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Magna Carta - Is it a part of your life today?

This unit of work consists of five classroom activities that introduce students to the Magna Carta, or Great Charter that describes the civil liberties granted by King John of England in 1215. The activities explore the key concepts established in the Magna Carta, including the rule of law and the parliamentary system of ...

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BTN: Why is citizenship important?

What makes an Aussie an Aussie? Is it loving Vegemite, playing cricket or maybe wrestling crocodiles? Find out about Australian citizenship and the ways someone can become a citizen of a country. What rights does citizenship afford you in Australia?

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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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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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Defining moments in Australian History

This extensive web-based resource examines events, people and places of profound significance to the Australian people and their personal, community and national histories. The resource includes a list of 100 'defining moments' identified by historians supported by background information, images, video and links to the ...

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Tour of NSW Government House

This resource is a YouTube playlist containing a series of videos taken as a group of senior high school students are given a guided tour of NSW Government House in 2010. The tour covers primary sources such as architecture, furniture and images significant to the history of Australia and NSW.

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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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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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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 ...

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The House In Session, Ep 2: Secrets of the Parliament House building

Annabel Crabb takes us on a tour of Parliament House in Canberra, explaining why her favourite parts are at the very top and the very bottom of the building. Navigate 10 kilometres of hallways, witness the "best view in Canberra", meet the Queen of the Underground and find out how to change the 12-meter flags. What unexpected ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...

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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.

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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 ...

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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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Government

This fact sheet explores the role and functions of the Australian Government, including who is in the government, how it is formed, minority government and the principle of responsible government.