Indigenous Mini Lesson – Davidson High School (Part 2 -The Lesson)

Welcome back to Part 2 of my journey with Davidson High School and their Mini-Lesson on Indigenous films!

Before coming to teach the lesson I had four main objectives that I wanted to achieve. These were –

  1. Understand the students knowledge of Indigenous films

  2. Understand whether any of the students had gone to SEE an Indigenous film at the cinema

  3. Talk to the students about my campaign and my research

  4. Educate the students about Indigenous Films in a fun and friendly way

Upon entering the classroom I was a bit nervous (I have to admit!!). While the students didn’t throw pencils and paper at me, I was a little bit intimidated to talk to a group of students that I had never met before. However once I started to teach, the students were highly respectful and patient! They didn’t even cause a fuss when my YouTube links didn’t open (which was more stressful for me- than them!!).

To begin, I told the students about my campaign and the problems associated with the issue. I then spoke about my solution and prime objective – “to raise awareness/information and promote Indigenous films in Australia.” I also told them about the three media strategies I had used and I showed them each one of the pages (Facebook, Twitter and WordPress). The students were particularly impressed with my WordPress site!

unspecified-9A Slide from my PowerPoint Presentation to Davidson High School | Picture Source – Amy Johnston (2016)

Questions asked in the Lessons

One of the most interesting parts of the lesson consisted of me asking the students a number of questions. To begin with I asked them, “What Indigenous films have you seen?”. The students responded that they had seen The Sapphires, Bran Nue Dae and Rabbit Proof Fence. All of the students had watched these films in class, under the guidance of Miss Sly.

I then asked the students, ‘Have you ever gone to the movies, to see an Indigenous film?’. Not one student in the class had seen an Indigenous film at the cinema. This fact was highly surprising to me. Even though the students are aged from 12-13, I had presumed that at least some of them would have seen an Indigenous film at the cinema. I had also presumed that some of the students parents would have taken them to see one. Only one boy in the class stated that his mother had watched The Sapphires at home. These facts substantiate my overall argument in this campaign. People are not aware or interested in Indigenous films. All members of the class were more interested in seeing films such as ‘The Hunger Games‘ and ‘Harry Potter‘ and even the film ‘Australia‘.

unspecified-10A Slide from my PowerPoint Presentation to Davidson High School | Picture Source – Amy Johnston (2016)

Further, none of the students seemed overly interested or passionate about the Indigenous films they had watched in class. Only a few of the girls exclaimed that they liked Jessica Mauboy.

This way of thinking NEED TO CHANGE.

People (from as young as 13) should have an interest in seeing or at least LEARNING about Indigenous films. The parents of teenagers should also take more of an active interest in Indigenous films, so that they can pass their knowledge onto their children. Thankfully, teachers like Miss Sly promote Indigenous films and allow children to watch it at school.

Film Trailers shown in Lesson

Following the questions, I showed the students the Bran Nue Dae trailer and Charlie’s Country trailer. I asked the students to pay close attention to the trailers, as they were going to have to complete a quiz after watching them. The students were respectful and attentive when watching the trailers. I was particularly impressed with the way they handled Charlie’s Country trailer, as most of it is spoken in an Indigenous language!

img_1704img_1706Students watching the Film Trailers | Picture Source – Amy Johnston (2016)

Please stay tuned for the FINAL part of my Blog, where I will speak about the games I played with students from Davidson High School!


Cover Picture Source | Davidson High School – Amy Johnston (2016)


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