Aboriginal Studies - HSC

Research Guide for the HSC subject Aboriginal Studies.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Starting Your Research


For your Major Project you will choose a research topic in consultation with your teacher and appropriate Aboriginal community members.

Think about topics you are interested in - an Aboriginal identity (e.g. writer, artist or sports person); a social issue (e.g. representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the media or Indigenous education initiatives); or a cultural topic (such as Indigenous languages or Aboriginal art).

See Finding Information for suggestions on how to use key words from your topic to search the library catalogue and eresources for books, journal articles and even primary sources such as manuscripts or oral histories.

Confronting Material

The State Library of NSW respectfully acknowledges the trauma of history and its ongoing impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. 

Some of the written and visual information you may come across while learning and researching for this subject could be confronting or upsetting. Historical recounts, first-hand recollections and even contemporary sources can include violent, graphic, sexist and racist portrayals of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

Librarian/Curator Ronald Briggs speaks about ATSILIRN Protocol 7: Offensive material

Aboriginal carvings of fish at Middle Head

Aboriginal carvings at Middle Head ca. 1839 - 1871

Taking Care

It is important for you to understand that people have different responses to viewing this sort of content and that’s OK. There are websites to support you to manage your own mental health.