Humanities and social sciences / Year 6 / Knowledge and Understanding / Civics and citizenship

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Curriculum content descriptions

Where ideas for new laws can come from and how they become law (ACHASSK146)

Elaborations
  • investigating where ideas for new laws come from (for example, from party policy, perhaps announced during an election campaign; from suggestions by members and senators; from interest groups in the community)
  • exploring how bills are debated and scrutinised (for example, the role of parliamentary committees and the ability of citizens to make submissions to these committees)
  • identifying the role of the Executive in relation to the development of policies and the introduction of bills, including the role of Cabinet in approving the drafting of a bill and the role of the public service in drafting and implementing legislation
General capabilities
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Legislation,  Acts of Parliament,  Bills of Parliament

Video

The House In Session, Ep 4: The rules that guide the House of Representatives

Annabel Crabb explains some of the rules that guide the House of Representatives – also known as the Lower House – where Members of Parliament argue about and vote on new laws for Australia. Why would a politician hold paper over his or her head when speaking in the Lower House? What happens when all the clocks in the building ...

Video

The House In Session, Ep 5: Writing amendments in the Senate

The Senate’s job is to "check the work" of the House of Representatives and make sure the laws they’ve made are fair. But what happens when the Senate and the House of Representatives disagree? Annabel Crabb explains the process of writing and approving amendments; the rituals of official business; and how the Lamson tube works.

Video

Making a law

Get an introduction to the law-making process of the Australian Parliament with this short video. It includes all the law-making steps in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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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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Making a law in the Australian Parliament

This fact sheet explains the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. It also describes where ideas for laws come from and the history of law-making in the Parliament.

Online

Make a law: House of Representatives

Discover how bills—proposed laws—are introduced, debated and voted on in the House of Representatives by turning your class into a Parliament and doing it yourself! This lesson plan outlines the steps to run a role play in the classroom and includes a video illustrating the process, teacher notes, class preparation and ...

Online

Make a law: Senate

Discover how bills—proposed laws—are introduced, debated and voted on in the Senate by turning your class into a Parliament and doing it yourself! This lesson plan outlines the steps to run a role play in the classroom and includes a video illustrating the process, teacher notes, class preparation and plans for making the ...

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 ...

Video

Role-play the Parliament: House of Representatives video

This is a video of a law-making role-play in the House of Representatives. This resource supports the year 6 Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. It shows teachers how to turn their classroom into the House of Representatives chamber and how to role-play parts of the law-making process.

Online

Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum Year 6 Unit of Work

This unit of work explores aspects of the Curriculum that deal with key concepts relating to Australia's federal Parliament. The resource is divided into three sections which explore the key institutions of Australia's democratic system of government; the roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government; and ...

Audio

Radio National: Peter Lalor's Bakery Hill speech

What events led to the attack on the Eureka Stockade (Eureka rebellion) on the Ballarat goldfield in 1854? This audio clip examines the famous Bakery Hill speech by activist Peter Lalor. Listen to Dr Anne Beggs-Sunter discuss the effect that the speech had on the assembled miners. Find out why this is considered a key event ...

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 ...

Video

The House In Session, Ep 1: The first day as a Member of Parliament

Parliament House is a lot like a school: bells are going off the whole time, there are lots of difficult subjects to get on top of and you get in trouble if you’re late! Annabel Crabb joins Linda Burney, the first Indigenous woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, who is preparing to give her very first speech ...

Video

Get involved

Explore the ways ordinary Australians can get involved in the work of Parliament with this short video (6:25 min). Find out how you can get informed about the work of the Parliament, the role of petitioning and ways to participate in parliamentary inquiries.

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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 ...

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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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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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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 ...

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Electoral pocketbook: an electoral education resource

The 2016 Electoral Pocketbook is a compact and comprehensive guide to the 2016 federal election, the largest election the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has ever delivered. The Pocketbook serves as a useful electoral education resource for teachers as it contains historical information about Australia’s electoral ...