Activity Introduction

CA-Cambodia-Tim-Deagle-photoframeQuick summary: Students consider perspectives and voices of seeking asylum and the effects on  people involved. They deepen their understanding of different perspectives by examining the ‘voices’ that exist and how they interrelate. Using thinking and analytical tools, students examine the perspectives present in a short sequence from Chasing Asylum and commentary in commercial media. Students then consider and reflect on the significance of the perspectives highlighted.

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 learn that different perspectives on issues stem from how they are represented and examined in texts.
  • Students will understand and evaluate how effective texts are in representing or communicating different ideas, attitudes and values.
  • Students will be able to explain how and why texts position audiences.

21st Century skills:

ca voices tuning in skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 11 English

Analyse and evaluate how and why responses to texts vary through:

  • the ways ideas, attitudes and voices are represented, for example, how events are reported differently in the media (ACEEN029)

Reflect on their own and others’ texts by:

  • evaluating the effectiveness of texts in representing ideas, attitudes and voices (ACEEN039)
  • explaining how and why texts position readers and viewers (ACEEN040)

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

Cross-curriculum priority:

Topic: Social Issues.

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

Time required: 90 mins.

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. Whose Voices? Quote Sheet. Butcher’s paper (optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: Asylum, refugee, political influence, perspectives, advocacy, tolerance, compassion.

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


Teacher Worksheet

CA-boat-poster-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand that there are a variety of perspectives in news and social media about people seeking asylum and the policy responses to the surrounding issues. By examining these critically, students begin to understand how different perspectives exist in texts and how these can shape audience responses to the issues. Similarly, students will examine how issues are represented and begin to understanding how language patterns and rhetoric are used to communicate perspectives.

Teacher content information: All over the world, the issue of people seeking asylum and border protection is heavily politicised one. Across a range of contemporary and historical media texts, a wide spectrum of perspectives and voices exist. Australia has a long history of migration resulting in a nation of diverse ethnicities and cultural and religious backgrounds. The reasons for movement of people are equally varied, including work and employment oppor

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Does being heard mean being listened to?


Think about the various perspectives and voices you are familiar with regarding people seeking asylum, government responses and general opinions, and list some here:

Analysing Quotes

With your teacher’s guidance, read through each quote from the Whose Voices? Quote Sheet and in the retrieval chart below, summarise in your own words the perspective offered by the voice in each quote. You do not need to agree with all quotes - these are intended to show the variety of voices speaking about this issue and complexity of these perspectives.


Summary of perspective (in my own words)

1. Renee Marner, Advocate

2. Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia

3. Daniel Webb, Human Rights Law Centre director of legal advocacy

4. Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia

5. Sarah Joseph, Director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Mon

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.