Rivers of Australia

Narrated by Tony Barry, one of Australia’s most distinguished and highly respected actors, Rivers of Australia: A Journey Along the Murray is a unique feature-length documentary that follows two southern adventurers – James Livingstone and Albany Asher, along with their faithful canine companions, ‘Onyx’ and ‘Rocco’ – on an awe-inspiring kayaking journey along Australia’s longest river: the Murray.

The Murray River is the lifeblood of Australia. Spanning 2756 kilometres across three southern states of Australia, one would expect such a large river system to be one of the most well-known and visited locations in the land down under. But it isn’t quite so. The majesty of the Murray is unknown to the vast majority of the world’s population, and hence James and Albany endeavour to take the audience on an epic (and very authentic) journey to meet Australia’s longest river, revealing its beauty and its charms; to meet the salt-of-the-Earth river dwellers; to explore conservation projects and innovations that benefit the river; to learn of its history, the Indigenous culture, the wildlife, the science and engineering, the townships … to take the audience somewhere they have never been before.

From Bringenbrong Bridge in New South Wales to the Coorong in South Australia, Rivers of Australia: A Journey Along the Murray is an epic adventure of grandeur – two kayaks, two explorers, two cattle dogs, and one mighty Murray River!

Curriculum Links
Rivers of Australia: A Journey Along the Murray can be linked to the following subject areas within the Australian Curriculum:

• History
• Geography
• Economics and Business
• Science
• Health and Physical Education
• Media Arts
• Design and Technologies
• English
It also links with the Australian Curriculum’s cross-curricular priorities:
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
• Sustainability
It also supports the Australian Curriculum’s general capability:
• Ethical Understanding
The documentary could also be used within an Outdoor Education program (Years 5–10) or to support planning any school journey such as a day trip, expedition, overseas tour or similar (Years 5–10).

Curriculum Relevance

History (Years 9 and 10) content descriptions:

• Living and working conditions in Australia around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900) (ACDSEH090)
• The growth and influence of the environment movement within Australia and overseas, and developments in ideas about the environment including the concept of ‘sustainability’ (ACDSEH126)

Geography (Years 7–9) content descriptions:

• Classification of environmental resources and the forms that water takes as a resource (ACHGK037)
• The way that flows of water connects places as it moves through the environment and the way this affects places(ACHGK038)
• The quantity and variability of Australia’s water resources compared with other continents (ACHGK039)
• Economic, cultural, spiritual and aesthetic value of water for people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and peoples of the Asia region (ACHGK041)
• Spiritual, aesthetic and cultural value of landscapes and landforms for people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACHGK049)
• Human alteration of biomes to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the use of systems thinking to analyse the environmental effects of these alterations (ACHGK061)
• The effects of people’s travel, recreational, cultural or leisure choices on places, and the implications for the future of these places (ACHGK069)

Economics and Business (Year 7) content descriptions:

• Characteristics of entrepreneurs and successful businesses(ACHEK019)
• Why individuals work, types of work and how people derive an income (ACHEK020)

Science (Years 7–8) content descriptions:

• Classification helps organise the diverse group of organisms(ACSSU111)
• Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities can be represented by food chains and food webs (ACSSU112)
• Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures (ACSHE223)
• Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)
• People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE121)
• People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE136)

Health and Physical Education (Years 5–10) content descriptions:

• Examine how identities are influenced by people and places(ACPPS051)
• Explore how participation in outdoor activities supports personal and community health and wellbeing and creates connections to natural and built environments (ACPPS059)
• Plan and implement strategies for connecting to natural and built environments to promote the health and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS078)
• Plan and evaluate new and creative interventions that promote their own and others’ connection to community and natural and built environments (ACPPS097)

Media Arts (Years 5–8) content descriptions:

• Explain how the elements of media arts and story principles communicate meaning by comparing media artworks from different social, cultural and historical contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media artworks(ACAMAR065)
• Identify specific features and purposes of media artworks from contemporary and past times to explore viewpoints and enrich their media arts making, starting with Australian media artworks including of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media artworks (ACAMAR072)

Design and Technologies (Years 7–8) content descriptions:

• Critique needs or opportunities for designing and investigate, analyse and select from a range of materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to develop design ideas (ACTDEP035)
• Independently develop criteria for success to evaluate design ideas, processes and solutions and their sustainability(ACTDEP038)

English (Years 7–9) content descriptions:

• Identify and explore ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1619)
• Reflect on ideas and opinions about characters, settings and events in literary texts, identifying areas of agreement and difference with others and justifying a point of view(ACELT1620)
• Discuss aspects of texts, for example their aesthetic and social value, using relevant and appropriate metalanguage(ACELT1803)
• Recognise and analyse the ways that characterisation, events and settings are combined in narratives, and discuss the purposes and appeal of different approaches (ACELT1622)
• Analyse how the construction and interpretation of texts, including media texts, can be influenced by cultural perspectives and other texts (ACELY1739)
• Recognise and explain differing viewpoints about the world, cultures, individual people and concerns represented in texts(ACELT1807)
• Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)

An ATOM Study Guide is available for download.