Discovering Democracy Units
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Key Terms - Units Search

Middle Primary
Stories of the People and Rulers | Rules and Laws | We Remember | Joining In
Upper Primary
Parliament versus Monarch | The Law Rules | The People Make a Nation | People Power
Lower Secondary
Should the People Rule? | Law | Democratic Struggles | Men and Women in Political Life
Middle Secondary
Parties Control Parliament | Human Rights | A Democracy Destroyed | Making a Nation | What Sort of Nation? | Getting Things Done

Middle Primary - Stories of the People and Rulers
absolute monarchy A system of government in which a monarch (a king, queen or emperor) holds total power, and can make laws without having to consult a parliament or the people.
Athenian citizen A citizen of the ancient Greek city-state of Athens.
citizen A member of a city, state or nation who enjoys its rights and protection, and of whom loyalty is expected.
direct democracy A system of government in which citizens participate in making decisions, often by voting in referendums or in public assemblies.
election The choosing of a person or a government by voting.
freedom Personal or civil liberty.
government The system by which the affairs of a state or nation are administered. It also refers to the ruling party in a state or nation, which has been elected or appointed to be in charge of its administration.
law A set of rules, especially those made by a parliament or ruler, recognised by a community as binding.
member
1. A person elected to the House of Representatives or to a State parliament.
2. A person who belongs to or has joined an organisation.
Member of Parliament A member of a House of Parliament, usually used to describe a member of a lower house and, in Australia, referring to a Member of the House of Representatives, who have 'MP' shown after their names.
monarch A sole ruler of a country who usually inherits the position, such as a king or queen.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
pharaoh Title of a ruler of ancient Egypt; an Egyptian king or queen.
representative A person who acts on behalf of others; person elected to a law-making body.
representative democracy A system of government in which electors choose representatives to make decisions for them.
rights A series of claims which are recognised as just and fair by society. They can include legal rights, political rights, social rights and human rights.
ruler A person who rules or governs. Often used to describe an absolute monarch or a dictator.
subject Someone who lives under the rule of a monarch.
vote
1. A formal expression of a choice, such as putting one's hand up or marking a piece of paper.
2. The total number of votes.
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Middle Primary - Rules and Laws
consequence The result or effect of an action.
democracy Government by the people, either by them directly, or through elected representatives. Also a form of society which favours equal rights, freedom of speech, a fair trial and tolerates the views of minorities.
discrimination Unfair treatment or laws against particular individuals or groups in society.
equality Treating people fairly.
fair Unbiased; equal treatment.
government The system by which the affairs of a state or a nation are administered. It also refers to the ruling party in a state or nation, which has been elected or appointed to be in charge of its administration.
law A set of rules, especially those made by a parliament or ruler, recognised by a community as binding.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
public
1. Open or known to all people.
2. The people as a whole, the people of a community, state or nation.
3. Concerning the public.
responsibilities A range of obligations for which a person or people must be able to account. For example, a treasurer is responsible for how money is spent or saved, and must be able to give an account of how this has been done.
rights A series of claims which are recognised as just and fair by society. They can include legal rights, political rights, social rights and human rights.
rules Regulations governing conduct or behaviour.
society Individuals living as members of a community, including the members of a nation. Can also mean a group of people who come together to achieve a particular goal, such as the Wilderness Society, or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
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Middle Primary - We Remember
anniversary Remembrance of an event on the date it happened.
anthem A song of praise, often about a particular country, when it is called a national anthem.
