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Off Country (ATOM Study Guide)

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Brand: ATOM
Current Stock:
SKU: SG1837
Year Levels: 10-12
Streaming Content: Off Country

Every year over three thousand Indigenous children leave their families to attend boarding schools around the country. Children as young as twelve spend up to six years away from home returning only for school holidays. Supported through partnerships between scholarship organisations, private schools and the government, competition for these scholarship places is tough and many families consider being granted a place like winning the lottery.

Off Country follows the lives of seven Indigenous students as they leave home to spend a year boarding at the prestigious Geelong Grammar School in Victoria. Capturing life from inside the boarding house, Off Country follows the 2020 school year as the pandemic throws boarding school life into chaos. Forcing students home for much of the year, the long lockdown brings the sacrifices required to complete a boarding school education into sharp focus.

Our students grapple with family tragedy, mental health struggles and identity issues as they move back and forth between boarding life and home life. In candid interviews they share their views on racism, stereotypes, the national anthem, Australia Day and Captain Cook. A voice of youth rarely heard, these young Indigenous students offer a fresh and revealing perspective into their Indigeneity. Off Country combines personal observational storytelling and set interviews to canvas a broad range of issues. Driven by the students’ stories and told entirely in their own words. Off Country creates a historic record of one of Australia’s key Indigenous education pathways and a complex portrait of what it is to be an Indigenous child in Australia today.

Curriculum Links:

Off Country can be linked to the following subject areas within the Australian Curriculum:

  • Year 11 Modern History
  • Media Arts
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Geography
  • Law and Citizens
  • Citizenship, diversity and identity
  • Health and Physical Education

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