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Edmund Barton, prime minister 1901-03

This is a black-and-white photograph of Edmund Barton which introduces a range of online materials about his life and various roles as a politician, advocate for federation and High Court justice. The photograph was taken during his term as Australia's first prime minister. He is wearing a waistcoat and suit and is facing ...

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George Reid, prime minister 1904-05

This is a black-and-white photograph of George Reid, Australia's fourth prime minister, which introduces a range of online material about his life and career. The photograph is an official portrait. It shows him wearing a white shirt with a white tie and vest. He is looking away from the camera.

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Alfred Deakin, prime minister 1903-04, 1905-08, 1909-10

This is a black-and-white photograph of Alfred Deakin, Australia's second prime minister. It shows him wearing a white shirt and tie, with a vest. He is facing the camera and appears to be writing with a feathered quill.

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Chris Watson, prime minister 1904

This is a black-and-white photograph of Chris Watson, Australia's third prime minister. He is bearded, and wearing a white shirt and striped tie with a vest. He is facing the camera.

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BTN: 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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The 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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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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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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Quizzes

Test your students with these quizzes about the Australian Parliament. Topics include the three levels of government, separation of powers and the Australian Constitution.

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Governing Australia - iTunes app

Learn to understand Australia's system of government with this interactive app, using simple conversational language with lots of illustrations, animation, photos and videos. The range of topics covered include: The constitution; Judicial power; Parliament; Executive government; Members of parliament; How laws are passed; ...

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For the good of all - Australian democracy: unit of work

This is a unit of work about constitutions and how they embody a particular view of the common good. Intended for lower and middle secondary students, the unit involves students taking on a particular individual perspective and working in jigsaw groups to draw up a constitution and vote on each of its provisions. The various ...

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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 ...

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Making a Nation: changing the Constitution

This interactive resource looks at the creation of the Australian Constitution and then explores the process used to change it - referendum. Information on several referendums is presented (1910, 1937, 1967, 1984) but, in a case study, students investigate the 1951 anti-communism referendum in more detail. The seven activities ...

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Parliament vs monarch - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work for the upper primary years about how the Westminster system evolved in England. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units. The unit includes studies of the Magna Carta and King John, King Charles I and the struggle with Parliament, the advent of constitutional monarchy with ...

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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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Constitutional recognition of the first Australians

This is a two-page PDF fact sheet that discusses the need to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the Australian Constitution. It explores the processes by which the Constitution was established in 1900, the reference to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the process for changing ...

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An Australian republic? - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work about whether Australia should become a republic and, if so, how the new head of state should be chosen and the powers that person should have. Intended for middle and upper secondary students, the unit is organised around five areas of investigation. These involve: students researching ...

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Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum Year 7 unit of work

This unit of work deals with key concepts relating to Australia's federal Parliament specifically the question 'How is Australia's system of democratic government shaped by the Constitution?' It contains lessons, differentiated activities, assessment items and a marking rubric.

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Year 7: Designing our political and legal system

This collection of resource sheets for students and teachers explores the foundations of Australia's legal system including the Westminster system and the rule of law. They also investigate key features of the Australian system and how it is shaped through the Australian Constitution. The resources are designed to provide ...