Vale — Wayne Sutton

Wayne SuttonIt is with much sadness that AGTA records the sudden and tragic death of Wayne Sutton, president of the Tasmanian Geography Teachers Association and a director of AGTA.

Wayne Sutton has been a long standing member of the AGTA Board and made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the teaching of geography in Tasmania. Wayne was passionate about geography and actively involved with providing leadership and support to geography teachers. He taught senior geography at Hobart College for 18 years where he was Head of Department. He was the chief marking examiner and had been the setting examiner and state moderator for geography. In addition, Wayne was a contributing author for several publications and held positions on advisory editorial committees for a number of publications.

A kind, considerate and deeply caring person Wayne will be sadly missed by the geography community throughout Australia. Our sympathy and condolences go to all members of his family.

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AGTA Conference, January 2015

The AGTA 2015 conference was held from 11-16 January 2015 in Rotorua, New Zealand.

>> Conference program

>> Workshop presentations

>> Fieldwork

>> Post-conference tour

>> Supporting background papers

>> Classroom resources

>> Twitter (#AGTANZ2015) & Storify

>> AGTA Awards

Thinking Geographically DVD

Thinking Geographically DVDRevised edition now available

The revised DVD has over 50 additional Thinkpieces, new links to Australian Curriculum resources materials, new professional learning presentations and new curriculum planning suggestions. The DVD contains:

  • geographical thinking examples, exercises and articles
  • over 50 Thinkpieces on geography
  • curriculum planning and assessment processes and templates
  • 100s of links to geographical thinking and teaching of geography Internet sites
  • presentations and video resource links to support professional learning.

Australian orders: $99.00 Postage & GST inc.

>> Purchase using Visa/MasterCard or PayPal

>> Purchase using Australian school order

Geographical Education

The latest issue of Geographical Education Geographical Education Volume 27, 2014 includes

  • the Chair of Director’s Annual Report
  • two reports related to the Review of the Australian Curriculum: Geography
    • Submission to the Review of the Australian Curriculum Submitted by the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association Limited from Dr Grant Kleeman and
    • Comments on the recommendations relating to geography in the Review of the Australian Curriculum by Associate Professor Alaric Maude
  • four peer reviewed articles:
    • Sustainability in the Australian Curriculum: Geography by Associate Professor Alaric Maude;
    • Investigating the impacts of global education curriculum on the values and attitudes of secondary students by Dr John DeNobile, Dr Grant Kleeman and Ms Anastasia Zarkos;
    • Post-primary education and energy literacy: An analysis of the potential for geography curricula to contribute to Australian students’ energy literacy by Mr Brad Maddock and Dr Jeana Kriewaldt; and,
    • Interested and influential: the role of a professional association in the development of the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Geography by Ms Susan Caldis
  • Book reviews

Latest issue of AGTA's Geographia

GeographiaThe December 2014 issue of AGTA's newsletter Geographia is now available. Contents include

  • AGTA members
  • Curriculum review
  • AGTA conference
  • AGTA website
  • AAAE membership
  • Teaching resources
  • Thinking geographically
  • Big Week Out
  • GeogSpace
  • National competition
  • Geography Olympiad
  • Around the affiliates

Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG)News from the Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG)

Members of ATGA will find much of interest in the latest IAG Newsletter including reports from the IAG conference held in Melbourne, news from the universities and the field as well as recent publications by IAG members.

New resource for Urban Geography

BarangarooA new, internet-based, resource for Geography has been launched by Lend Lease (developers of Barangaroo South – part of Australia's largest urban renewal project). The attached flyer highlights the site's features.  The highly interactive material has been developed specifically for the requirements of the Australian Curriculum: Geography (and the existing NSW Geography Syllabus – Stages 4-6). 

Concepts addressed include urban decline and renewal, urban consolidation, the dynamics of technological, economic and social and demographic change, and environmental and social sustainability. The site includes links to activity sheets, virtual fieldwork activities and teacher support materials. 

You can access the site at: Once you login (as a teacher) you can access the teacher support materials. The worksheets can be accessed from the site itself. Further information is available from

>> Download flyer with an outline of the site's features

National Close the Gap Day 2015

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are dying 10-17 years younger than other Australians. Think about that ― a non-Indigenous child who started school this year may outlive an Indigenous student completing Year 12.  But your school can do something to help change this. National Close the Gap Day is being held on Thursday March 19th, 2015.  It is Australia's largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health campaign, and a great way for schools to tackle the Australian Curriculum cross-cutting priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

>> Register now at to receive a free resource pack with Australian Curriculum aligned resources from Oxfam Australia, to help your students learn about the gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians, and how we're working to close it together.

