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Curriculum Connections

Survival in their own land

Links between studies of human rights issues for Indigenous Australians and the History and Civics and Citizenship AusVELS Domains are listed below. Information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures cross-curriculum priorities in relation to History are also included on this page.

History AusVELS Level 9 (Grade 9)

Depth Studies: Making a Better World?

Students investigate how life changed in the period in depth through the study of ONE of these major developments: the Industrial Revolution or Movement of peoples or Progressive ideas and movements. The study includes the causes and effects of the development, and the Australian experience.

Movement of peoples (1750 – 1901)

  • Changes in the way of life of a group(s) of people who moved to Australia in this period, such as free settlers on the frontier in Australia (ACDSEH084)
  • The short and long-term impacts of the movement of peoples during this period (ACDSEH085)

Depth studies: Australia and Asia

Students investigate the history of Australia OR an Asian society in the period 1750 – 1918 in depth.

Making a nation

  • The extension of settlement, including the effects of contact (intended and unintended) between European settlers in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (ACDSEH020)
  • The experiences of non-Europeans in Australia prior to the 1900s (such as the Japanese, Chinese, South Sea Islanders, Afghans) (ACDSEH089)
  • Living and working conditions in Australia around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900) (ACDSEH090)

History AusVELS Level 10 (Grade 10)

Students investigate struggles for human rights in depth. This will include how rights and freedoms have been ignored, demanded or achieved in Australia and in the broader world context.

  • Background to the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for rights and freedoms before 1965, including the 1938 Day of Mourning and the Stolen Generations (ACDSEH104)
  • The continuing nature of efforts to secure civil rights and freedoms in Australia and throughout the world, such as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) (ACDSEH143)

Civics and Citizenship AusVELS Levels 9 an 10 (Grades 9 and 10)

Learning Focus

  • Students investigate the nature and history of the concept of human rights. They become aware of national and international legislation designed to protect those rights. They explore human rights issues at the national and international level, including an investigation of the human rights of ATSI communities and other groups within Australia.
  • Students explore Australia’s multicultural society. They learn about the past and present policies of government in relation to ATSI people and immigration, and the values and beliefs which support a harmonious multicultural society. They explore the concept of Australian identity and the contributions of various cultural groups.


Civic Knowledge and Understanding

  • They explain the development of a multicultural society and the values necessary to sustain it.
  • They analyse how well democratic values are reflected in aspects of the Australian political system.

Community Engagement

  • Students draw on a range of resources, including the mass media to articulate and defend their own opinions about political, social and environmental issues in national and global contexts.
  • They contest, where appropriate, the opinions of others.
  • They develop an action plan which demonstrates their knowledge of a social or environmental issue and suggest strategies to raise community awareness of it.
  • They participate in a range of citizenship activities including those with a national or global perspective, at school and in the local community. (Civics and Citizenship)

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Cross-curriculum priorities – History

There are three cross curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability.

The cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in the curriculum and will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to each of the learning areas.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are strong, rich and diverse. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identity is central to this priority and is intrinsically linked to living, learning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, deep knowledge traditions and holistic world view.

A conceptual framework based on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ unique sense of Identity has been developed as a structural tool for the embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures within the Australian curriculum. This sense of Identity is approached through the interconnected aspects of Country/Place, People and Culture. Embracing these elements enhances all areas of the curriculum.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priority provides opportunities for all learners to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. This knowledge and understanding will enrich their ability to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.

The Australian Curriculum: history values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. It celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories as part of the shared history belonging to all Australians.

Students will examine historical perspectives from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewpoint. They will learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples prior to colonisation by the British, the ensuing contact and its impacts. They will examine key policies and political movements over the last two centuries. Students will develop an awareness of the significant roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in Australian society. (Cross-curriculum priorities -History)

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