Australia Day A celebration of the Australian nation on the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.
backbench
1. Those Members of Parliament who are not ministers or shadow ministers; also known as private Senators or Members.
2. The seats where such Members sit.
Cabinet The group of senior ministers in a government who decide government policy.
celebration An event held to mark an important occasion.
chamber
1. The meeting room of a house of parliament.
2. A law-making body.
coat of arms A set of symbols which represent a family, city, locality, state or nation. These were originally worn over armour and are usually in a shield shape.
commemoration The act of remembering an event associated with the life of a person, place or nation. For example, on ANZAC Day each year, Australians commemorate the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, to remember those who have given their lives in wars.
consequence The result or effect of an action.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
crossbench One of a set of seats for Members of Parliament who belong to neither the government nor the opposition parties; seats for minor parties and independents.
department A group of public servants organised to administer a particular area of government activity, under the control of a minister.
emblem An object or picture which represents an event, a group or a cause, often in the form of a badge or shield.
ensign A flag or a banner of a nation.
flag Piece of cloth, often of various colours or decorated with emblems, which represents a country or a social group. All countries have flags as one of the symbols of their nation.
front bench
1. Those members of parliament who are ministers or shadow ministers.
2. The seats where such members sit.
governor-general The representative of the Queen at the federal level in the Commonwealth of Australia.
Hansard The full reports of the speeches of Members of Parliament; the printed record of the debates in parliament.
House of Representatives In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament elected by the people, organised in electorates with approximately equal numbers of voters. It is called the lower house, and represents the people of the nation.
lower house A house of a two-chamber parliament, usually having more members than the upper house, and whose members usually represent electorates with similar numbers of voters; the 'popular' or national house to which the government is responsible.
mace Once a weapon of war shaped like a club, and the symbol of royal authority, but now the symbol of authority of a lower House of Parliament and its Speaker. The mace is carried by the Serjeant-at-Arms.
Magna Carta Charter of liberty obtained from King John in 1215.
memorial Object, structure, lecture or scholarship erected or founded to remember a certain person or a group of people or to commemorate an event. There are memorials also to animals, for example, the memorial to Simpson and his donkey outside the Australian War Memorial.
minister A Member of Parliament who is a member of the executive government, and who is usually in charge of a government department.
nation A group of people who think of themselves as a community which has or thinks it should have its own government. (They may speak the same language or have the same culture.)
National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Originally celebrated on 26 January 1938 as the 'Day of Mourning' to protest at the European occupation of Aboriginal territory in Australia. The celebration now extends over the first week in July every year and is known as NAIDOC Week. Many events are held to mark the participation of Aboriginal people in Australian life.
opposition The second largest political party or coalition of parties after the government party in a lower House of Parliament which works to oppose what it believes to be wrong in government policies or actions, and which stands ready to form a government should the voters so decide at the next election.
Parliament House The building where the two Houses of Parliament meet.
parliamentarian An elected member of either a State or the Commonwealth Parliament, in either the upper or lower house. In Australia, may be a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate in the Commonwealth Parliament.
pledge A solemn promise to do a particular thing. Also means security for something.
politician A person who is active in politics, who might hold a political office into which he or she has been voted in an election.
President of the Senate The Senator who is elected by the Senate as its presiding officer.
President's chair The high-backed seat on which the President of the Senate sits. The chair is made of Canadian maple and was given to the Senate by the Government of Canada in 1927.
press gallery
1. A gallery in a House of Parliament reserved for the press.
2. The area in a House of Parliament set aside for accommodation for reporters from newspapers, radio and television (the media).
prime minister The head of the national government, the chief minister in some countries, including Australia.
public gallery An area in a House of Parliament set aside for the public.
public holiday A day set aside from work by order of the government. Some public holidays may be the same across Australia, for example, Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Christmas and Easter. Individual States and Territories also have their own public holidays, for example, Melbourne Cup Day and Show Day in Victoria, Canberra Day in the Australian Capital Territory.
public servant A member of the public service; a person employed by the government in a department of state.
Senate In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament which represents the states in the federation. Each state, no matter how big or small it is, has the same number of Senate seats.
Senator A member of the Australian Senate.
shadow minister A member of the shadow ministry. Shadow ministers 'shadow', or follow closely, the areas of responsibility of ministers in the government.
