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Aunty and nephew stand near a collapsed logging bridge in Papua New Guinea

Banking on Shaky Ground

After more than 2 decades Oxfam’s school program has closed.
Our commitment to tackling poverty and empowering communities continues.
The resources on these pages will no longer be updated.
– September 2019.

What responsibilities do Australian banks have when making investment decisions overseas? How can big business operations leave local communities in developing countries homeless and hungry? And how can Australian consumers and young people influence their decisions?

Oxfam Australia’s Banking on Shaky Ground education resource is a free, resource for Australian high school students at Years 9 and 10, studying humanities, business, economics, commerce and civics and citizenship.

Available for download below, the resource includes:

  • An eBooklet with introductory reading and case studies
  • 10 suggested activities for students, which teachers can either use as an inquiry sequence or pick and choose the individual activities that support their teaching
  • Computer and tablet-friendly student activity worksheets
  • Curriculum mapping to key knowledge and skills for various state-based subjects and the Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business

The resource will help students understand the links between Australian banks, global development, and the practice of land grabs.

Using real-life case studies based on Oxfam’s Banking on Shaky Ground report (2014), students learn about supply chains, responsible investing, and the impact Australia’s banks can have on lives overseas. Students also learn about the active role consumers, including young people, can have in advocating for ethical business practices and holding institutions to account.

Banking on Shaky Ground will assist students to explore, reflect and respond to stories, case studies, videos, data and statistics, and can be used in traditional or ‘flipped’ classroom models.

The resource’s suggested learning activities will enhance students’ learning and understanding through activities that support them to become informed and active global citizens, ranging from the analytical and critical, to fun and practical projects.

Download the resources for Year 9 and 10 students:

eBooklet – Introduction and case studies

Reading for students ahead of student activities, introducing them to the issues and Oxfam’s report, including real-life case studies. Download the ebooklet.


Student activity worksheets

10 suggested activities for your students, for use in the classroom and beyond. Download the activity worksheets.


Downloadable activity

Printable A3 posters and badges for Activity 10: stage your own fake land grab.

Teacher notes

View where and how our Banking on Shaky Ground resource links to the below curricula. Download the Teacher’s Notes.


  • Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business – Yr 9
  • Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business – Yr 10
  • New South Wales: Commerce
  • Northern Territory: Studies of Society and Environment – Bands 4 & 5
  • South Australia: Society and environment – Standard 5
  • Queensland: Business – Year 10
  • Victoria: AusVELS Humanities-Economics – Yr 9-10
  • Victoria: AusVELS Humanities-Civics and Citizenship – Yr 9-10

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