Lesson Ideas for Teachers

Making multicultural Australia

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KLA/Subject: HSIE

Stage: Stage 3

Are We All the Same?


  • CUS3.3 Describes different cultural influences and their contribution to Australian identities.


Film posters have been used from Making Multicultural Australia as a stimulus for these two lessons. The diversity of the Australian population is further investigated through reading material from the Racism. No Way! website. Three work sheets are included to support classroom activities.

Material to Download

Worksheet: Are we all the same - Birthplace

Worksheet: Are we all the same - Language

Worksheet: Are we all the same - Religion

Worksheet: Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Policy

Information: Download relevant information and graphs from these pages from the Racism. No way! website: Religion, Language, Birthplace

Suggested Activities

  • View and discuss
    Using overhead transparencies of the text and posters (see Preparation Checklist below):
    • Cover the text alongside each poster and show each poster to the class. Discuss what is in each picture, what the pictures might be for (eg. advertising a film), where they might be from (Australia, other country), etc.
    • Show the first page of text introducing the posters, ie.:
      “Posters - a selection of movie posters for films – documentary and fictional – which have explored different issues of immigration and ethnicity in Australia”
    • Now display the text with each poster. Ask the students what features of the posters tell us that they are movie posters? (ratings, some of the text, etc.).

    • Conclude that each film is about Australians and together give some indication of the diversity of Australians and their experiences.
  • Brainstorm
    List any other films which explore different issues of immigration and ethnicity in Australia (eg. Looking for Alibrandi, Love’s Brother)
  • Read and interpret
    To find out just how diverse the Australian population is, ask students to work in groups and read information and interpret tables/graphs from the Racism. No Way! website (see Preparation Checklist below) which shows the breakdown of the Australian population by language, birthplace and religion. Assign one theme per group; more than one group may explore the same theme. Inform groups that they will be asked to present some of their findings in the next lesson.
  • Collating information
    Collate information gathered by groups during the last session using the overhead transparencies on Religion, Languages and Birthplace. Students to complete the 3 worksheets (See Materials to Download).
  • Question and Conclusion
    From the movie posters looked at, the Australian population is being represented as diverse in culture, language and religion.

    Ask students to consider whether this diversity an asset or liability for our nation.

    You may wish to read from The NSW Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society (see Related Resources), particularly paragraph 1 and from ‘In 1996’ onwards in which diversity is seen as an asset.

Preparation Checklist

  • Download the 3 worksheets on Religion, Languages and Birthplace. Make a copy for each student, and also make an overhead transparency of each.
  • Make overhead transparencies of the text and posters, other than the one labelled ‘Traps’. Preferably copy these in colour.
  • Print relevant information and graphs from these pages from the Racism. No way! website. Don’t include all sections as this would make it complex for students to read. Make sufficient copies of each section so that small groups can work with one of the three themes: Religion, Language, Birthplace
  • The extension activity requires materials to enable students to make a board game.


Ask students to:

  • Investigate which languages and religions are represented in the local community.
  • Research significant days/celebrations for each of the religions represented in the graph.
  • Use questions and answers covered during the two lessons to make board games.

Related Resources

Scroll down and select " Ethnic Affairs Commission of New South Wales: NSW Charter of Principles for a Culturally Diverse Society, page 1"

Lesson Notes

Teachers in less culturally diverse areas of Australia may find additional photographs/videos and/or excursions to more culturally diverse areas helpful. It is important that only positive comments about different backgrounds are encouraged to ensure all students feel safe, acknowledged and valued.

Date Added:

11 December 2004