In this unit, you will find info packs to support you in creating lessons that share Blue Water Empire with your class. You will find curriculum links relevant to each episode to guide your lesson planning, as well as background information about the Torres Strait Islander people and their country. You will also find additional links to help you plan your classroom activities, as well as tips on setting classroom guidelines to ensure a supportive classroom environment during your investigation of this fascinating topic.
Blue Water Empire is a 3-part dramatised-documentary series available on ABC iview that gives a unique insight into the history of the Torres Strait Islands. Traversing the pre-colonial era through to contemporary times, this compelling history is centred on the key stories told by the men and women of the region, exploring how Torres Strait Islanders have sustained their cultural heritage throughout the impact of 200 years of European settlement.
Across the series, the filmmakers document and reveal the impact of past and present government policies and give insight to the social and economic paternalism that have affected the lives of Torres Strait Islanders – leading them to fight back or unite in strike action. The series reveals contemporary Torres Strait Islander life, along with great Torres Strait Island characters such as the legendary George Mye and Eddie Mabo. The series conclusion celebrates the resilience and resistance of the Torres Strait Islander people, despite their profound struggle to regain their land and sea country, their Blue Water Empire.
NOTE: This series has been given an M rating. You will need to follow your school protocols for screening an M film when viewing this series.
Cool Australia and Bunya Productions would like to acknowledge the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Screen Queensland and The Indigenous Department of Screen Australia in the development of these teaching resources.