The artwork for Encounters 2020 shows Australia as an island surrounded by water. Our unique geography reinforces the connection Australian people have with the sea and the shores. Students undertake a guided inquiry into these connections and explore the ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples used the sea as a resource and as a way of understanding the physical and spiritual world.  

Key inquiry question :
What connections do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have to the sea?  

Read the story You and Me: Our Place by Leonie Norington or watch an online reading You and Me: Our Place (Vimeo 3:13mins) to develop questions into past and current practices that inform an inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ connections to the sea.  

Closely examine the following sources from the Museum’s Collections. Model the use of a source analysis table to extract information about the source’s origins, purpose, key information and limitations. Further information on analysing sources is available online. 
Living by the Sea | Marrnyula Munuŋgurr
Mudhaw Warul (Sheltered Turtles Behind the Reef) | Billy John McFarlane Missi
Catching Yabbies | Ian Wayne Abdulla
Shell necklace | Lola Greeno
Portrait of Truganini wearing a maireener shell necklace | G W Wilson & Co
- Read about the history and significance of the object and analyse connections as ‘resource use’ or ‘cultural’. Record your information.
- Students conduct an inquiry into the Tasmanian practice of shell stringing. The traditional practice of shell stringing and luna tunapri (women’s knowledge) is being taught to the next generation to continue the cultural practice. 

Observe the many ghost net artworks in the Museum Collections
- Conduct research into ghost nets by reading our Ghost Nets blog, and learn about the devastation discarded fishing nets bring to marine environments.
- Learn more about ghost nets and how you can become part of influencing a sea change at Ghost Nets Australia.

Engage with student stories and personal connections to the sea to recognise different cultural connections with the sea.

Create an artwork that expresses a personal connection to the sea or fresh water.