Project Description


Australian Government, AusAID via Curriculum Corporation

Project Brief

I was contracted to produce a curriculum resource to help students develop their knowledge and understanding of the Pacific region, its history and geography, its political and social development, and its people and their cultures.


The book was designed for students in years 7 – 10 in all states and territories of Australia. It aims to develop the key concepts, processes (social, historical and geographical inquiries), skills and values that will enable students to gain a deep knowledge of the Pacific region.

Australia is geographically located in the Pacific region, and the Pacific island countries are our closest neighbours, so developing our appreciation of the countries in our region is a fundamental step towards fulfilling our role as responsible global citizens.

The countries of the Pacific Islands Forum, excluding Australia and New Zealand, are the main focus of this book: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Some of these islands are made up of thousands of micro-cultures.

The Outcomes

Pacific Neighbours: Understanding the Pacific Islands is a 54 page book and accompanying CD-ROM which provided teachers with a variety of source material and inquiry-based teaching activities.

The book contains six chapters: an introductory chapter and five subsequent chapters reflecting the five learning emphases of  Global Perspectives: A framework for global education in Australian schools:

  • Chapter 1: Let’s get specific about the Pacific!
  • Chapter 2: Responding to globalisation
  • Chapter 3: The Pacific way?
  • Chapter 4: Pacific stories and human rights
  • Chapter 5: Working together to build peace
  • Chapter 6: Pacific challenges

Each chapter begins with a general summary and a list of key words, then includes a variety of texts, tables, maps and graphs that can be explored through three levels of thinking – ‘Thinking about’, ‘Thinking more deeply’ and ‘Collecting our thoughts’. End-of-chapter activities can be used to stimulate discussion around the theme and explore possibilities for taking action.

The accompanying CD-ROM includes more detailed teacher information, a copy of the text in PDF format, student worksheets, a photo gallery and a reformatted version of the book by country using an interactive map.