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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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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 ...

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 ...

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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.

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 ...

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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 ...

Online

A look at constitutional convention delegates - teacher resource

This is a teaching and learning strategy about two Australian constitutional conventions; the first held in 1891 and the second in 1998. The 1891 National Australasian Convention is examined through a 'mystery photograph' of delegates. The 1998 convention to consider an Australian republic is examined through three research ...

Online

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 ...

Video

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.

Video

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 ...

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 ...

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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? ...

Video

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 ...

Video

Examining Australia's Constitution

In this clip, reporter Stan Grant visits the National Archives of Australia to revisit the moment when Australia became a federation, on 1 January 1901. Stan examines the original Australian Constitution and reads out Section 127. What does it say? To try to understand why Indigenous people were so excluded, Stan considers ...

Online

Journeys to Australia

This unit presents a learning sequence for Year 6 students to develop their historical inquiry skills by investigating the key immigration policies and programs Australia has implemented, identifying a range of reasons for migration, highlighting key events from post Federation to present day.

Video

What is constitutional recognition?

The constitution was written more than a century ago, but Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not mentioned in it at all, despite having lived here for more than 50,000 years. What is constitutional recognition and why is it important? What are some of the perceived barriers to changing the constitution?

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.

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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 ...