AGTA 2019 Conference — Gold Coast: 1-4 October 2019

AGTA 2019 Conference — Gold Coast: 1-4 October 2019

The 2019 conference theme is 'The Innovative Geographer'. In an ever changing world, the study of Geography has become increasingly important. The technologies needed to collect, manage and represent our world are constantly changing. The proliferation of 'big data' and the everyday use of spatial technologies means that Geography teachers need to innovate in the classroom to ensure their students have the 21st century skills they will need to be successful beyond high school.

We are currently looking for innovative Geographers to share their ideas and practice with other teachers from Australia. Go to the Workshop page on the conference website to find out how to submit an abstract. Applications close January 31st 2019. 

Like and follow our Facebook Page, or follow us on Twitter(@agta2019) and Instagram (geoteachers2019) for conference updates. 

The 2019 AGTA conference program will provide opportunities for teachers from across Australia to share and reflect on their own innovations in the Geography classroom. The social activities, including Welcome Drinks, and the Conference Dinner will provide an ideal opportunity to network with fellow geographers from across the country.

>> View the AGTA 2019 conference website

Geographical Education: Assessment in Geography

Geographical EducationThe contents of Geographical Education Volume 31, 2018 include

  • Assessment in Geography — Rod Lane and Terri Bourke
  • Chair of Director’s Annual Report 2018 — Trish Douglas
  • An Assessment Framework and Methodology for a Trends in International Geography Assessment Study (TIGAS) — Michael Solem, Joseph Stoltman, Rod Lane, Terri Bourke, Chew Hung Chang and Kathrin Viehrig
  • Participatory Action Research: A Tool For Promoting Effective Assessment and Building the Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Secondary Geography Teachers — Rod Lane and Susan Caldis
  • Geographical Education That Matters – A Critical Discussion of Consequential Validity in Assessment of School Geography — Chew Hung Chang and Tricia Seow
  • The Impact of National Examinations on Geography Teachers’ Assessment Practices in the Netherlands — Erik Bijsterbosch
  • Book Reviews

>> Download individual articles

Latest issue of AGTA's Geographia

GeographiaThe November 2018 issue of AGTA's newsletter Geographia is now available. Contents include

  • AGTA Conference 2019
  • 2018 Geography Big Week Out
  • TGTA Milestone
  • New York City Teacher Orientation Study Tour
  • GeogSpace
  • Geography Literacy Unlocked Textbook
  • Around the affiliates

News, resources and support from member associations


Primary Geography Alive

The GTA NSW's Primary Geography Alive website has been developed to support the implementation of the NSW Geography Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum in Primary years of schooling.

The Geography Teachers' Association of NSW Inc. (GTA NSW) commissioned a team of experienced Primary school teachers to deveop these exemplar units of work aligned to the K-6 requireemnts of the syllabus. Each unit consists of six to eight lessons complete with the resources required for their successful implementation in the classroom.

>> Primary Geography Alive website


Sampson Flat Bushfire Kit

The Sampson Flat Bushfire Kit has been developed for SACE Stage 1 Natural Hazards unit. The kit focuses on mapping skill development, along with other geographical and inquiry skills through the exploration of a case study of the 2015 Sampson Flat bushfires.

The kit includes:

  • 20 copies of a coloured broadsheet
  • Prewritten activities

>> Further details


GTAQ+DNRME Spatial Technology Workshops

When: 9:00AM–1:00PM 20 October 2018
Location: Cairns State High School

When: 9:00AM–3:00PM 10 December 2018
Location: Gladstone State High School

>> Registration


TGTA celebrates its 50th anniversary

The TGTA was formed in 1968 in Hobart to further the promotion of geography teaching in Tasmanian schools and colleges. In 1993 the TGTA joined with the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria before being reformed in Tasmania in 2002. The 50th anniversary of the formation of the Tasmanian Geography Teachers Association is in 2018.


GTAV eCourses

GTAV eCourssesGTAV eCourses provide online professional learning for trained and out-of-field Geography teachers. The length of courses vary from a few hours up to a number of weeks. Some courses include self-assessment items; others include formal assessment items.