In 2015, our Instagram student photo challenge asks students to creatively explore National Close the Gap Day, based on this year's theme "Our Culture, Our Health", with great prizes to be won. Our resources are easy to use, and inspire creative ways for students to create and participate in events and activities that are all about student-led action and community engagement. But don't just take our word for it - watch Nowra High Schools' experience from last year: Health equality is everyone's business, and as educators we must continue to work together to ensure Indigenous health equality becomes a reality by 2030 ― our students' generation.

Schools like yours are critical to creating change, so join us on Thursday 19th March 2015.

>> Register your class, year-level, or whole school now. For more info, please contact: Annalise De Mel, Schools Program Coordinator - Oxfam Australia. Email: or Phone: (03) 9289 9390

GeogSpace website

The GeogSpace website developed by AGTA and Education Services Australia (ESA) is now live. AGTA thanks all members of the writing and development teams for their outstanding contributions to this resource which will support the teaching of the Australian Curriculum: Geography. AGTA will be running special professional learning programs to support teachers in their use of this wonderful new resource. Further information about these programs can be obtained from AGTA Chair Malcolm McInerney.

>> Download GeogSpace flyer

Hot under the collar

"Climate change really shouldn’t be a political issue." Read what Linh Do, community co-ordinator with the Australian Conservation Foundation and Australian Geographic’s Young Conservationist of the Year has to say about climate change. [Published in the Sydney Morning Herald p35, 23 October 2013]

Ministers endorse the Senior Secondary Australian Curriculum: Geography

Federal, State and Territory Education Ministers have endorsed the Senior Secondary Australian Curriculum: Geography as the common and agreed base for state and territory senior secondary geography courses.

ACARA will now work with each state and territory curriculum, assessment and certification authority to identify the senior secondary Australian Curriculum content that will be common to all states and territories and the processes and timelines for its implementation.

View the curriculum and watch an overview video on the Australian Curriculum website.

Australian Curriculum: Geography

Following the meeting of Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood on 10 May 2013, ACARA has released the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: Geography. The Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA) expresses its sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the development of this new curriculum.

>> The Hon Peter Garrett MP's press release "Geography joins the new Australian Curriculum landscape"

Mapping out the world

"We need to give young people the opportunity to form images of the world, of the interactions between people and places that are accurate, realistic and empowering. The next generation will make their own world. We need to give them the power to do it well. Having a substantial and really engaging geography experience as part of schooling is absolutely essential if this is going to happen."

>> Read the article in the Sydney Morning Hearld based on a media release from AGTA Patron, Tim Costello

Putting together the national jigsaw for geography

During the past year AGTA has been actively involved in the development of

  • the Australian Curriculum: Geography through the work of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)
  • GeogSpace online resources with Education Services Australia (ESA) to support the implementation of the new geography curriculum.
National geography jigsaw

AGTA considers that both of these developments are critical for the future growth of geography in our schools and certainly warrants the energy and financial commitment AGTA has made to the process. The curriculum has reached the final stages of writing, consultation and validation and is due for release in 2013. Whilst this work has created an increased workload and investment from AGTA and its officers we continue to put together the 'National Geography Jigsaw' to promote geographical education in Australia.

The world of geography in Australian schools continues to be a dynamic and exciting one for teachers and students. AGTA's capacity to deliver continues to be tested by the challenges of promoting the 'brand' of geography in the new National Education Agenda and putting together the jigsaw for the implementation of a National Curriculum for Geography. AGTA continues to meet these challenges with confidence and continues to be seen by others in the education community as an association of high standards and professionalism. Such a reputation is only possible through the support and hard work of all Directors on the AGTA Board and teacher members of affiliates.

Exploring 21st Century Geography DVD

Exploring 21st Century Geography DVDAn outstanding collection of teaching resources including spatial technologies/GIS units. The DVD contains:

  • articles and resources on 21st century Geography
  • GIS skills development, GIS in Physical Geography and Historical GIS books – course processes and activities with geographical data
  • 21st Century Internet sites
  • technology in the geography classroom articles, internet sites and resources
  • inquiry project design and work samples.

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