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Koori* Contributions To Society


There are many people who have made valuable contributions to society. Some of those people have been Indigenous Australians, many of whom have received little recognition. Those who have achieved recognition have often done so under varying degrees of difficulty.

Poverty, geographical isolation, lack of access to mainstream education and poor health are all examples of the adverse factors which have impacted on the life journeys of these people.

* What does the word "Koori" mean and who uses it? Click here to find out: Koori



The Task

How have Indigenous people contributed to Australian society?

To do this you will need to explore the journey of at least three of the Indigenous people listed below and select one to prepare a final report on.

 Indigenous People
Teachers please be aware that some of the links to these Indigenous People contain photographs which may be
offensive to certain Aboriginal children as they are of people who are now dead.

Sally Morgan

Pat O'Shane

Oodgeroo Noonuccal

Aden Ridgeway 

Neville Bonner

Albert Namatjira
another site

Charles Perkins


Mandawuy Yunupingu

"MumShirl" Smith


Points you will need to consider are:

  • Place/date of birth
  • Family background
  • Educational background
  • Career path
  • Their contribution to Australian society
  • Other important information


Where to from here?

  1. Print the worksheet provided to help you with your research.
  2. Choose three people to research from the list above.
  3. Visit the websites and gather the information to help you complete your worksheet (use key words).
  4. From the three people you have researched, choose one to complete the task.



You are to assume the identity of this person and prepare an oral report (which is one of the traditional learning styles of Aboriginal Australians - The Role of Storytelling) convincing the audience of the contribution you have made to society as an Aboriginal person. Explain how your contribution had benefited all Australians.


This Research Module was researched and created by Aboriginal teachers from schools in the NSW south coast region.


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