Activity Introduction

CA-Boarding-Boat-photoframeQuick Summary: This lesson will enhance student understanding of the people seeking asylum by examining the human stories behind news headlines. Using a range of thinking tools, students consider the story of Anh Do and the challenges of seeking asylum that his story highlights. Students refine this understanding by considering their own knowledge about seeking asylum, establishing some focus areas to clarify and developing ideas for how they can investigate these with further inquiry.

CA-Title-Treatment-ReversalChasing Asylum exposes the real impact of Australia’s offshore detention policies through the personal accounts of people seeking asylum and whistleblowers who tried to work within the system. To watch the documentary, stream it on Kanopy and Clickview or purchase the DVD at the ATOM Education Shop

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will consider how the journey to Australia can be made difficult due to a number of factors.
  • Students will begin to examine the ways in which asylum seeking is a political issue.
  • Students will compare and contrast how different media texts represent issues around people seeking asylum.

21st Century Skills:

ca triumph skills v2

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 10 English

  • Compare and evaluate a range of representations of individuals and groups in different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1639)
  • Use comprehension strategies to compare and contrast information within and between texts, identifying and analysing embedded perspectives, and evaluating supporting evidence (ACELY1754)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-8D, EN5-2A.

General Capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority:

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students evaluate how text structures can be used in innovative ways by different authors, and develop and justify their own interpretations of texts.

Topic: Social Issues

Unit of work: Stories of Chasing Asylum – access the unit overview here.

Time required: 60 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate class discussion and assess student work.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of audio/visual presentation to present a website to the class. Printed copies of Concept Map for students or pairs.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: asylum, refugee, political influence, push factors, challenges, settlement.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

CA-Nauru-Tents-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will build a better understanding of refugees and people seeking asylum as human beings, each with a story to tell and a story that is yet to be finished. Using the case study of famous Australian comedian Anh Do, students will consider the contributions made by people seeking asylum and migrating to Australia in the 21st century. Students will begin to understand the challenges and issues that are encountered by those involved, the ways individuals and groups have overcome them and what this reveals about Australia.

Teacher content information: The issue of people seeking asylum and border protection is very political - many different perspectives exist across a range of contemporary and historical media texts. Australia has a long history of migration resulting in diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions. The movement of people has occurred for varied reasons, including work and employment opportunities, family connections,

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “What would you do if you had to leave your country in a hurry and journey to a foreign land?”

A Journey to Where?

Note what you 'See, Think and Wonder' about the following clip in the table below:

Chasing Asylum Clip 14 (

What do you SEE?

What do you THINK about that?

What does it make you WONDER?

Introducing Anh Do

Anh Do Interview 1

Adam Hills IGST | Anh Do - Episode 4 | 8.30pm Wednesdays, ABC1 (

Complete the concept map, having a go at listing some of the issues, challenges and experiences relevant to refugees that are raised in the interview with Anh Do.

Learning from Individual Stories

Anh Do Interview 2

Anh Do Honoured by Major Literary Prize (

After watching this interview, review your concept map and add or refine some issues, challenges and experiences that are addressed. Be ready to discuss some of these with

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