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Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

This priority provides opportunities for all students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. This enriches all students’ ability to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.

Explore the overview and key ideas of the Australian Curriculum: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures priority.

Teaching and learning may incorporate knowledge frameworks that enable deeper understanding of the subtleties and complexities of distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and identities.


Students begin to engage with this priority as they develop an awareness and appreciation of, and respect for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature. This includes storytelling traditions (oral narrative) and contemporary literature. Students learn to develop respectful, critical understandings of the social, historical and cultural contexts associated with different uses of language features and text structures including images and visual language.

English sample resources


Students explore connections between representations of number and pattern and how they relate to aspects of counting and relationships of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Students investigate time, place, relationships and measurement concepts within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts. Through the application and evaluation of statistical data, students deepen their understanding of the lives of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mathematics sample resources


Students have opportunities to learn that Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples have longstanding scientific knowledge traditions, and developed knowledge about the world by:

  • observation, using all the senses
  • prediction and hypothesis
  • testing (trial and error)
  • making generalisations within specific contexts such as the use of food, natural materials, navigation and sustainability of the environment.
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