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Who Killed Belinda Peisley? (ATOM Study Guide) - PDF + EPUB

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NB: This product includes the Who Killed Belinda Peisley? ATOM study guide as a PDF and as an EPUB, which can be used on mobile devices. 

Belinda Peisley went missing in the remote Blue Mountains town of Katoomba on 26 September 1998 aged 19. The original police failure to properly collect evidence soon after she was reported missing was to have long lasting implications. Did she leave town or did she die from misadventure? Was she murdered? Was there a cover up?

Her disappearance was not reported to the Coroner for eight years. Why so long? In 2012, a striking cast of characters, most linked to the drug culture prevalent in Katoomba, appear at an inquest into her death. The job for the calm but firm Coroner Paul McMahon and his Counsel Assisting Phil Strickland is to determine if Belinda is dead and, if so, the time, place and circumstances of her death. But the long interval that has passed and the damage that the needle has done present unique challenges. Much of the evidence has gone cold and the Coroner can have no certainty as to the veracity of the evidence he hears. 'Somebody knows something,' says Belinda's father, but just who do you believe in an isolated mountain town with a dark underbelly and a fascination with gossip?

Curriculum Links

The activities included in this resource provide opportunities for students to explore Indigenous Australian cultures, language and stories with reference to Who Killed Belinda Peisley? The Australian Curriculum has been used as a guide for the basis of these activities. Teachers are advised to adapt the activities to suit the student age and stage of their class and the curriculum foci and outcomes used in specific schools. Some websites are suggested throughout this resource. It is recommended that teachers first visit the sites and assess the suitability of the content for their specific school before setting the activities based on these.

Please note: Teacher discretion is advised when using Who Killed Belinda Peisley? in the classroom. There is occasional strong language, drug references, reference to violence and possibly confronting content.

Who Killed Belinda Peisley? can be linked to the following subject areas within the Australian National Curriculum:

  • Year 9 Civics and Citizenship
  • Year 10 English
  • Year 10 Health and Physical Education
  • Year 9 and 10 Science

It can also be studied in relation to the following General Capabilities:

  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Ethical Understanding

Year 9 Civics and Citizenship curriculum content descriptions relevant to Who Killed Belinda Peisley?:

  • The key features of Australia's court system and how courts apply and interpret the law, resolve disputes and make law through judgements (ACHCK077)
  • The key principles of Australia’s justice system, including equality before the law, independent judiciary, and right of appeal (ACHCK078)

Year 10 English curriculum content descriptions relevant to Who Killed Belinda Peisley?:

  • Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)
  • Create literary texts with a sustained voice, selecting and adapting appropriate text structures, literary devices, language, auditory and visual structures and features for a specific purpose and intended audience (ACELT1815)
  • Create imaginative texts that make relevant thematic and intertextual connections with other texts (ACELT1644)

Year 9 and 10 Health and Physical Education curriculum content descriptions relevant to Who Killed Belinda Peisley?:

  • Evaluate factors that shape identities and critically analyse how individuals impact the identities of others (ACPPS089)
  • Plan, implement and critique strategies to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS096)
  • Critique behaviours and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing of diverse communities (ACPPS098)

Year 9 and 10 Science curriculum content descriptions relevant to Who Killed Belinda Peisley?:

  • Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE157)
  • Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (ACSHE158)
  • People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE160)
  • Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)

Who Killed Belinda Peisley? can also be used as a supplementary text when studying a range of Senior School subjects, including:

  • Ethics
  • Legal Studies
  • Health and Human Development
  • Psychology

Activities in this Study Guide are designed around both the one hour documentary Who Killed Belinda Peisley? and the six part iview series. Teachers may choose to have students watch the full hour documentary first and then watch the iview series, or vice versa; one informs the other. Activities indicate where students are to focus on specific aspects of either the full documentary or an iview clip(s).

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