Wed 2 Oct Workshop 3

Title: Comparison Study of Medieval Europe and Angkor Wat

Bio: Mrs Sue Newitt

Sue has been teaching History for 20+ years. It is her passion and she spent her Long Service Leave doing three months on a Magical History Tour of England, France and Iceland. She could be described as a History Tragic! It is her ambition to complete her book ‘The Children of Wybalenna’.


Angkor Wat Khmer Empire 1200-1431 provides an ideal comparative study to Medieval Europe. In this workshop, teachers will be given valuable resources and formative assessment techniques to allow their student to understand how to compare two worlds, geographically and climatically opposed but with such similar human goals and lifestyles. As well, this unit contains a discrete unit on man-made climate change – a lesson from the past to apply to our world.

Title: The Later Roman Empire: Between the Classical and Medieval Worlds

Bio: Dr Gary Young

Gary Young holds a PhD in Classics from the University of Tasmania, is author of Rome’s Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy 31 BC – AD 305 (London 2001), and teaches Ancient Studies at Grant High School, Mount Gambier. He is a historian of the Roman East and Late Antiquity.


The Later Roman Empire (AD 192-395) is a neglected area in the teaching of Classical history in Australian Secondary schools. However, this period provides the teacher with numerous opportunities to teach fascinating and rarely covered material, illuminating a time that laid the foundations of much of the Medieval world and beyond.

This presentation covers the major features of this period, and outlines the ways in which they impacted the future, in many cases still affecting the world today. Events such as the political instability of the Third Century AD, the rise of Christianity, and the struggle between the ‘superpowers’ of Rome and Sasanian Persia have relevance and resonance in our own times.

The many ways in which this material can be aligned with the Australian Curriculum for Ancient Studies will also be explored, outlining opportunities for including this period in such topics as religion, material culture, war and conflict, and political power.

Title: Does ‘source work’ work?

Bio: Dr Paul Kiem

Paul Kiem is Professional Officer for HTANSW. A former history teacher and former President of HTAA, he is the author of a number of texts and presents regularly to teachers and students. Most recently, he published ‘The value of direct teaching and historical knowledge’ in Historical Thinking for History Teachers (Allender, Clark & Parkes eds., 2019) and the HTA Modern History Study Guide (Kiem, Dallimore, Blackman & Webb, 2019). Paul is a Research Associate at the University of Technology, Sydney.


How well does ‘source work’ work? This session will aim to promote discussion around what is achieved when sources are used in history teaching and assessment. Does it automatically result in students ‘working like historians’ or acquiring ‘higher order transferable skills’? After a brief survey of how historians work, it will offer an evaluation of common classroom and assessment practices before using examples to briefly suggest a number of approaches to working productively with sources. The examples will be drawn largely from Australian and Modern History. This session has evolved from presentations given at the 2018 National Conference, the 2019 WA State Conference and HTANSW Teaching History Symposium held earlier this year. There may be some overlap.

Title: Teaching the World Wars with the Virtual War Memorial

Bio: Dr David Rafferty

Dr David Rafferty is the VWMA’s Schools Program Manager. He is a former teacher both at secondary and tertiary level, with teaching experience in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. He completed his History PhD at Melbourne in 2016.


The Virtual War Memorial Australia’s Schools Program is a way of teaching the Australian Curriculum’s Year 9 and 10 Depth Studies of World War 1 and 2. It takes advantage of the large number of digitised primary sources for these eras in Australian history (at the National Archives, Australian War Memorial, Trove etc) to allow students to research the profile of an individual serviceman or woman. Students encounter primary sources in the raw and scaffolding is provided to use them, so that students develop research skills. They find and bring together data from many different sources and, from these, write a biography which is published on the Memorial. This is real, authentic, historian’s work. By researching (often young) soldiers who were either family members, or connected to their locality (via a database of local memorials, cemeteries, and home towns) students really engage with the project. In this talk, David will show teachers how to use the VWMA’s resources to teach the World Wars and how he provides ongoing support for them to do so.

Title: Teaching the Shoah: The Yad Vashem Philosophy

Bios: Ms Scarlett Adams & Miss Eliza Strickland

Scarlett Adams has been an English and History teacher in Mirani for 7 years. She is a curriculum leader, who chairs the Senior Modern History Cluster in the Mackay Region. Scarlett is a member of the 2019 Graduating Class of the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators.

Eliza Strickland has experience teaching across primary and secondary schools and is currently teaching middle years History and Japanese at Mercy College in Mackay. Her passion for history is leading her to further studies in this field, as well as participation in the 2019 Gandel Holocaust Studies Program


While the Holocaust is one of the most harrowing and confronting topics to teach to young people, its relevance and enduring legacy contains important lessons for today’s world to learn from. As a result, how we present this topic to our students must reflect the significance of the Holocaust and its impact on not only the victims, but on our own classrooms.

The structure of any unit on the Holocaust is key to providing our students with meaningful experiences. This presentation will explore the Yad Vashem teaching philosophy and their pedagogical structure for units and lessons about the Holocaust, as well as identifying useful strategies and resources for developing empathy in our students.

Key aspects of the presentation will include:

  • safely in and safely out
  • the power of images will be explored; allowing images to speak when words cannot
  • rescuing the individual from the statistics

Title: Bou Meng’s Art as Primary Evidence.

Bio: Mr Billy Penfold

Mr Billy Penfold is a History archivist who specialises in the History of the Cold War in Asia in particular, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Vietnamese communist movement. Billy has conducted educational tours to Vietnam and Cambodia for over 20 years. Billy travelled to the former Soviet Union in 1992 and very recently he travelled to Chernobyl in Ukraine and North Korea.


This workshop will follow the international launch of Bou Meng’s art on Day 1 of the HTAA Conference. Bou Meng was one of 7 adults found alive in Tuol Sleng, the Khmer Rouge torture centre by the Vietnamese Army in January 1979. Billy will discuss the significance and legacy of Bou’s paintings as evidence of daily living conditions for those incarcerated under POL Pot’s brutal regime.

Title: “Myth Busting the Original Anzac Day”

Bios: Mr Daryl McCann, Dr James Hurst & Despoina Cameron

Daryl McCann, History teacher at Pembroke School and political commentator. He has presented at various state and national conferences and taught IB History for 16 years.

Dr James Hurst, author of “The Landing in the Dawn” (2018), is a leading expert on what actually happened in the first twenty-four hours of the landing. His research is micro-history at its finest.

Despoina Cameron, taught at University High, Melbourne, for many years and is now a History teacher at Pembroke.


Based on the historiographical work in Dr James Hurst’s book “The Landing in the Dawn”, which is a micro-history that follows the 11th Western Australian Battalion all the way to Baby 700 and Battleship Hill. The fortunes of the 11th Battalion are a key aspect of Anzac Day because its ultimate task was to occupy the Third Ridge. Our presentation will demonstrate how students might interact with primary sources to build the complex and often misrepresented narrative of Anzac Day. This will provide learning activities in which students use primary sources to critique myths and develop a truer understanding of the day.