Each GTAV eCourse is linked to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Participants receive a certificate acknowledging professional development hours linked to the accreditation standards upon successful completion of each course. These ecourses are open to teachers from all state Affiliates.

>> Further details


The Digital Future of Geography

This professional learning opportunity will guide you through simple data collection methods using free Geographic Information System (GIS) technology available to all schools through Esri Australia’s GIS for Schools Program.

We will guide you through everything you need to know to integrate GIS into your next fieldwork. This includes an exploration of the new user-friendly ArcGIS Online platform that can create maps using your own primary data or readily available secondary data.

>> Further details

Latest issues of Geographical Education

Geography Literacy Unlocked

Geography Literacy UnlockedGeography Literacy Unlocked has been written for secondary geography students seeking to improve their literacy skills. It includes a focus on written, visual and oral literacy.

Geography Literacy Unlocked is published by the Australian Geography Teachers Association and written by Dr Grant Kleeman. One of Australia’s leading geography educators.

Key features:

  • An engaging, easy-to-navigate design
  • A student-friendly approach featuring step-by-step explanations and annotated exemplars
  • A focus on the basics of effective written communication – spelling, punctuation, tense and the use of connectives
  • Descriptions of the principal text types used in geography, supported by annotated examples
  • Guidance for writers in quoting, paraphrasing, summarising and referencing the work of others
  • A focus on the responsible use of social media
  • A comprehensive coverage of the principal forms of visual and oral texts students encounter in geography
  • Templates or scaffolds to support the interpretative skills students are expected to demonstrate.

>> Submit order — Please contact the GTA NSW office on 02 9716 0378 or via email at for orders of over 8 copies.

Geography Skills Unlocked

Geography Skills UnlockedGeography Skills Unlocked is a skills book for Australian secondary schools.

Key features:

  • Contents aligned to the inquiry and skills-based requirements of Australian Curriculum: Geography
  • An engaging, easy to navigate design
  • A student friendly approach with step-by-step explanations, descriptions and worked examples
  • A focus on emerging technologies used to gather, analyse and present geographical data
  • GeoSkills and GeoInquiry activities that scaffold student learning
  • A wealth of stimulus material including a diverse range of maps, graphs, aerial photographs, satellite images, diagrams and photographs
  • Examples drawn from each Australian state and territory with additional international material
  • Key terms explained in embedded glossary boxes

Geography Skills Unlocked is published by the Australian Geography Teachers Association and written by a team of experienced Geography teachers.

>> Submit order — Please contact the GTA NSW office on 02 9716 0378 or via email at for orders of over 8 copies.
>> Download Answers to Geography Skills Unlocked Questions (81.2MB PDF)

Study Geography BrochureStudy Geography Brochure

Designed for Year 8 – 10 students and their parents, this brochure outlines options that a study of Geography offers students including ideas about careers. The essential messages are that Geography is fun; Geography leads to a variety of careers; and Geography cultivates a unique world view. This is an essential resource for promoting a study of Geography in the junior and middle years.

>> Cost: per a set of 50 in A4 brochure format consisting of 4 pages 
>> Order from GTAV

WA ATAR Geography: Units 1 & 2WA ATAR Geography: Units 1 & 2

WA ATAR Geography: Units 1 & 2 has been written as a student textbook to address the geographical knowledge, understandings and skills of the Western Australian Geography Year 11 ATAR and Year 12 GENERAL geography courses that have been implemented in WA schools from 2015/16. This is a companion textbook to GAWA’s Year 12 textbook: WA ATAR Geography: Units 3 & 4 and follows the same format and structure.

>> Cost: $54.00
>> Order from GAWA


Australian Geography Competition: Australian Team win two bronze medals at the 2018 International Geography Olympiad in Quebec City

Congratulations to the four young Australian geography students who represented Australia at the XV International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) held in Quebec City, Canada, from July 31 to August 6. The Olympiad was organised under the auspices of the International Geographical Union (IGU) with the support of Université Laval, North America’s second oldest university.

