Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson will encourage students to explore their beliefs about happiness, and the various factors that contribute to their own happiness. They will explore the benefits of helping others as a source of intrinsic happiness that in turn supports the needs of others. Students will ascertain the innate strengths a person has that can be harnessed to support the needs of others and act as an agent for change to support the health and wellbeing of others. Finally, students will work in small groups to develop an action plan to address the needs of youth in their local community.

Life After The Oasis is a 75 minute documentary that explores the issues, interventions and mindsets associated with youth homelessness in Australia. The film revisits characters and stories from the original 2008 documentary The Oasis, and how opportunities and experiences have shaped their lives over the last ten years. Find out how to screen or view the film here.

Warning: The documentary and the clips contained in this lesson, contains explicit language, images of drug use and confronting scenes and may upset some viewers. Teachers should use their personal discretion when showing the documentary. This resource deals with the rising problem of youth homelessness and its associated social and personal issues. There may be students in your class who have experienced some of the issues discussed. You are encouraged to arrive at a set of agreements and ground rules for discussion with your class about the best way to approach the issues being covered in a way that recognises the dignity of our fellow classmates. Click here for tips on setting ground rules for class discussions and here for advice on how to handle sensitive topics and controversial issues in your classroom.

Learning intentions:

  • Students explore character strengths that can be used to support others.
  • Students develop an action plan to advocate for change.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Health and Physical Education Year 9 and 10

  • Plan, implement and critique strategies to enhance health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS096)

Syllabus outcomes: PDHPE5.6, PDHPE5.7, PDHPE5.8.

General capabilities: LiteracyEthical UnderstandingPersonal and social capability

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 achievement standards: Students access, synthesise and apply health information from credible sources to propose and justify responses to health situations.

Topic: Social Issues

Unit of work: Life After The Oasis – HPE

Time required: 120+ mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in class discussion, guide students in project planning and implementation.

Resources required: Student Worksheets — one copy per student. Device capable of presenting a video to the class. Handling Sensitive Topics And Controversial Issues Factsheet (Optional). Sticky Notes — at least 10 per student. Character Strengths Cards — one set per group. Health And Wellbeing Statistics Poster — one per group. SMART Goals Factsheet (Optional). Project Planning Tool — one per student. 

Keywords: homelessness, homeless, happiness, personal strengths, youth, advocate, change, intrinsic, extrinsic, motivation, reward, The Oasis

Shark Island Productions and Cool Australia would like to acknowledge the generous contribution of The Caledonia Foundation to the development of these resources.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will ... 

  • ... explore personal strengths that can be used to support others.
  • ... develop an action plan to advocate for change.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... identify their own and others' personal strengths, that can be used to support others.
  • ... communicate and develop ideas in a group.
  • ... develop an action plan in a group that advocates for change and supports people in need.

Teacher content information: On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people are experiencing homelessness. This alarming statistic raises many questions about homelessness in Australia and what is being done by government and non-government institutions to combat the problem. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines a person to be homeless when they do not have suitable accommodation alternatives and their current living arrangement:

  • is in a dwelling that is inadequate; or
  • has no tenure, or if their initial tenure
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: "Be The Change You Wish To See In The World." – Mahatma Gandhi

Happiness Is Helping Others

While watching the Happiness Is Helping Others clip, look for the following information and take notes in the spaces provided:

•  The body language and facial expression of the characters involved.


•  The emotions that each character is likely to experience through the giving and receiving of help.


•  How one person’s action has had a positive impact on others.


Strengths For Action

Working together in your group, use the Character Strengths cards to identify the strengths that Paul and Robbin demonstrate when they are supporting young people and advocating for change in the table below. 








Helping Others

Working in your groups, read through the Health And Wellbeing Statistics Poster. You can then work together to assess the information, using the fo

- or - to view worksheets

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