Much of Australia’s broader population are unaware of the positive contributions made by Muslim Australians in diverse endeavours. Our permanent exhibition tracing the nuanced roots of Australian Muslim History, titled ‘Boundless Plains’ unearths the fascinating legacy of the first contact between Muslims arriving from Makassar and their impact in shaping contemporary Australian society.
A feature documentary screened in our gallery contains footage of rock paintings from 20,000 years ago and artefacts from remote Arnhem Land, which illustrate the interaction between Indonesian fishermen and the local Aboriginals dating back to pre-European settlement. An interview with a one hundred and one year old daughter of an Afghan cameleer provides a human insight to the daily lives of Aboriginal camel trainers who use the Afghan language to train the camels and riders.
The Muslim population in Australia is ethnically, linguistically, and culturally diverse a mix from over 120 countries. Muslims have been visiting Australia and contributing to Australian culture and society for hundreds of years. Muslim fishermen from Indonesia have visited Australian shores since the 18th century.
The first mosque in Australia was built of mud brick at Marree, South Australia in 1861.
Following the Second World War, the Muslim community in Australia expanded due to the post-war economic boom, which created employment opportunities and encouraged many European Muslims to migrate to Australia to seek a new life.
Since the 1970’s Australian towns and cities with sizable Muslim populations have witnessed a change in streetscapes. Mosques and prayer rooms are now seen in public places, along with Islamic schools and halal food stores. Islamic centers have also recently developed in Australia, offering the growing Muslim community facilities such as youth centres, sports, social activities and providing cultural advice for new arrivals.
This Boundless Plains Resource Guide provides information, worksheets, and project ideas for teachers to be able to use in a variety of ways and differentiate for their own classroom needs. All activities are connected to the Australian National Curriculum in learning areas of English, Humanities, STEM and the Arts.
This package can also be used to address general capabilities such as ICT Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding and Intercultural Understanding.
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