwellers - a radical reappraisal of Australian identity, Penguin Books.

Drewe, R. (ed.) (1993) The Picador Book of the Beach, Picador Australia.

Ganter, R. (1994) The Pearl - Shellers of the Torres Strait, Melbourne University Press.

Hatherley, S. (1991) Polynesia, Macmillan Company of Australia.

Muller, W. (1993) "Social Education as a Vehicle for Enhancing Student Cultural and Intercultural Literacy" in Ethos 7 -12, The Victorian Association of Social Studies Teachers Inc, October Edition, pp. 11 - 22.

Shannon, A (1996) "Sustainability and Sense of Place", in conference papers Sustainability and Local Environments: Myths, Models and Milestones, Environs Australia pp. 70 -72

Stodden, K. M. (1996) "The post-war migrant ships" in The Migrant Ships, Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research Bulletin, 16, pp. 19 -29.

Winton, T. (1993) Land's Edge, Pan Macmillan Publishers Australia.

Young, N. (1983) The History of Surfing, Palm Beach Press.

Instructions for Workshop Facilitators