Although European navigators visited and explored the Papua New Guinea islands for 170 years, little was known of the Papua New Guinea inhabitants until the late 19th century.
Students explore countries of the Asia region and the connections Australia has with other countries across the world. Students learn about the diversity of the world’s people, including the indigenous peoples of other countries. Students will explore and reflect upon similarities, differences and the importance of intercultural understanding.
Natural features of Papua New Guinea
Much of Papua New Guinea remains undeveloped and its natural landscapes relatively untouched. The tropical jungles are high in biodiversity and of world significance. Large numbers of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and invertebrates thrive. It is thought by scientists that many species are yet to be discovered due to the difficulties of reaching isolated and remotes areas.
Travellers throughout history have studied, photographed and painted the natural features of these islands. The Voyage of the Rattlesnake, the paintings by John Gould and Ellis Silas present the islands’ natural features as well as the traditional lives of the people with underlying feelings of awe, wonder and respect. The images from the State Library catalogues showcase the beauty and traditional ways of life of the people of Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea today
Today Papua New Guinea is a developing country that has some of the worst human development indicators in health, education and GNI (living standards). The Gapminder website has futher details of Papua New Guinea's human development indicators.
The issues facing Papua New Guinea today are complex and difficult. As Australia’s closest neighbour it is in our best interests to help Papua New Guinea develop and prosper into the future. Our two nations are connected through foreign investment and trade, aid and are working towards agreement on environmental and sustainability issues.
It is important that students become aware of the complexity of issues facing development in Papua New Guinea without generalisations and stereotypes. By exploring our connections and understanding how this influences our perceptions and understanding of a place, we promote positive values and develop global citizenship in students.
Uno’s Garden by Graeme Base
Bollygum by Garry Fleming
Angel of Kokoda by Mark Wilson
The Lost Tail by Patricia Bernard and Tricia Oktober
The Turtle and the Island by Barabara Ker Wilson, illustrated by Frane Lessac
Acquiring geographical information
Processing geographical information
Communicating geographical information
Learning across the curriculum