Alex Wharton is pouring his passion for teaching into a new research project to bring Indigenous perspectives into the classroom.
The Gunnedah teacher has received a $15,000 Reading Australia Fellowship from Copyright Agency to help teachers bring Indigenous literature to life by developing sensitive and accurate learning resources.
Mr Wharton said teachers were "crying out for more resources" so they could confidently teach students Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, instead of a "tick-a-box tokenistic" exercise.
The Carinya Christian School teacher said 2019 was the perfect time to launch his project, as it was the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
"I called [my project] The Missing Peace because for so long our history textbooks have just done approaches to contact and colonisation history from a very an Anglo/European perspective," he said.
"The Missing Peace is this ... play on words in some ways because there's this missing piece of puzzle, which has obviously been the Indigenous voice and perspective.
"It's also peace ... because of the significant amount of hurt and bloodshed and dark history that we have that is only very slowly coming to light, so I really want to be at the forefront of helping teachers to teach Indigenous literature from this time period in particular ... but also do it really sensitively."
Mr Wharton said his own school education had been lacking in Indigenous history and it was important for students to learn it.
"If you're a student sitting in class and you recognise that a perspective is missing, that actually has an incredible legacy and impact on a student's own experience and world view," he said.
"People haven't done [this before] because it's so controversial and sensitive.
"To do it authentically is so important and valuable."
Over 12 months, the teacher will travel Australia to explore national archives and state libraries, conduct interviews, see teachers in action, and work with Aboriginal education consultative groups, writers, publishers and communities to inform his project.
"It is a lot of work, [but] I see it as a passion," he said.
The NVI will check in with Mr Wharton again soon to find out how Gunnedah will play a part in the project.