The Isabellas: The long march, 1995 - Escape to Australia



Reproduced courtesy of australianscreen online

Resource title: The Isabellas: The long march, 1995 - Escape to Australia

Digital resource identifier: R7101

Resource description
In this clip, Chen Xing Liang describes aspects of his life in China and why he decided to come to Australia. A variety of historical and current footage is included.

Stage of schooling: Upper Primary

CCE focus: Government and Law


Students have the opportunity to explore life under a one-party communist system and to investigate why some Chinese citizens may wish to move to a democracy. It is important to talk about life in China today and why increased economic freedom is influencing the push for increased political freedom.

Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning

‘The Isabellas: The long march, 1995 - Escape to Australia’ provides opportunities for students to:

  • discuss some of the different political systems in the world

  • consider the impact of different systems on people’s rights and identity

  • examine reasons why people might decide to live in another country

  • explore issues for ‘political refugees’ settling into a new country

  • consider why people might want to become Australian citizens and the process for doing this.

Ideas for the classroom

  • Ask students to compare and contrast democracy and communism as political systems. Write key points on the board. A graphic organiser such as a Plus, Minus and Interesting (PMI) chart could be used to compare the two.

  • Discuss the meaning of the term ‘political refugee’ and why people may become one.

  • Explain to students that they will be watching the film clip about Chen Xing Liang and his flight to Australia. Ask them to take notes while they are watching, as they will be asked to write an article about Chen Xing Liang’s flight to Australia and the reasons for becoming an Australian citizen. It may be necessary to show the clip several times.

  • Finish activity by asking students to ‘pair and share’ their stories.