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

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Curriculum content descriptions

Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, migrants, women and children (ACHASSK135)

Elaborations
  • investigating the lack of citizenship rights for Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia, illustrated by controls on movement and residence, the forcible removal of children from their families leading to the Stolen Generations, and poor pay and working conditions
  • describing the significance of the 1962 right to vote federally and the 1967 referendum
  • investigating the stories of individuals or groups who advocated or fought for rights in twentieth-century Australia (for example, Jack Patten or the Aborigines Progressive Association)
  • investigating the experiences of democracy and citizenship of women (for example, the suffragette movement, the bar on married women working, equal pay, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984)
  • investigating the experiences of democracy and citizenship of migrant groups (for example, White Australia Policy, internment camps during World War II, assimilation policies, anti-discrimination legislation, multiculturalism, Reconciliation, mandatory detention, pay and working conditions)
  • investigating the experiences of democracy and citizenship of children who were placed in orphanages, homes and other institutions (for example, their food and shelter, protection, education and contacts with family)
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Aboriginal history,  Legal equality,  Torres Strait Islander history,  Migration,  Democracy,  Women

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.

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Pacific Islander labourers planting sugar cane, Mackay, 1870s

This is a black-and-white photograph showing large groups of poorly dressed indentured Pacific Islanders planting sugar cane on a plantation at Mackay in Queensland. Fourteen or more Pacific Islanders are manually placing sugar-cane cuttings at regular intervals in long furrows. Two mounted white men oversee their work ...

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Pacific Islanders harvesting cane on Bingera Plantation, 1884

This sepia photograph shows around ten Pacific Islander labourers in a sugar-cane field at Bingera Plantation near Bundaberg in Queensland as the cane is being harvested. A well-dressed European man and two young children pose in the cleared foreground, while in the mid-ground stands a fully laden horsedrawn wagon with ...

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The Australian Dream: Racism

This clip highlights Adam Goodes’s belief that the whole community needs to work together to put an end to racism. Through the heartbreaking story of Nicky Winmar and Gilbert McAdam, you'll get an insight into how far we've come in tackling racism, but Adam shows us how far we still have to go. Find out how people used ...

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Pocket Compass, Ep 4: History of Indigenous rights in Australia

You may have heard of the 1967 referendum that granted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders some rights in Australia, but how did Indigenous rights evolve from there? Many, like the Black Power activists, believed the referendum didn't go far enough, especially in relation to land rights, and their causes gained prominence ...

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Counted: A new referendum

Today people are campaigning to hold a referendum that seeks to fully recognise Indigenous people in the Constitution. Why does Marcia Langton believe this is a crucial thing to do? What do you think? What makes Stan Grant Snr angry about the prospect of holding another referendum?

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Benalla Migrant Camp

While many postwar immigrants were sent to Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre when they arrived in Australia, others lived at the smaller Benalla Migrant Camp. Like Bonegilla, Benalla is in north-east Victoria. Unlike at Bonegilla, however, many immigrants remained at Benalla for over a decade. Listen as Sabine ...

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Pacific Islanders arriving at Bundaberg, 1895

The black-and-white photograph shows Pacific Islander men and women arriving in the sugar port of Bundaberg after being recruited to work as indentured labourers on Queensland's sugar plantations. The posed shot shows more than 60 Pacific Islander men, women and boys and one European on the deck of a schooner at the dock. ...

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Former Pacific Island indentured labourers waiting for deportation, 1906

This black-and-white photograph shows Pacific Islanders mustered at the Cairns Court House in Queensland awaiting a medical examination prior to their deportation under the Australian Government's 1901 Pacific Island Labourers Act. The group, including a woman, some children and an Islander holding a bicycle, would probably ...

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Counted: Faith Bandler on voting yes in the 1967 referendum

In 1967, after 10 years of campaigning, Australia voted yes in the referendum on changing the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were referred to in the Constitution. Faith Bandler played an important role in campaigning for the yes vote. Do some research and find out more about this remarkable activist.

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1967 and a new activism

How did the yes vote in 1967 change the way laws were made for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? The struggle for land rights became the focus of the next wave of Aboriginal activists, who gained domestic and world attention by erecting a tent embassy on the lawns of  Parliament House in Canberra. Why was the ...

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Why Australia wanted a White Australia policy

The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901 was designed to limit non-British immigration to Australia. It came to be known as the White Australia policy. In some quarters, people of non-British (and especially non-European) heritage were regarded as being inferior, greedy or unable to fit in with dominant Australian society. ...

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Counted: Australian culture in the 1960s

What was Australia like in the 1960s? Why does reporter Stan Grant say that "change is coming" at this time, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? Choose one of the people mentioned in this video and do some research into their sporting, artistic or political achievements.

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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 ...

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Counted: Marcia Langton on racism

Marcia Langton, a teenager in 1967, reflects on her experiences of racism. What does she say about the language of racism? How have Marcia and Stan Snr experienced racism? And what does Marcia say are its effects? What do you think are the effects of racism?

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Counted: Being an Aboriginal student in the 1960s

Listen to Stan Grant Snr, Marcia Langton and Sol Bellear as they share their school experiences. How would you describe what they experienced? How do their memories make you feel? Why do you think these things happened to them? And what effect do you think their experiences would have had on them?

Online

People power - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work about how popular movements achieved change in Australia. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units and includes studies of the Eight Hour Day campaign from the 1850s, the Equal Pay campaign of the 20th century and the Freedom Ride of 1965. The unit contains four focus questions ...

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Journeys and Connections

This resource displays objects related to stories of migration to Australia. Students locate and research relevant objects in their own community and create a digital story of migration. The resource uses objects from the Australian Journeys exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.

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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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Australian reconciliation barometer

This is an information page providing a summary of the Australian Reconciliation Barometer, a national research study measuring the progress of reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. The page includes links to reports for each biennial study as well as other related resources ...