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Paper-Chain Timeline

Last week in history, we talked about how long Indigenous Australians have lived in Australia. Scientists believe that Indigenous Australians have been living here for approximately 60,000 years – some think it may even be longer than that!

The Australian Aboriginal Flag: black represents the People, red represent the Earth and yellow represents the Sun.

The Australian Aboriginal Flag: black represents the People, red represent the Earth and yellow represents the Sun.

We discussed what that number means, in comparison to the length of time since Australia was first colonised by England… 60,000 years compared to 227 years. It was hard to really get our head around this comparison, so we decided to make a visual representation of it through a paper chain.

We worked out that if we created a paper chain where each link was worth 200 years, then we would need 300 links to show the 60,000 years of Indigenous presence in Australia… compared to roughly 1 link to show how long it is since Australia was colonised! On the day we created the paper chain, there were exactly 20 students in the classroom, which worked out to exactly 15 links to create per person!

Students worked in pairs, and we used the colours of the Aboriginal flag to create the 300 links. We added one white link at the end to represent the time elapsed since colonisation. Here is our paper chain:

Our very long paper-chain: we had to shape it into a spiral to fit it in the picture!

Our very long paper-chain: we had to shape it into a spiral to fit it in the picture!