Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson students will explore what trauma is, and the emotions that people experience when faced with traumatic and challenging circumstances. They will investigate a fictional moral dilemma and the impact that their choices have on their own and others’ health, wellbeing and identity. Students will watch and analyse ‘Chris’ Story’ from the Life After The Oasis documentary and explore the impact that childhood trauma can have on an individual’s sense of belonging, connectedness and their relationships. They will be given the opportunity to reflect on their understandings of childhood trauma, belonging, connectedness and relationships using a Headlines Thinking Routine.

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 understand the concept of trauma and explain how it can affect a person’s identity, health and wellbeing
  • Students understand the impact of their choices on their own and others’ health, wellbeing and identity.
  • Students understand the ongoing impact that intergenerational trauma can have.

21st century skills: 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Health and Physical Education Year 9 and 10

  • Evaluate factors that shape identities and critically analyse how individuals impact the identities of others (ACPPS089)
  • Critique behaviours and contextual factors that influence health and wellbeing of diverse communities (ACPPS098)

Syllabus outcomes: PDHPE5.1, PDHPE5.13

General capabilities: LiteracyEthical UnderstandingPersonal and social capability

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 achievement standards: Students critically analyse contextual factors that influence identities, relationships, decisions and behaviours

Topic: Social Issues

Unit of work: Life After The Oasis – HPE

Time required: 90 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion. 

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).  Post-it-notes or four small pieces of paper for each student. A3 sized Healthy/Unhealthy Relationships Table – one per group. Emotions List – one per student (Optional).

Keywords: homeless, homelessness, youth, childhood, family, drugs, alcohol, addiction, trauma, intergenerational trauma, health, wellbeing, identity, relationships, 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 ... 

  • ... understand the concept of trauma and explain how it can affect a person’s identity, health and wellbeing.
  • ... understand the impact of their choices on their own and others' health, wellbeing and identity.
  • ... understand the ongoing impact that intergenerational trauma can have.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... begin to explain the concepts of trauma and intergenerational trauma.
  • ... identify the impact that intergenerational trauma can have on a person’s identity, health and wellbeing.
  • ... identify the risk factors associated with family trauma.

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 wh

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “Not that it was Mum’s fault, and Mum didn’t want me to have a rough childhood..." – Chris

Exploring Moral Dilemmas

1. Write down what you think a 'moral dilemma' is or means in the space below. 

Share your ideas with a partner and add any other details to help explain what a 'moral dilemma' is or means to your original ideas above. 

2. Write the definition of a moral or ethical dilemma below. 

3. Sophie's Dilemma

Read through the following scenario:

  • Sophie is worried about her older brother Joseph, who has been having a difficult time. He has started withdrawing, barely eating and sleeping more than usual. He’s been sneaking out of home at night, but he thinks no one knows. Sophie speaks to him about her concerns, but Joseph makes her promise not to tell their parents because they are stressed and under pressure at work to ensure they have enough money to make mortgage repayments and feed the family. Sophie honours his wishes by not speaking up or se
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