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History / Year 9 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding

Curriculum content descriptions

Key people, events and ideas in the development of Australian self-government and democracy, including, the role of founders, key features of constitutional development, the importance of British and Western influences in the formation of Australia‚Äôs system of government and women's voting rights (ACDSEH091)

Elaborations
  • explaining the factors that contributed to federation and the development of democracy in Australia, including the role of key individuals, defence concerns, the 1890s depression, nationalist ideals and egalitarianism
  • examining the key features of and British and Western influences on Australias system of government including the Westminster System and Federalism
  • investigating the factors that led to the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which enabled women to vote and stand for election for the federal Parliament
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
ScOT terms

Democracy,  Voting rights,  Self-determination,  Suffragettes,  Federation

Video

The House In Session, Ep 3: 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 ...

Text

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

Discovering democracy: making a nation

Interact with a slideshow of images and text to explore the similarities and differences between the political systems of Australia and the United States of America. Complete a related task.

Interactive

Federation

Federation is the process by which six partly self-governing British colonies decided to form a new nation. Australia was created by peaceful means as an Act of the British Parliament—the result of much consideration and debate. This webpage provides a series of resources examining the path to federation. The page includes ...

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 ...

Text

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.

Audio

Radio National: Sir Henry Parkes's Tenterfield Oration, 1889

What role did Henry Parkes play in the federation of Australia? Listen to a re-enactment of Sir Henry Parkes's famous 1889 speech in Tenterfield, known as the Tenterfield Oration. Note in particular the arguments Parkes used to gain political support.

Online

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 ...

Online

Debates that shaped the nation - teacher resource

This is a teacher resource about the debates at the Federation conventions of the 1890s compared to those at the constitutional conventions of the 1990s. The activities suggested in the resource emphasise the historical inquiry process, beginning with students asking focus questions about the issues discussed at the conventions, ...

Interactive

Making a difference

This resource consists of four case studies which explore stories that illustrate issues of civics and citizenship at local, state, federal government and international levels. Students learn about active citizenship and plan their own, while covering content such as the Freedom Rides, Franklin Dam, Mabo, Wik and human rights.

Video

BTN: The Australian constitution

A constitution is a set of rules that describe how a country should be run. What does the Australian Constitution contain rules about? When was it mostly written?

Video

BTN: History of voting

Australia's first parliamentary election was in 1843. What was different about voting then? When and how did that change to resemble elections we have now? See if you can list the three significant dates in Australia’s history of voting and the changes that occurred on those dates.

Online

Electoral events timeline

This is a timeline setting out some major dates in Australia's electoral history. It begins in 1835 with the establishment of Australia's first political 'party', the Australian Patriotic Association, in NSW and ends with the granting of self-government to the ACT in 1989. The timeline is supported by a set of focus questions ...

Interactive

Making a Nation: a system of representation

This interactive resource allows students to discover the development of Australia from six separate colonies to a federated nation. Students investigate, through a variety of documents, cartoons, maps and photographs, the factors that contributed to Federation, the powers of the federal parliament, what representative ...

Video

BTN: 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 ...

Interactive

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.

Text

Objects through timeline: 50,000 years before present

This is a 26-page fact sheet that provides a comprehensive overview of migration to Australia from the first arrival of humans to 2006. It includes details about the major waves of international and internal migration, key events and policies, and individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to the development ...

Video

Rogue nation, 2009: Democracy and the colony of NSW

This clip is an excerpt from the 2009 documentary 'Honour among thieves', the first of a two-part television series entitled 'Rogue nation'. In a dramatised re-enactment, British Commissioner John Thomas Bigge investigates the colony of NSW in 1819. He is advised by John Macarthur, a member of the 'exclusives' class of ...

Interactive

Laptop wrap – the Stolen Generations

A page with a focus on the experiences of the Stolen Generations with supporting activities and links to resources.

Interactive

Biography: Federation people: James Howe

Find out more about James Howe, the father of the Commonwealth old-age pension. Examine two different types of biographies of Howe: 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.