Activity Introduction

women smilingQuick summary: In this lesson, students will learn authentic ways to face challenging issues with hope. Students will consider the progress that has been made in issues affecting women in STEMM, using clips from the documentary feature film, The Leadership as inspiration. In reflecting upon these clips and their prior knowledge, students will explore what makes them feel hopeful. Students will then develop skills in using positive visualisation as a persuasive skill.

It is highly recommended that this lesson is conducted after students have completed The Leadership: Viewing And Responding To The Film – English – Year 10. Please be mindful that this lesson handles difficult topics and may impact different students in different ways. Please ensure students have access to confidential support if they need it.

The Leadership is rated M for mature audiences and contains coarse language and themes of sexual harassment and abuse. Consider whether viewing this film or clips is appropriate for your students.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the difference between ‘hope’ and ‘optimism’
  • Students understand the different strategies being considered to improve gender equality in STEMM
  • Students can use visualisation as a persuasive strategy.

21st century skills: 

EmpathyEthical UnderstandingGlobal CitizenshipProblem Solving

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 10 English:

  • Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements to influence a course of action (ACELY1751)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-2A

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, building on others’ ideas, solving problems, justifying opinions and developing and expanding arguments.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work The Leadership – English – Year 10.

Time required: 80 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – students may need support to create their visualisations.

Resources required:

Keywords: hope, curriculum, analysis, multimedia, text analysis, women in STEMM, STEM

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Songqiao and kidsTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand…

  • … the difference between ‘hope’ and ‘optimism’
  • … the different strategies being considered to improve gender equality in STEMM.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … use visualisation as a persuasive strategy.

Teacher content information:

About The Leadership
The Leadership is a feature-length documentary film directed by Ili Baré and produced by Greer Simpkin for Bunya Productions.

The world is crying out for a new model of leadership, but what is it? One woman thinks she has the answer. Australian CEO and ‘dreamer’, Fabian Dattner, leads an international group of 76 female scientists on an Antarctic voyage designed to transform them into the sort of leaders they want to be. Her hope is that once these women are primed to lead in science, they will be able to make meaningful change around the world. But onboard, Dattner’s own leadership style and philosophy are both severely tested, as the wome

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “Despair is a form of certainty, certainty that the future will be a lot like the present or decline from it. Optimism is similarly confident about what will happen. Both are grounds for not acting. ...Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed. Hope calls for action; action is impossible without hope.”― Rebecca Solnit

Activating Hope

1. Watch this clip from The Leadership:

Dr Meredith Nash on being a feminist (

Now read the ‘thought starter’ quote and write down:

What does it make you think? What does it make you feel? What do you wonder?

Share these ideas with a partner.

2. Project Across Time

Thinking about how much positive change has already happened can help us to realise that change is possible. What do you know about:

How gender inequality was different 10 years ago?

How about 100 years ago?

200 years ago?

2000 years ago?

3. Write a letter to a person

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