Major new changes to the HSC syllabus will see NSW students being taught more about indigenous role models and culture.
Pemulwuy fought against British colonialists at the onset of European settlement, with the landing of the First Fleet in Botany back in 1788.
A member of the Eora people of the greater Sydney area, Pemulwuy waged a 12 -ear resistance against the British occupation, countering their superior numbers and firepower with guerrilla style tactics.
The governor at the time, Sir Arthur Phillip, launched several military expeditions with marines ordered into surrounding bushland to find Pemulwuy.
But Pemulwuy became a legend for uniting neighbouring clans such as Dharug and Tharawal to join his fight against the British. Together they raided many early settlements, from Parramatta to the Hawkesbury River, often burning crops and killing livestock.
After eventually being shot and killed in 1802 Pemulwuy’s remains were taken to England. Despite calls from Sydney’s Aboriginal community, his remains have not been located nor repatriated.
Rich history such as this will soon feature in the HSC. Students will also be taught more about Asia, feminism and the environment under the sweeping reforms to the English and history curriculums, released by the NSW Board of Studies.
Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards President Tom Alegounarias, announcing the changes to 17 draft English, Mathematics, History and Science syllabuses for Years 11 and 12, said the board “recognises the need for students to have opportunities for a richer engagement in the subjects they choose for their senior years of school.
"Increasing content depth also supports more analytical assessment enabling us to also redesign High School Certificate (HSC) exam questions."
The draft syllabus states: "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures includes the study of ideas that have influenced movements for change, the progress towards recognition and equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the focus of continued efforts.
"In the study of Modern History this understanding is deepened through the study of other indigenous peoples and through the exploration of their interaction with others."
It says teachers will be encouraged to consider involving local Aboriginal communities when designing their courses.
A mandatory writing unit focusing on grammar, spelling and punctuation will be included across all the English courses, while a study of statistics will be included in all maths courses.
The new courses will be released next year to give teachers a chance to familiarise themselves and the content will be taught first to Year 11 students in 2018.
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