Wed 2 Oct Workshop 1

Title: Australia in The Nuclear Age 1945-2020

Bio: Dr Daryl Le Cornu

Dr Daryl Le Cornu has many years of experience teaching Modern History and Legal Studies. He has a passion for teaching about the United Nations, international law, human rights, and nuclear disarmament. Daryl is a history curriculum lecturer at the Australian Catholic University and Western Sydney University, and is a member of the Board of ICAN Australia.


Australia has played an integral role in the Nuclear Age from the beginning, being involved in the development of the atomic bomb, the testing of atomic bombs on Australian soil, supplying uranium, pursuing its own nuclear bomb, and being part of the US nuclear war-fighting capability. However, Australia has also had a significant nuclear disarmament history, from hundreds of thousands of people protesting in the streets year after year in the 1980s, to the government-initiated and highly-acclaimed Canberra Commission of 1996, its opposition to French nuclear testing in the Pacific, its ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1998, and Prime Minister Rudd’s 2008 initiative, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

In July 2017, an Australian-born group, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) succeeded after a 10-year campaign in creating a new UN treaty – the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). At the rate of signatures and ratifications, the TPNW is on track to come into force in 2020. Australia faces a stark choice about whether to boldly join the global movement to rid the world of nuclear weapons by signing and ratifying the TPNW (as New Zealand has done), or to play a subservient role to US nuclear war planners.

Title: Ancient Australian History Matters

Bios: Dr Duncan Wright, Isabella Shaw and Iona Claringbold

Dr Duncan Wright is a Senior Lecturer at ANU, specialising in Australian Indigenous archaeology. Research projects span the Central Desert, Arnhem Land and Torres Strait Islands (in Australia), also Palaeolithic sites in Czech Republic and Slovakia. A priority for all projects is generating meaningful partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, also to generate public interest in our shared, Australian cultural heritage.

Isabella Shaw has completed a double undergraduate in archaeology and visual art, Isabella is interested in how past people visually expressed their cultural and symbolic identities. Archaeology is a fascinating and exciting field and Isabella is passionate about communicating this in fun and creative ways.

Iona Claringbold is completing an undergraduate degree at the Australian National University majoring in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology. She is passionate about bridging the gap between scientific analysis and anthropological theory to explain complexities of human history. Current research interests include zooarchaeology, community-based archaeology, and science-communication.


The study and teaching of ancient history is inherently exciting and mysterious! We are transported into unfamiliar worlds, echoes of which survive in Sumerian Cuneiforms, Egyptian pyramids and armies of terracotta soldiers. Australia’s story is equally important and exciting. On this continent, footprints of our modern human ancestors survive 30,000 years before artists painted the walls of Chauvet Cave and 50,000 years prior to construction of Stonehenge. In this paper we introduce, through the lens of archaeology, the impact and relevance of our Australian story. We focus on contact and innovation over the longue durée – from ancient art to the invention of boomerangs and dugong hunting platforms. We conclude with a discussion (hosted by secondary/ tertiary educators and university students) about whether and how we move ancient history teaching so that themes move closer to the classroom.

Title: Measuring HASS aptitude: Assessing thinking, skills and ability in the History and HASS classroom.

Bio: Miss Emily Donders

Over the past 5 years working at Rossmoyne SHS I have gained significant experience in teaching students from low ability, through to Gifted & Talented, with most of my practice around the later.

However, some of the students were not always ‘gifted’ in the HASS class, and other students (sometimes ESL) seemed to excel in classroom activities and could ‘think’ historically, however couldn’t communicate this in their Common Assessment Tasks. I am passionate about assessment that both engages students in real world learning/ thinking and helps them better understand how they think and learn.


