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

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

Video

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 ...

Image

Pacific Islander labourers in the Mackay District, late 1800s

This posed black-and-white photograph shows indentured Pacific Islanders by their grass hut homes, probably on a Mackay sugar plantation in Queensland. Some are seated on logs or rough timber benches and one woman can also be seen. They are dressed in Western-style clothes. More huts can be seen on the cleared rise in the ...

Image

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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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 ...

Image

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 ...

Image

Pacific Islander women working in cane fields, c1890

This sepia photograph shows eight indentured Pacific Islander female labourers preparing to hoe weeds in rows of cane at Hambledon Mill, near Cairns in Queensland. The women and girls, some barefoot, stand at the edge of the cane, which is above head height. The foreground is bare soil and a thickly wooded hill rises in ...

Image

Pacific Islander labourers outside slab-hut dwellings, late 1800s

This is a black-and-white photograph showing indentured Pacific Islanders and their families posing by their slab-hut homes, probably on a coastal Queensland sugar plantation. They are wearing Western-style clothes, with the women in long skirts and the men wearing jackets and trousers. The huts appear to have been constructed ...

Image

Pacific Islander labourers clearing land, c1895

This is a black-and-white photograph showing nine Pacific Islander men using picks and axes to clear undergrowth and small trees from a clearing in a thickly vegetated area at Farnborough in central Queensland. The men are bare-chested, hatless and barefoot, with some wearing sarong-like garments. A white man stands in ...

Video

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. ...

Interactive

Discovering democracy: people power

Interact with a slideshow of images and text to explore the struggles for equal rights in Australia. Look in particular at the Eureka Stockade, 1891 Shearers' strike and the Freedom Ride. Complete a related task.

Video

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 ...

Video

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?

Video

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 ...

Video

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 ...

Text

Race, rights & rivalries

This resource explores the history of Broome and the rich multicultural community that supported its pearling industry. The site features a virtual museum providing a range of primary source material including photographs, newspaper extracts, historical documents, video and audio recordings. The site explores the history ...

Text

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

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.

Video

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?

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 ...

Video

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.