Speaker's chair The high-backed seat with a canopy, used by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The chair is an exact copy of the original House of Commons Speaker's chair in the United Kingdom, and was given to the House by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1926.
state
1. The system by which a people in a particular territory are governed.
2. Any of the regions, each more or less independent in internal affairs, which together make up a federal union, such as any of the States of Australia.
States' house A term often used to describe the Senate, meaning the elected House of Parliament set up to maintain and protect the interests of the states.
symbol Something which represents an idea which is otherwise difficult to picture; for example, the Coat of Arms represents the Australian nation.
territory
1. In the federal system of government, an area which has not been given the full rights of a State, for example, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.
2. The land and waters under the control of a state or ruler.
3. Any region or area of land.
tradition A belief, custom or practice which is handed down from one generation to another.
upper house The second house in a two-chamber parliament. It has fewer members than the lower house and they are usually elected for longer terms and from larger electorates. It checks and reviews legislation coming from the lower house and is known as the house of review.
Usher of the Black Rod An officer of the Department of the Senate in Australia (named after the black rod he or she carries) who has special duties on ceremonial occasions such as the opening of parliament, and who assists in keeping order in Parliament House.
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Middle Primary - Joining In
agenda A list of tasks to be done or items to be discussed at a meeting.
ballot paper A ticket or paper which lists the names of the people (candidates) who are seeking a place in parliament, and on which the voter marks his or her choice or choices.
campaign A competition for votes by people who are seeking election to parliament.
citizen A member of a city, state or nation who enjoys its rights and protection, and of whom loyalty is expected.
commonwealth
1. An old word meaning the common good or general welfare which was used as the name for the Australian Federation in 1901.
2. A group of countries or peoples united by a common interest, in particular the Commonwealth of Nations which used to make up the British Empire.
community A social group associated with a particular place, activity, or cultural heritage.
consensus Agreement by all members of a group.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
law A set of rules, especially those made by a parliament or ruler, recognised by a community as binding.
legislative power The power to make and change laws; one of the three powers under the Constitution, the others being the judicial power and the executive power.
lobby A group of people trying to get support for a particular cause; originally those who used to wait in the entrance hall (lobby) or corridors of parliament to see ministers and members.
local government
1. The management of the affairs of a shire, municipality or town, by people who are usually elected by the residents of that area.
2. The people who make up such a management group, usually called a council.
mayor
1. The head of the corporation of a city or borough.
2. Head of a district council with the status of a borough.
member
1. A person elected to the House of Representatives or to a State parliament.
2. A person who belongs to or has joined an organisation.
minutes A written record of a meeting.
organisation People who work together on a task.
participation Joining in, or sharing in an activity.
petition A document presented to a House of Parliament by a person or group of people asking for action on a matter; a formal request, especially to a person or a group in power.
project A plan or an undertaking.
responsibilities A range of obligations for which a person or people must be able to account. For example, a treasurer is responsible for how money is spent or saved, and must be able to give an account of how this has been done.
rights A series of claims which are recognised as just and fair by society. They can include legal rights, political rights, social rights and human rights.
state
1. The system by which a people in a particular territory are governed.
2. Any of the regions, each more or less independent in internal affairs, which together make up a federal union, such as any of the States of Australia.
strategy A plan to achieve a goal by good management. Also means planning and directing military operations.
territory
1. In the federal system of government, an area which has not been given the full rights of a State, for example the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.
2. The land and waters under the control of a state or ruler.
3. Any region or area of land.
volunteer A person who gives their services free of charge, often to help others. Also means a person who offers to do something before being asked to do it.
vote
1. A formal expression of a choice, such as putting one's hand up or marking a piece of paper.
2. The total number of votes.
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Upper Primary - Parliament versus Monarch
Act of Parliament A law made by parliament; a Bill which has passed all three readings in each house and has received the royal assent.
Bill A proposal for a law which has been presented to parliament.
