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Humanities and social sciences / Year 6 / Knowledge and Understanding / History

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Key figures, events and ideas that led to Australia’s Federation and Constitution (ACHASSK134)

Elaborations
  • studying Australia’s path to Federation through an examination of key people (for example, Henry Parkes, Edmund Barton, George Reid, John Quick) and events (for example, the Tenterfield Oration, the Corowa Conference, the referendums held in the colonies between 1898 and 1900)
  • comparing the model of Australian federalism with the original model of the United States of America to identify the US influence on Australia’s system of government
  • identifying key elements of Australia’s system of law and government and their origins (for example, the Magna Carta; federalism; constitutional monarchy; the Westminster system and the separation of powers – legislature, executive, judiciary; the houses of parliament; how laws are made)
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
ScOT terms

Significant people,  Federation,  Constitutions

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Australian Constitution in focus

The Australian Constitution is the legal framework for how Australia is governed. This article explores in detail the history of the Constitution, its key features and the High Court’s role in interpreting it. The page describes processes for amending the Constitution including through referendum as well as two case studies ...

Interactive

Federal Parliament history timeline

This interactive timeline explores key milestones in the history of Australia's Parliament that led to federation and how the work of Parliament has influenced Australian democratic development since 1901. The timeline allows users to explore the milestones chronologically or follow thematic trails. Selected milestones ...

Video

Tour of NSW Government House

This resource is a YouTube playlist containing a series of videos taken as a group of senior high school students are given a guided tour of NSW Government House in 2010. The tour covers primary sources such as architecture, furniture and images significant to the history of Australia and NSW.

Video

Explaining Magna Carta

Not sure what the Magna Carta is? This video will turn you into an expert in no time! Join Zoe as she explains the story behind the writing of this historic document. After watching the video, make a list of all the clauses you can remember. Which ones are similar to the laws that govern us today? And which ones are different? ...

Video

The Westminster system and borrowed traditions

Annabel Crabb explains the interesting traditions that the Parliament of Australia has borrowed from the parliament of Westminster in the United Kingdom. Who is Black Rod, and what is a serjeant-at-arms? What is the Mace, and why is a hood placed over it when entering the presence of the Governor-General? And why would ...

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Defining moments in Australian History

This extensive web-based resource examines events, people and places of profound significance to the Australian people and their personal, community and national histories. The resource includes a list of 100 'defining moments' identified by historians supported by background information, images, video and links to the ...

Video

Experience colonial Australia with Tom Keneally

Thomas Keneally likes to put himself in the shoes of figures from history, whether it's as a member of the SS or an Indigenous man treated unjustly, and ask ‘What would I have done?' In this interview he discusses why he was drawn to the Jimmie Governor story and the significance of the looming Federation of Australia.

Audio

William Cuffay: Chartist, son of a freed slave

Who was William Cuffay? This extract from a radio program 'The Isle of Denial: William Cuffay in Van Diemen's Land' introduces us to Cuffay, the son of a freed Caribbean slave and one of the biggest names in Britain's and Australia's movements for civil rights. It explains that, despite his fame and notoriety in the middle ...

Video

What is a referendum?

Watch this video to find out how Australia became a Federation. What happened in 1897?  What things stayed the same, and what things changed when Australia became a Federation? What is a referendum? There have been many others held in Australia since this early one. Do some research and find out what other issues Australians ...

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Voting in Australia

The representatives elected to federal Parliament make decisions that affect many aspects of Australian life including tax, marriage, the environment, trade and immigration. This 28 page PDF document explains the history of Australia’s electoral system and how it works, Australia’s system of government and the role citizens ...

Online

Significant Individuals - Governor Macquarie

In this sequence of two learning activities, explore the life of Governor Macquarie as a significant person in history. Students examine events, people, politics economics, social structures and settlement patterns of the colonial period. Video content and links to the State Library of NSW's artefacts are used to support ...

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Queen's Arch constructed for Federation celebrations in Melbourne 1901

This is a glass plate negative stereoscope of the Queen's Arch, one of several decorative arches erected in Melbourne for the Federation celebrations in May 1901. It was on the crest of the hill spanning the intersection of Collins and Russell streets.

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'Home Sweet Home' panel from the Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by artist Murray Walker. In the centre on a sky-blue background is a Federation house. The sky can be seen through the windows and it appears to be hollow. Underneath it are the words 'Home [illegible] Home'. Above the house is the sun in a blue sky. The left and right top sections have ...

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'Celebrations 2001' panel from the Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by Sydney artist Martin Sharp. The background colour is blue, with gold borders on the top and bottom, and small gold panels enclosing red text. In the centre is a large red map of Australia with the word 'Eternity' in handwriting inside. Written across the panel is the complete quotation: ...

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'Alone in the bush' panel from Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel titled 'Alone in the bush', which was designed by Sydney artist and musician Reg Mombassa and woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop for Australia's Centenary of Federation in 2001. It depicts a lonely, prophet-like shepherd seated in front of a contemporary suburban bungalow, reading the Bible ...

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Australia's Commonwealth 1899 badge, 1899

This is a sterling silver and enamel badge minted by Stokes and Sons of Melbourne. The badge is shaped as a six-pointed star, representing the six colonies which would join to become a federation. Within the star is a blue circle with silver lettering: 'AUSTRALIA'S COMMONWEALTH / 1899'. Inside the circle is a silver map ...

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'We all live in Australia' panel from Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by Murray Walker using images created by Aboriginal schoolchildren from Echuca in Victoria, Cape Barren Island in Tasmania and Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory. The background is two blue panels on left and right with a larger black panel in the centre. Colourful childlike representations ...

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'Federation celebrations Melbourne 1901' panel from Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel titled 'Federation celebrations Melbourne 1901', designed by cartoonist Bruce Petty and woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop for Australia's Centenary of Federation in 2001. In a largely black-and-white panel, Petty depicts the 1901 Federation celebrations in Melbourne, portraying the Chinese ...

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'Cavalcade' panel from Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel titled 'Cavalcade', designed by artist Murray Walker and woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop for Australia's Centenary of Federation in 2001. The panel presents a historical procession that begins before the arrival of Europeans, and takes the viewer through various voyages of discovery, initial ...

Online

Royal Australian Mint: units of work

This suite of teaching and learning units of work related to Australian currencies for middle and upper primary students. The units explore the role coins play in commemoration and the history of Australian currency from colonial times to post Federation. Lessons are supplemented with a range of cross-curriculum lesson ideas.