Civics and citizenship / Year 7 / Civics and Citizenship Knowledge and Understanding / Government and democracy

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

The key features of government under the Australian Constitution with a focus on: the separation of powers, the roles of the Executive, the Houses of Parliament, and the division of powers (ACHCK048)

Elaborations
  • exploring the concept of the separation of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary and how it seeks to prevent the excessive concentration of power
  • using an issue such as water management, education or health to explore the division of powers between state/territory and federal levels of government and identifying the way that conflicts between state laws and Commonwealth laws are resolved
  • describing the role of the Governor-General, the different roles of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Prime Minister, ministers or the Cabinet and courts
  • identifying the principles of representative and responsible government that underpin the Australian Constitution
  • identifying the composition of the Legislature (the Queen, represented by the Governor-General, and the Senate and the House of Representatives), Executive (the Queen, represented by the Governor-General, Prime Minister and ministers) and Judiciary (the High Court and other federal courts)
  • discussing how ministers are subject to the scrutiny of other members of the parliament led by an officially recognised opposition
General capabilities
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Constitutions,  Separation of powers

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Australian Constitution online

Browse the complete text of the Australian Constitution with this easy-to use website. It includes a detailed overview by the Australian Government Solicitor and a 2:26 min video snapshot about the Constitution and its role in the governance of the Australian nation.

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Three levels of government: governing Australia

In Australia the three levels of government work together to provide us with the services we need. This webpage provides a detailed explanation of the roles and responsibilities of each level, how they raise money and how they work together. Case studies show how the powers of the Australian Parliament have expanded.

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Separation of powers

The principle of the separation of powers distributes the power to govern between the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. This fact sheet examines the role of each group and the related principle of responsible government.

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Ministers and shadow ministers

This fact sheet investigates the work of ministers (members of the Australian Government with special responsibilities) and shadow ministers (members of the opposition who closely examine the work of the government).

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Government

This fact sheet explores the role and functions of the Australian Government, including who is in the government, how it is formed, minority government and the principle of responsible government.

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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 ...

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Cabinet

Cabinet is the top-level decision-making group within the Australian Government. Find out more about who is in Cabinet and how it works with this fact sheet.

Video

Snapshots - the Constitution

This is a video about the Australian Constitution. The video outlines the history, purpose and content of Australia’s Constitution and is supported by links to background information and PDF fact sheets.

Online

Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum Year 7 unit of work

This unit of work deals with key concepts relating to Australia's federal Parliament specifically the question 'How is Australia's system of democratic government shaped by the Constitution?' It contains lessons, differentiated activities, assessment items and a marking rubric.

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Year 7: Designing our political and legal system

This collection of resource sheets for students and teachers explores the foundations of Australia's legal system including the Westminster system and the rule of law. They also investigate key features of the Australian system and how it is shaped through the Australian Constitution. The resources are designed to provide ...

Online

Australian Constitution

This fact sheet summarises the key features of the Australian Constitution— the set of rules by which Australia is run—and how it can be changed.

Interactive

Quizzes

Test your students with these quizzes about the Australian Parliament. Topics include the three levels of government, separation of powers and the Australian Constitution.

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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

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 ...

Interactive

Making a Nation: changing the Constitution

This interactive resource looks at the creation of the Australian Constitution and then explores the process used to change it - referendum. Information on several referendums is presented (1910, 1937, 1967, 1984) but, in a case study, students investigate the 1951 anti-communism referendum in more detail. The seven activities ...