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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

Teacher resource

Federation

This unit of work focuses on the topic of Federation in the year 6 History curriculum. As well as an overview of the topic, the resource provides teachers with a series of learning sequences to guide students through the topic, and provides numerous images, links to sources and PDF worksheets throughout. Activities support ...

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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 ...

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Federation

Did you know that Australia as a federated nation is only about 115 years old? Before federation, Australia's states and territories each had its own laws and even its own army! Watch this clip to find out how, why and when Australia became a federation.

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Discovering democracy: Federation timeline

Use a timeline to find information about significant events and ideas in the establishment of a federated Australia. Nominate specific years or scroll from 1788 to 1901 to see what steps were key in determining the nature of government in Australia.

Teacher resource

Magna Carta: The story of our freedom

This is a resource about the Magna Carta (Great Charter) agreed between King John and his rebellious barons in 1215 and its influence on the development of human rights and democratic freedoms to the present day. The resource consists of: an animated infographic ‘Tell the story’ with hyperlinks to further information; an ...

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Federation explained

On 1 January 1901 New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria officially joined together to make one country: the Commonwealth of Australia. Before this, they had each been separate British colonies and operated like individual countries. Watch this clip and find out why the colonies ...

Teacher resource

Making a nation - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work about how people decide to form a federation, how a federated nation works, how federations can break apart and whether Australia should become a republic. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units and contains several case studies from Australian and United States history ...

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Life on the land

This is a resource about life on the land in Australia in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. It includes details about land grants allocation, the establishment of Australia's first farms, the condition of the land, the processes used to farm the land, and case studies about the early farming families in Australia. The ...

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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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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? ...

Interactive Resource

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 ...

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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.

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NSW Governor Marie Bashir – 2010 speech to students

This resource is a YouTube playlist containing a series of videos from a speech the NSW Governor Marie Bashir gave to senior high school students at Government House in 2010. She speaks on a range of topics, including the Australian system of government, the history of Australia and NSW, and her life. She also answers student ...

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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 resource

Discovering democracy: democracy timeline

Use a timeline to find information about significant events and ideas in the development and evolution of democracy in the world, focusing on Australia. Nominate specific years or scroll from the latest date back to 0 (where events dated BC are listed).

Interactive resource

Biography: Federation people: Edmund Barton

Find out more about Edmund Barton, Australia's first prime minister and drafter of the constitution. Examine two different types of biographies of Barton: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects in the 'Biography: ...

Interactive resource

Discovering democracy: Australia celebrates Federation

Use a map of Australia to find out what was happening and how people around the nation celebrated Federation on 1 January 1901. View images of the town and read accounts of the celebrations as Australia officially became one nation. Write an account for a newspaper comparing and contrasting the nature of the celebrations.

Interactive resource

Biography: Federation people: Alfred Deakin

Find out more about Alfred Deakin, the second prime minister of Australia and Federation leader. Examine two different types of biographies of Deakin: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects in the 'Biography: ...

Interactive resource

Biography: Federation people: Henry Parkes

Find out why Sir Henry Parkes is called 'the Father of Federation'. Examine two different types of biographies of Parkes: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects in the 'Biography: Federation people' series.

Teacher resource

Federation fast facts

This is a teacher resource that provides a summary of the events leading to Federation, the arguments for and against Federation, and a discussion of the issue of trade as a barrier to Federation. The resource includes a link to a Federation timeline and to other resources about Federation.

Collection

Factors contributing to federation

This is a collection of 24 digital curriculum resources focusing on the factors that contributed to Australia's federation. The resources are grouped into six categories - overview; defence concerns; nationalism; immigration; economic issues; and the effects of intercolonial rivalries. The collection includes artworks, ...

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Australian History Timeline

This is a multilayered website featuring an interactive historical timeline of Australia divided into decades post 1770s, as well as a section on pre 1770s Indigenous and non-Indigenous history. The home page is made of images and timeline dates that hyperlink to further information on each decade. Each decade has links ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Patrick Brennan: the legend of Ned Kelly

Play the role of a reporter in 1881. Produce a feature article for a newspaper about the life of Ned Kelly. Review a brief history. Interview his friends and enemies. Gather evidence of social and political influences that affected Ned Kelly’s life. Compile an article that explores the myth and decide whether Ned Kelly ...

Teacher resource

Ned Kelly

This is a website about Ned Kelly. It explores: his early life, family, the Kelly gang, his armour, his time as a bushranger, the siege at Glenrowan, his capture and the day before he was hung. The resource is presented in three sections: Introductory information; Story Objects; and Story Education Resources. There are ...