Cavaliers Supporters of King Charles I in his struggle against Parliament in the Civil War. Also known as Royalists, their name means 'mounted soldier', based on the French word for 'horse'.
charter A formal statement of legal or political rights, such as the English Magna Carta (the Great Charter of 1215), or a demand that those rights be given (the British People's Charter of the 1830s and 1840s). Also means a contract or permission to carry out certain activities.
citizenship rights The rights that are enjoyed by a citizen, such as the right to vote and to live permanently in a particular country.
civil war A war in which different groups within a particular country fight one another; for example, the war between the forces of King Charles I and Parliament in Britain in the 1640s, or the North and South of the United States in the 1860s.
commonwealth
1. An old word meaning the common good or general welfare which was used as the name for the Australian Federation in 1901.
2. A group of countries or peoples united by a common interest, in particular the Commonwealth of Nations which used to make up the British Empire.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
democracy Government by the people, either by them directly, or through elected representatives. Also a form of society which favours equal rights, freedom of speech, a fair trial and tolerates the views of minorities.
divine right Claim by monarchs such as James I and Charles I that they ruled as God's earthly representatives.
election The choosing of a person or a government by voting.
government The system by which the affairs of a state or nation are administered. It also refers to the ruling party in a state or nation, which has been elected or appointed to be in charge of its administration.
governor-general The representative of the Queen at the federal level in the Commonwealth of Australia.
Grand Remonstrance A list of grievances against King Charles I's rule, drawn up and voted on by Parliament, and presented to the King.
House of Commons The lower House of Parliament in the United Kingdom and Canada.
House of Lords The upper House of Parliament in the United Kingdom.
House of Representatives In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament elected by the people, organised in electorates with approximately equal numbers of voters. It is called the lower house, and represents the people of the nation.
law A set of rules, especially those made by a parliament or ruler, recognised by a community as binding.
lower house A house of a two-chamber parliament, usually having more members than the upper house, and whose members usually represent electorates with similar numbers of voters; the 'popular' or national house to which the government is responsible.
Member of Parliament A member of a House of Parliament, usually used to describe a member of a lower house and, in Australia, referring to a Member of the House of Representatives, who have 'MP' shown after their names.
military rule A situation in which a military officer or officers form the government.
minister A Member of Parliament who is a member of the executive government, and who is usually in charge of a government department.
monarch A sole ruler of a country who usually inherits the position, such as a king or queen.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
Petition of Right In 1628, the British Parliament passed a Petition of Right in protest against actions of King Charles I. The petition said there should be no taxes without Parliament's consent, no imprisonment without cause, no quartering of soldiers on subjects (making people have soldiers to stay in their homes), and no martial law in peacetime.
political party A group of people with similar ideas or aims, some of whose members stand at elections in the hope that they will form or influence the government.
politician A person who is active in politics, who might hold a political office into which he or she has been voted in an election.
prime minister The head of the national government, the chief minister in some countries, including Australia.
representative A person who acts on behalf of others; person elected to a law-making body.
Roundheads A nickname for the military forces of Parliament during the English Civil War. These soldiers were called this because their hair was cut short, unlike the long curling hair of their opponents, the Royalist forces or Cavaliers.
Senate In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament which represents the states in the federation. Each state, no matter how big or small it is, has the same number of Senate seats.
upper house The second house in a two-chamber parliament. It has fewer members than the lower house and they are usually elected for longer terms and from larger electorates. It checks and reviews legislation coming from the lower house and is known as the house of review.
vote
1. A formal expression of a choice, such as putting one's hand up or marking a piece of paper.
2. The total number of votes.
Westminster system A system of government originating in Britain, the main features of which are: a head of state who is not the head of government and an executive which is drawn from and which is directly responsible to the parliament (the parliament is supreme).
