Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this lesson, students complete a 3-2-1 Bridge visible thinking routine to establish their understanding of the issue of youth homelessness. They view a short clip featuring Owen, a young man who experienced homelessness in his childhood. Students will create a set of questions about the topic of affordable housing, then build a deeper understanding of the topic by reading articles and factsheets. They will draw conclusions about the impact of affordable housing, and share their reasoning with their classmates before reflecting on their new understanding of the issue of youth homelessness by completing the second part of the 3-2-1 Bridge visible 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 impact that government policy can have on social issues.
  • Students understand that youth homelessness is a complex social issue.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 9 Civics and Citizenship

  • The process through which government policy is shaped and developed, including the role of Prime Minister and Cabinet (ACHCK103)
  • Develop, select and evaluate a range of questions to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems (ACHCS082)
  • Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australian, regional and global contexts (ACHCS089)

General capabilities: LiteracyEthical Understanding, Critical and Creative ThinkingPersonal and social capability,

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students analyse a range of factors that influence identities and attitudes to diversity. They reflect on how groups participate and contribute to civic life. When researching, students analyse a range of questions to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems and critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance and reliability. They compare and account for different interpretations and points of view on civics and citizenship issues.

Topic: Social Issues

Unit of work: Life After The Oasis – Civics & Citizenship

Time required: 80 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). A4 paper (optional – one piece per student). Enough web-enabled devices for one between two students. Strongly Agree/Strongly Disagree Signs (printed).

Keywords: Youth homelessness, affordable housing, government policy, society, 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 impact that government policy can have on social issues.
    ... understand that youth homelessness is a complex social issue.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... explain ‘affordable housing’ and its purpose.
  • ... evaluate the impact that affordable housing can have.

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 is short and not extendable; or
  • does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for s
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: People on low incomes living in rental housing are some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

3–2–1 Bridge 

Complete the 3-2-1 Bridge thinking routine to begin thinking about the issue of youth homelessness in the table below.

3 - List three thoughts you have about youth homelessness. 2 - Create two ideas you have about youth homelessness. 1 - Create one question about youth homelessness
















Affordable Housing

1. Create a set of questions about the topic of affordable housing using the 5W 1H approach and record your questions in Column A of the table below:

  Column A. Questions Column B. Answers & Information 


















Then read through the following information and record any information that could be used to answer your question

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