Riding The Black Cockatoo Summary

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The study of literature enables students to interpret complex themes that assist in forming an individual’s identity and their sense of community (Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards [BOSTES], 2012). The text “Riding the black cockatoo” (2009) by John Danalis explores an individual’s journey to discover his own identity, in an Australian context. This resonates between the feud between “White” Australians and the Indigenous people and is relevant to the syllabus as it is required for students to study an Australian text that provides “insight into Aboriginal experiences” (BOSTES, 2012, p.24-26). Furthermore, it introduces the intense theme of the issues regarding the Indigenous populace throughout the colonial period to the …show more content…
Students are provided with the opportunity to be enriched by the modern view on the ongoing racism towards viewing Indigenous people as humans and not regarded as primitive animals (Thomas, 1994). This is exemplified in “Christ, son, you’re going to a hell of a lot of trouble for an old Abo skull”(Danalis, 2009, p.61) which may suggest the disrespect that Danalis’s father views about Indigenous people. In a sense, it provides an opportunity for students to study and identify with stereotypes and regardless of culture, students are also able to relate to Danalis’s experience of racism towards Indigenous people (Weinstein, 2003). Additionally, “Underneath the folder symbol appeared the photo caption: ABO” (Danalis, 2009, p.68), represents a powerful slang term for identifying Indigenous people. Students are aware that racism still exists in the contemporary period and are able to become knowledgeable of other cultures such as the enriching culture of Indigenous Australians (Allard, 2006; Weinstein, 2003). Moreover, the text provides an excellent basis for educating equity within a class as it promotes participation for students to study the richness in Aboriginal culture (MCEETYA, 2008). Significantly, the text provides the realistic representations of modern-day racism that can enrich students’ understanding …show more content…
The text focuses on shifting circumstances of the Indigenous people and has potential to fulfill the requirement for cross-curricular learning by implementing both art and history in an English text (BOSTES 2012, p.27; Stallworth, et al., 2006). The text also contains photographs for students to study that portray real Aborigines in their traditional and casual clothing (Danalis, 2009, pp.163-170). Students are also able to perceive and c0mpare their cultural differences to Indigenous people, exemplifying cultural awareness in a classroom (DET, 2008; Weinstein, 2003). In addition, the motif of the “Skull”, named Mary, is a representation of the oppression that the Indigenous people experienced as well as the injustices during the period of colonization. It is relevant to several stage 5-syllabus outcomes (EN5-1A, EN5-3B, EN-4B)(BOSTES, 2012, pp.134-140). However, the first impressions students will receive would be that the skull is a representation of Indigenous people being hunted by colonials. Indeed, as the story continues, the issue is not about the death of an Indigenous person but the disrespect for the land as well as values that people uphold. Farmers dug out the burial sites of Aborigines and visitors stole skeletal parts as a souvenir. Students are able to perceive

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