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Upper Primary - The Law Rules
bias A prejudice or an unfair view.
convict A person who has been found guilty of a serious crime, especially those sent as punishment from Britain to Australia.
court A body set up to administer justice, to find the guilt or innocence of someone accused of a crime, or to ensure that people's legal rights are protected. Also means the people who surround a monarch.
criminal A person who has committed a crime against people or property, severe enough to be punished by law.
criminal record The record of a person's crimes and punishments.
emancipist In the early years of the colony of New South Wales, a person whose sentence of imprisonment had ended, and who had rejoined society.
equality Treating people fairly.
ex-convict A person sent to Australia for punishment who had served their sentence.
free settler In the early days of the colony of New South Wales, a person who came voluntarily to settle; not a transported convict.
governor The representative of the Queen in Australia in a State of the Commonwealth of Australia.
independence Freedom from the influence of others.
judiciary
1. The branch of government concerned with the administration of justice; the system of courts and judges.
2. All of the judges.
jury A group of citizens selected from the community to sit in court to hear the evidence for and against a person accused of a crime, and deliver a verdict as to his or her guilt or innocence.
law A set of rules, especially those made by a parliament or ruler, recognised by a community as binding.
lawyer A person who conducts cases in a court of law, or who gives advice on legal matters, usually for a fee.
legal rights The rights of all individuals in a society as described in its laws.
military governor Ruler of the colonies in their early years. He could be a naval officer, such as Governor Arthur Phillip, or an army officer, such as Governor Lachlan Macquarie.
one-person rule A country or state in which all power rests with one person.
penal colony A colony founded for the purpose of taking convicted criminals away from their homeland to an isolated place for a term of imprisonment. British penal colonies were located in North America, then in Australia. France had penal colonies in the Pacific.
representative democracy A system of government in which electors choose representatives to make decisions for them.
trial An examination of a person in a court of law to determine their guilt or innocence.
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Upper Primary - The People Make a Nation
attendant A member of the parliamentary staff who assists the Members in a chamber when parliament is sitting.
backbench
1. Those Members of Parliament who are not ministers or shadow ministers; also known as private Senators or Members.
2. The seats where such Members sit.
balance of power
1. An arrangement of countries, such that none of them will be strong enough to control all the others.
2. The ability of one person or party to decide an issue by the way they vote, if two opposing parties are evenly divided.
Cabinet The group of senior ministers in a government who decide government policy.
Chairman of Committee A member who is in charge of the 'committee of the whole' - a committee consisting of all the members of the Senate or the House of Representatives, usually formed to consider a Bill in detail.
chamber
1. The meeting room of a house of parliament.
2. A law-making body.
Clerk The most senior permanent official in each house of a parliament.
colony A settlement in a new land which is ruled by the parent country; all the States in Australia began as British colonies.
commemoration The act of remembering an event associated with the life of a person, place or nation. For example, on ANZAC Day each year, Australians commemorate the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, to remember those who have given their lives in wars.
conference A meeting of representatives of both Houses of Parliament to discuss an issue on which the houses do not agree.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
convention
1. A large meeting.
2. A rule, often unwritten, which is generally or widely accepted.
customs Duties paid on goods coming into a country; before Federation, duties that were paid when moving goods from one Australian colony to another. Also means traditions of a particular society.
delegate A representative at a conference.
department A group of public servants organised to administer a particular area of government activity, under the control of a minister.
election The choosing of a person or a government by voting.
electorate
1. An area represented by a Member of Parliament; a constituency.
2. The group of people who live in an area represented by a Member of Parliament.
3. All the people who have a right to vote in an election.
federation The forming of a nation by the union of a number of states which give up some of their powers and responsibilities to a national government.
government The system by which the affairs of a state or nation are administered. It also refers to the ruling party in a state or nation, which has been elected or appointed to be in charge of its administration.
governor-general The representative of the Queen at the federal level in the Commonwealth of Australia.
Hansard The full reports of the speeches of Members of Parliament; the printed record of the debates in parliament.
House of Representatives In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament elected by the people, organised in electorates with approximately equal numbers of voters. It is called the lower house, and represents the people of the nation.
independent (Member or Senator) A Member of Parliament who does not belong to a political party.
law A set of rules, especially those made by a parliament or ruler, recognised by a community as binding.
