Tag Archives: Australian Curriculum

16 days to go, and $2356 short of the target!

I’m moving into the final stage of the crowdfunding campaign – there’s only 16 days left, which is not long at all! I need your help to reach the target amount of $10,000. If I don’t get over the line, I don’t get any funding.

Ancient Australia Unearthed will address a core topic on the Australian Curriculum, and for which there is currently nothing comprehensive published for a high school audience.

Pledge today, and be a part of this important milestone.

Here are some rewards to thank you for your support:

$25 will get you a gift pack with stickers, a magnet and a badge

$50 will see your name printed in the book, and you’ll receive a copy of the ebook and a cool military style hat

$100 will see your name printed in the book, and I’ll send you a signed hard copy

$250 will earn you a chat with me, your name in the book, a signed hard copy and a gift pack

$500 will get you a chat, a signed hard copy, a second copy donated to a school of your choice, and a PD session to your nominated Melbourne school

Make history. Add your name. Support Ancient Australia Unearthed.

Ancient Australia Unearthed – using archaeology to teach Australia’s ancient history


Sample pages hot off the digital press!

My wizard book designer Robyn has already begun work on the layout, illustration and design for Ancient Australia Unearthed. You wonderful people get the exclusive first peak at some sample pages. We’ve got What is History?Homo floresiensis (aka ‘The Hobbit’) and The Mount Toba eruption. (These double-page spreads are all unedited drafts, so if you spot any errors, please let me know!)
Ancient Australia Unearthed sample draft What is History (1)
Ancient Australia Unearthed sample draft Homo Floresiensis
Ancient Australia Unearthed sample draft The Mount Toba Eruption (1)
As of this afternoon, the Pozible total has nudged $3,402. Thanks to everyone for the ongoing support in bringing Ancient Australia Unearthed to life. There’s only 29 days to go, so the journey isn’t over yet. Keep spreading the word!

On the crowdfunding campaign trail

Campaigning of any kind takes a lot of effort, particularly if it’s done online. It’s sometimes hard for people to imagine what the end result will be for a creative project, so until a sample of work is produced, it’s all about the way you market your project. At least, that’s what it’s been like for me.

The challenge with a campaign like mine is that any funds raised will go directly towards design and print costs, so unless I meet my target, supporters won’t actually get to see the finished product. Talk about a Catch-22!

No target = no funds = very delayed book.

So far, the most successful campaigning has been through word of mouth, and thanks to everyone who’s helped spread the word, the funding tally stands at $3,362.

Now, though, the serious work begins – sticking address labels onto lots of colourful post cards and mailing them to potential supporters!


Day 10, and the AAU tally has passed $1000

The tally for Day 10 stands at $1065.

That’s more than 10% of the total! Thanks to the 16 amazing people who have supported so far.

New to the project page is a Frequently Asked Questions section. I’ll be adding to this as the project progresses and more questions are sent in.

If you have a question regarding the Ancient Australia Unearthed book, please send it to info [at] plainspeak [dot] com [dot] au

I’m still a fair way off the target amount to bring this book to life, so please continue to spread the word and help unearth the prehistory of Ancient Australia! A small amount can make a big difference – all it takes is a $10 pledge from 900 people to get this project over the line.

Ancient Australia Unearthed – using archaeology to teach history


AAU: the backstory

It all started with a visit to the high school where I used to be an English/History teacher.

I went to spruik the Young Archaeologists’ Program to the Head of Humanities. While I was there, she mentioned how desperate teachers were for a book on Ancient Australia, a unit that focuses on the Indigenous past. In response to this, I set up this blog Ask the Archaeologist to explain the key terms for Ancient Australia in a way I thought teachers might find helpful.

Then, in July this year, I presented a 1-hour seminar on Ancient Australia at a state history conference, and the same question was asked: Why wasn’t there a textbook about Ancient Australia yet? Where could teachers access quality and comprehensive resources about this elusive topic?

I began a thorough investigation into currently available resources and soon learned why teachers found the textbooks so unhelpful.

There’s virtually nothing available.

In fact, several popular history textbooks from large publishers barely even mention Ancient Australia. The best information I could find had been written in consultation with a top museum curator, and while the resource is of high quality, it, too, is lacking the depth needed to teach such a vast and layered topic.

It was at this point that I decided to address the problem and write a book.

As soon as I decided to write the book, I knew I had to self-publish. Going through “traditional” publication routes was going to take too long. Teachers need this information now, not in one or two years.

It’s also important that I have the freedom to include as many illustrations as I think is necessary (many publishers have limited image quotas, and I want to include loads of pictures – after all, it has to appeal to kids as well as their teachers!).

I also want some say in the book design and format. While I’m not a great designer by any stretch of the imagination, I have firm views about how I want the book to unfold chronologically and visually, and I suspect a mainstream educational publisher would not permit an author to enjoy the level of creative input that I will give to this book.

With this project, I see myself not so much as a writer or educator, but more as a translator and guide. The bulk of information about Ancient Australia is locked away in archaeology reports and academic journal papers. And which teachers have time to sift through a hundred articles on an unfamiliar subject then create engaging lessons for an 8-week unit? None that I know.

Fortunately, I have a bit of time up my sleeve. Ancient Australia Unearthed is well underway, with a first draft nearing completion. It will be a unique book – the first of its kind – that uses archaeology to teach Australia’s ancient history. While the primary purpose will be educational, I feel that the aesthetics of the book are equally, if not more, important than the text. It would be so easy for my book to become boring, and I’m determined to prevent that from happening. This is why I’ve chosen to crowdfund – so that I can invest in great design and illustrations to make the book both educational and beautiful.

The Pozible tally for Day 6 is $605! Thanks to everyone who’s supported so far. There’s still heaps of time to register your pledge – just go to pozible.com/ancientaustralia

Day 4

What a whirlwind the last few days have been! SInce launching the Ancient Australia Unearthed project on Pozible, I’ve been madly writing, planning, emailing and tweeting, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive.

The pledge tally so far is $425!

Two wonderful people have opted to receive a hard copy of the book when it’s published, and others will be receiving magnets, stickers, badges and cool military-style hats! I’m thrilled with the support so far, and am excited about the potential of this project.

Here’s a quick progress report on the book:

I like to have non-fiction works figured out in advance, so at the moment, the book is a jumble of headings and text, but very soon, this mess will become a neat document that corresponds with this storyboard plan:


I’ve taken over the dining table, and my housemate has been ever so gracious and understanding!


I’ll be uploading a video shortly of some midget-sized fans who really want to see this book published! Stay tuned.

There are 49 days to go, but that’s not a lot of time in the world of crowdfunding, so please keep spreading the word and help me get this project off the ground!

Ancient Australia Unearthed – using archaeology to teach Australia’s prehistory.