If the purpose of assessment is to identify our students’ strengths and weakness to guide future teaching, then assessments should target skills and concepts specific to the History (and HASS) area. I have created and implemented a diagnostic assessment for History, being used in lower school and upper school classes to better inform my practice, quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of my students, identify ‘gifted’ historical thinkers, and implement strategies to see greater engagement and improvement by meeting their needs faster. In this presentation you will receive example resources of the assessments, how I implemented them, and how I have responded to the results. The idea behind the assessment is focussed on identify students who have a high aptitude for HASS Subjects, as well as what may be prohibiting them from excelling.

Title: Reacting to the Past: The Game-Based Learning Pedagogy that is Transforming University Classrooms

Bio: Dr Thomas Buchanan

Dr. Thomas Buchanan is an educator at the University of Adelaide. He teaches American history, the history of human trafficking, and a course on the history of New York City. He is an advocate for the Reacting to the Past role immersion pedagogy.


In just the last few years the University of Adelaide, the University of Tasmania, Deakin University, and the University of Melbourne (and possibly other universities) have begun offering Reacting to the Past courses. So what are these courses all about? This session will explain the virtues of this new game-based learning pedagogy and explore the degree to which translation to the secondary school history classroom is possible. The session will build towards a discussion of how to best develop fit for purpose games for high schools.

Title: Against All Odds: Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust

Bio: Ms Emily Shanahan

Emily has 15 years’ teaching experience. She is a perpetual student, receiving several academic awards for her Master of Educational Leadership. Emily ventures overseas at every opportunity, walking in the footsteps of historical figures. Recent highlights include her 2017 Gandel Scholarship to Israel, and a 2018 study tour of Finland.


With a 60% increase in antisemitic incidents across Australia in the past year, lessons learned from the Holocaust are more important than ever. Most people have heard of Oskar Schindler and his work to save 1,200 Jewish people, despite being a member of the Nazi Party. Few have heard of the Jewish heroes who put their own lives at risk in order to save others. This workshop provides an overview for teaching students about the Bielski Partisans and their rescue effort saving more lives than Schindler; Hannah Szenes, one of the 37 Palestinian Jews who parachuted into Europe and George Mantello, the Romanian businessman who partnered with a diplomat from El Salvador to issue passports. Links will be made between the bravery of these people and how students today can be upstanders in society so that atrocities from hate and prejudice never happen again.

Title: Fair and Balanced – Using “Fake News” to explore bias, POV and reliability

Bio: Mr David Albano

David Albano is Vice President of the History Teachers Association of South Australia and Head of the Humanities faculty at Scotch College Adelaide. He has a keen interest in how media can be used to help student understand bias reliability and point of view in an engaging and entertaining way.


Developing engaging ideas using media to explore and develop an understanding of bias, reliability and point of view has been a decade long process and continues to evolve as the state of the media becomes more and more politically charged. This session aims to give teachers ideas about how to use the state of the media to help students develop skills of historical enquiry in an engaging and interactive manner. After all, having a better understanding of bias and reliability is key in developing responsible future citizens.

Title: Improving access to high quality professional learning

Bio: Ms Lauren Elston

Lauren Elston is a Senior Project Officer in the Quality Teaching Team at AITSL and leads AITSL’s work on high quality professional learning and beginning teacher induction. Lauren has consulted with a wide range of groups within education including; teachers and school leaders, early childhood educators, and system/sector representatives.


Opportunities for site-based, collaborative professional learning (PL) such as observing a colleague teach are often harder to access by early childhood, casual/relief and rural/remote teachers. As quality teaching is the greatest in-school factor to improving student outcomes, access to high quality professional learning for teachers is essential for teachers in these settings. We know that the most effective professional learning approaches are education setting-based, focused on improving teaching practice and consider the context.

AITSL has consulted widely with the profession, including a survey of over 1800 teachers from these three contexts, to understand the challenges teachers face in accessing high quality PL. This workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the research findings and unpack what high quality professional learning means. This understanding ultimately enables teachers to improve their practice and have the greatest impact on their students as well as supporting school leaders to leverage expertise within and between school communities.