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The Australian Parliament

This website resource is a teacher reference about the Australian Parliament, its constituent parts and how it works. It describes in general terms the movement towards Federation then looks at the symbols and emblems subsequently adopted by the Commonwealth of Australia. The resource includes a list of the democratic rights ...

Interactive

Making a Nation: a system of representation

This interactive resource allows students to discover the development of Australia from six separate colonies to a federated nation. Students investigate, through a variety of documents, cartoons, maps and photographs, the factors that contributed to Federation, the powers of the federal parliament, what representative ...

Interactive

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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State, territory and Australian parliaments

This website is about the parliaments of the states and territories of Australia, as well as the Australian Parliament. It describes the different origins of the colonies and their movement to self-government during the 19th century, and subsequent federation into one nation in 1901. The resource describes the structures, ...

Online

Stories of the people and rulers - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work for the mid-primary years about who should rule. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units. The unit includes studies of the pharaohs' absolute rule in ancient Egypt and of democracy in ancient Athens, as well as an examination of who rules in Australia and how a nation should ...

Online

Should the people rule? - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work for the lower secondary years about the main types of government, how government functioned in Athens and Sparta in ancient Greece, and how the rule of the people functions in Australia. The unit contains four focus questions that are explored through sequences of learning with student activities ...

Online

Votes for women - unit of work

This is a unit of work about the struggle for female suffrage in Australia. Intended for upper secondary students, the unit is organised around historical research into five questions: When did the struggle begin? What was the political and social background? What obstacles did women face? What were the links between the ...

Online

Electoral events timeline

This is a timeline setting out some major dates in Australia's electoral history. It begins in 1835 with the establishment of Australia's first political 'party', the Australian Patriotic Association, in NSW and ends with the granting of self-government to the ACT in 1989. The timeline is supported by a set of focus questions ...

Online

Voting and belonging - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work about enfranchisement and parliamentary representation. Intended for lower secondary students, the unit focuses on three aspects: the struggle of women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to gain the vote, their continuing under-representation in Australian parliaments, and ...

Online

Democratic struggles - unit of work

This is an extended unit of work about how democratic rights were achieved in Britain and Australia. It comes from the 'Discovering democracy' series of units and is organised around five focus questions explored through sequences of learning that include student worksheets and assessment tasks. Three of the focus questions ...

Online

Women's suffrage

This is a website about the women’s suffrage movement in Victoria in the 19th and 20th century. The resource is presented in three sections: Introductory information; Story Objects; and Story Education Resources. There are 17 Story Objects that tell the stories of how Victorian women won the right to vote, key participants ...

Interactive

Discovering democracy: should the people rule?

Interact with a slideshow of images and text to explore the development of systems of government, from early democracy in Athens (where all 'citizens', a small proportion of the population, could vote), through the oligarchy in Sparta and direct democracy in Switzerland to Australia’s system of representative democracy. ...

Interactive

Discovering democracy: democratic struggles

Interact with a slideshow of images and text to explore the influence of the Chartist movement in Britain on the miners' struggles at the Ballarat goldfields, and the development of democratic ideas in Australia.

Interactive

Discovering democracy: men and women in political life

Interact with a slideshow of images and text to explore some Australian men and women who have influenced the political landscape of Australia, both as elected representatives and as political leaders outside parliament. Complete a related task.

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Suffragette cartoon based in a butcher shop, 1900

This cartoon, captioned 'MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB', features the Queensland premier Robert Philp (1851-1922) as a butcher of the 'Democratic Butchering Co'. As he sharpens his knife a small girl approaches bearing the initials WEFA (Women's Equal Franchise Association) on her coat. She leads a lamb with 'A VOTE FOR WOMEN' ...

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Cartoon about women's suffrage, 1900

This black-and-white cartoon from the 17 November 1900 edition of the Queensland federated unions' newspaper The Worker features a caricature of an older woman leaning over a desk, harassing a cowering man seated on the other side. Demanding her promised vote and wielding an umbrella, the woman probably represents Emma ...

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Joan Kirner discusses affirmative action for ALP women, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former Victorian premier Joan Kirner (1938-) talking about efforts to ensure the election of a higher proportion of female Labor Party politicians in Australia. Kirner explains how, despite the party's adoption of an affirmative action policy for women, a group of Labor women thought ...

Audio

Joan Kirner recalls her time as Victorian premier, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Joan Kirner (1938-) reflecting on being the first female premier of Victoria. She tells how she believed she could be an effective leader despite taking on the position at a time when Victoria was undergoing severe economic difficulties, and without any real role model to follow. Kirner ...

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Portrait of political activist Emma Miller, c1910s

This posed black-and-white portrait photograph of Emma Miller, probably taken in Queensland in the 1910s, shows a thin and elderly woman, fashionably dressed for the time, sitting on a chair in a studio. She is staring straight at the camera with a resolute look on her face. Her dark clothing includes a richly embroidered ...

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Suffragist publication cover, 1900

This black-and-white cartoon cover of the second issue of The Australian Woman’s Sphere, published in October 1900, was part of the campaign for the right of women to vote. It portrays a young woman as scholarly and attractive but without the right to vote, contrasted with eight men presented as unworthy of the vote they ...