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Civics and citizenship / Year 7 / Civics and Citizenship Knowledge and Understanding / Government and democracy

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

The process for constitutional change through a referendum (ACHCK049)

Elaborations
  • describing the process by which referendums to change the Australian Constitution are initiated and decided
  • exploring examples of attempts to change the Australian Constitution by referendum (for example, the successful vote on the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) 1967 or the unsuccessful vote on the Constitution Alteration (Establishment of Republic) 1999)
  • discussing the advantages and disadvantages of having a Constitution that can only be amended by referendum
General capabilities
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
ScOT terms

Referenda,  Constitutional law

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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 ...

Video

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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What is a double dissolution?

Have you heard of the term 'double dissolution'? Watch this video to find out what it means when an Australian government calls a double dissolution election.

Online

Indigenous Stories about War and Invasion

This is a website about Indigenous experiences of invasion and war during the British invasion, World War I and World War II. The resource is presented in three sections: Introductory information; Story Objects; and Story Education Resources. There are eight story objects that tell the stories of individuals, events and ...

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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 ...

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Ben Chifley: the aftermath of the miners' strike, 2008

This clip is an excerpt from the documentary 'Infamous victory: Ben Chifley's battle for coal', produced in 2008. This documentary about coal, communism and the Australian Labor prime minister who went to war against his own during the national miners' strike is a Screen Australia Making History production, made in association ...

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Talkback Classroom, 2007: Yirrkala bark petition

In this clip Franchesca Cubillo (senior curator at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory) talks to secondary students about the significance of Aboriginal artwork and the Yirrkala bark petition of 1963. She says that when a bauxite mine was proposed on the Gove Pensinsula, the Yolngu people at Yirrkala had ...

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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 ...

Online

Voting in the classroom

This is a learning module that develops practical skills in teaching electoral education as part of the Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. The module includes background information and a step by step guide to running an election. Aligned to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, the module provides one hour ...

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Tasmania's Hare-Clark voting system

Did you know that Tasmania has an entirely different voting system to the rest of Australia? It allows five politicians to be voted into the one seat (division) in state elections. Watch as Andrew Hawkey, the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner explains how that system works, why it came to be and why it's important for Tasmania ...

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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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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.

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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? ...

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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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Passing a bill in parliament

How is a law made by an Australian parliament? This analogy of a battle plan and General Bill demonstrates the process of a political bill passing through the two houses of parliament on its journey to being made law.

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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?

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Closest election in Australia's history

What does it take to become the prime minister of Australia? Find out why, in the August 2010 election, neither one of the two candidates (Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott) was immediately selected as prime minister after all votes were counted. Find out the role independent parliamentarians played in the closest election in ...

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Dismissal of the Whitlam government, 1975

On 11 November 1975, something happened that had never occurred before in Australia and has not happened since. It was the sacking of an elected prime minister, and therefore also his government, by an unelected office-holder, the governor-general, who was appointed by the prime minister. How could such a thing happen? ...

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Before the Referendum: Margaret Valadian speaks up

Imagine being asked to speak on behalf of your culture. Explore and compare some of the attitudes of and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in 1967. In the national referendum of that year, 90 per cent of Australian voters agreed that the affairs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be ...

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Charles Perkins campaigns for Aboriginal rights

Why was 1967 a turning point in the struggle for legal equality and the civil rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? In this clip, we encounter leading Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins as he addresses a range of public meetings held to raise awareness of racial discrimination and to bring about change ...