John Flynn and the Inlander Community

This unit examines the communities of Australians living in remote areas during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, also known as Inlanders. It looks at the work of individuals such as John Flynn and the Royal Flying Doctor Service in transforming communication, education and medical attention in the Australian outback. It focuses on Flynn and the symbology of the Australian $20 note.

The unit is divided into three sections:

The instructions in italics are to be read aloud to students to help them put the activities into context.


The VIEW section is teacher-led with students responding to a visual prompt and then watching a short documentary called John Flynn and the Inlanders.

Click through the sequence to access the discussion points for students before and after they view the documentary.


In EXPLORE, students work in pairs and are allocated an inquiry question.

They visit the online virtual Royal Flying Doctor Service museum to research their question. Once completed, they report back their findings to the class.


In MAKE, students respond to the themes encountered in VIEW and EXPLORE by developing a piece for The Inlander magazine.

Students can use a range of technologies and formats to develop their responses.


Students will cover the following curriculum standards in this unit of work.

Historical Concepts and Skills

Historical sources as evidence
Identify the origin and content features of primary sources when describing the significance of people, places and events (VCHHC067)
Describe perspectives of people from the past (VCHHC068)

Continuity and change
Identify and describe continuity and change over time in the local community, region or state and as a result of the effects of European exploration (VCHHC069)

Historical significance
Describe the significance of Australian celebrations, symbols and emblems (VCHHC071)

Historical Knowledge

Community, remembrance and celebrations

A significant example of change and a significant example of continuity over time in the local community, region or state/territory (VCHHK073)

The role that people of diverse backgrounds have played in the development and character of the local community and/or other societies (VCHHK074)

One significant narrative, myths or celebration from the past (VCHHK075)

Significance of days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia and the importance of symbols and emblems, including Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Harmony Week, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week and National Sorry Day (VCHHK076)