‘The greatest Australian you [Year 9] have never heard of’

I had a great lesson today as part of our unit on Australian identity. After looking at Aussie stereotypes I wanted them to go home and find 3-5 amazing Australians they had never heard of. I was impressed with the range of people they came up with and the depth of detail they had written down, so I found a fillable knockout tournament sheet and we proceeded to judge who we thought was the greatest Australian from our list.

Initially in groups of four, two presented their great Australian while the other two decided who they thought was the greater. Any ties was initially sorted by ‘surrender’ (your person deserves to win) or else decided by the classroom’s Final Arbiter (who did not need to be consulted).

The winners of each group found their next opponent and took with them their vanquished first round opponent. This continued through to the semi-final stage, when the last four presented in front of the whole class.

The final was between William Lawrence Bragg (x-ray analysis of crystals, DNA) and Fred Hollows (eye care/surgery, especially in indigenous communities). Representing Bragg was a tall, eloquent, Australian member of the school debating team versus a shy and quiet Indonesian girl who was so excited that ‘she’ won. This was an unexpected bonus out of the activity!

Below are the top 16 (there were a few preliminary knockouts to get it down to sixteen).

Year 9 Australian History

‘The Greatest Australian You’ve Never Heard Of’ – Year 9 History

(How typical is Hollows as a ‘great Aussie’? He was actually born in NZ…)

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