Australian Geography Competition team membersThe four-member Australian team were selected through their outstanding performance in last year’s Australian Geography Competition (AGC) and Geography’s Big Week Out (from left to right): Phoebe Blaxill from St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, WA – bronze medal; Harry Hall from Trinity College (Gawler), SA; Hannah Wright from Walford Anglican School for Girls, SA – bronze medal, and Sophie Ohlin from Sydney Girls High School, NSW. The Australian team was accompanied by two team leaders: Kath Berg, Australian Geography Competition Committee and Liam Sloan, Geography Teachers Association of South Australia. Forty-three countries took part in this highly prestigious one-week international competition with the Romanian team declared the overall winners at this year’s event.

To test the best young geographers in the world, the iGeo programme involves three academic challenges over the course of a week: a written response test, a multimedia test and a fieldwork exercise requiring observation, cartographic representation and geographical analysis. The programme also included poster presentations by teams, a cultural session showcasing Canadian cultures, and visits to Old Quebec (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Forêt Montmorency.

The value of the iGeo experience cannot be underestimated; participating students appreciate not only the opportunity to travel abroad and challenge themselves, but also the experience of meeting and making friends with passionate geography students from all over the world. "The iGeo was a fantastic opportunity not only to learn about geography, hearing from bright minds in the field and undergoing insightful fieldwork, but also to make friends from all around the globe. Being around such a wide variety of international cultures, personalities and languages is a rare event, and because of it the experience was invaluable." said Harry Hall, participating student.

Kath Berg, Australian Team Leader commented that “The iGeo is a prestigious international contest. It inspires active interest in geographical studies among students and contributes to greater intercultural understanding through the friendships developed between students from different countries.” The Australian team has once again scored commendable results. This highlights the strength of Australia's Year 11 and 12 geography curricula in teaching students to think, analyse and interpret information. The role of geography in schools is continuously supported by the Australian Geography Competition. The pre-selection for the four-student team that will represent Australia at the 2019 iGeo in Hong Kong, China, is under way. Sixteen high-achieving Year 11 students from the 2018 Australian Geography Competition will soon be selected to take part in Geography’s Big Week Out, a six-day training/selection event, to be held on Kangaroo Island, South Australia in early October this year.

The participation of the Australian team at the International Geography Olympiad is made possible with the support of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, Australian Geography Competition and with sponsorship of the AGC from Monash University (School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment and School of Social Sciences), Macquarie University (Department of Geography and Planning and Department of Environmental Sciences), and The University of Queensland (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences).

The annual Australian Geography Competition is a joint initiative of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland ( and the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association.

For further information about the Australian Geography Competition and its associated events, iGeo and GBWO, visit

Putting together the national jigsaw for geography

AGTA was 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.

Evidence for learning and feedback resources

Effective feedback practice is shown to increase student progress by as much as an extra eight months over a year. AITSL in partnership with Evidence for Learning have developed new materials to support teachers and school leaders to enhance feedback practices with students in their context.

The resources draw upon global evidence and research-based approaches, including from AITSL’s own Board Chair and world-renowned education researcher, Professor John Hattie. The suite of materials is free to access from the AITSL website and includes the following:

  • A spotlight research summaryReframing feedback to improve teaching and learning – to describe the underpinning research on effective feedback.
  • Written and video case studies that profile effective implementation of feedback within Australian schools.
  • Implementation resources, such as a readiness check, planning overview and an introductory presentation, to help schools introduce an effective feedback strategy.

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

CARE’s Global Poverty: Teacher’s Toolkit

CARE’s Global Poverty: Teacher’s ToolkitCARE Australia has developed a website which provides teachers with resources on a range of issues related to poverty and inequality. Topics include global poverty, education, health, women's empowerment, water and hygiene, food and nutrition, climate change and responding to emergencies.

Each topic includes teaching tools such as fast facts, videos, and stories designed to spark curiosity and enhance classroom discussion.

>> View CARE’s Global Poverty: Teacher’s Toolkit website

Australian Alliance of Associations in EducationThe Australian Geography Teachers Association is a member of Australian Alliance of Associations in Education