Leader of the Government in the Senate The leader of the government party in the Senate; the government's main spokesperson and most senior minister in the Senate.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate The leader of the opposition party in the Senate; the opposition's main spokesperson in the Senate, and a leading shadow minister.
lobby A group of people trying to get support for a particular cause; originally those who used to wait in the entrance hall (lobby) or corridors of parliament to see ministers and members.
media
1. The means of communication, including radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
2. The journalists who work for radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
member
1. A person elected to the House of Representatives or to a State parliament.
2. A person who belongs to or has joined an organisation.
minister A Member of Parliament who is a member of the executive government, and who is usually in charge of a government department.
ministerial Having to do with a ministry or minister of state.
nation A group of people who think of themselves as a community which has or thinks it should have its own government. (They may speak the same language or have the same culture.)
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
Parliament House The building where the two Houses of Parliament meet.
petition A document presented to a House of Parliament by a person or group of people asking for action on a matter; a formal request, especially to a person or a group in power.
President of the Senate The Senator who is elected by the Senate as its presiding officer.
President's chair The high-backed seat on which the President of the Senate sits. The chair is made of Canadian maple and was given to the Senate by the Government of Canada in 1927.
press gallery
1. A gallery in a House of Parliament reserved for the press.
2. The area in a House of Parliament set aside for accommodation for reporters from newspapers, radio and television (the media).
proclamation An official public announcement.
public gallery An area in a House of Parliament set aside for the public.
public servant A member of the public service; a person employed by the government in a department of state.
question time A daily period of time in a House of Parliament in which ministers are asked questions concerning their responsibilities by other members.
referendum A vote by all voters on a question; in Australia, nearly always a public vote on a proposed law to alter the Constitution.
representative A person who acts on behalf of others; person elected to a law-making body.
Senate In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament which represents the states in the federation. Each state, no matter how big or small it is, has the same number of Senate seats.
Senator A member of the Australian Senate.
Serjeant-at-Arms An officer of a lower House of Parliament (and carrier of the mace) who carries out the orders of the house, such as accompanying a Member who is directed by the house to leave the chamber, and who assists to keep order in Parliament House.
shadow minister A member of the shadow ministry. Shadow ministers 'shadow', or follow closely, the areas of responsibility of ministers in the government.
Speaker The Member who is elected by a lower House of Parliament as its presiding officer.
Speaker's chair The high-backed seat with a canopy, used by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The chair is an exact copy of the original House of Commons Speaker's chair in the United Kingdom, and was given to the House by the United Kingdom Parliament in 1926.
state
1. The system by which a people in a particular territory are governed.
2. Any of the regions, each more or less independent in internal affairs, which together make up a federal union, such as any of the States of Australia.
territory
1. In the federal system of government, an area which has not been given the full rights of a State, for example, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.
2. The land and waters under the control of a state or ruler.
3. Any region or area of land.
Usher of the Black Rod An officer of the Department of the Senate (named after the black rod he or she carries) who has special duties on ceremonial occasions such as the opening of parliament, and who assists in keeping order in Parliament House.
voter Someone who votes; someone who has a right to vote.
Whip A party manager in parliament who is responsible for organising members of his or her party to take part in debates and votes, and who assists in arranging the business of a House of Parliament.
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Upper Primary - People Power
activist A person who is active in movements to achieve political or social change.
bargaining An agreement between two parties to reach an acceptable agreement.
campaign A competition for votes by people who are seeking election to parliament.
civil rights The rights that allow a person to live freely in a society and be fairly treated. They include freedom of movement and of religion; the right to open a business and own property; the right to a fair trial and equal access to public facilities.
court A body set up to administer justice, to find the guilt or innocence of someone accused of a crime, or to ensure that people's legal rights are protected. Also means the people who surround a monarch.
demonstration A public exhibition of protest, or of sympathy with a particular cause.
discrimination Unfair treatment or laws against particular individuals or groups in society.
freedom ride Method used in the 1960s in the United States to draw attention to the unequal treatment of African-Americans and then imitated in Australia to highlight the disadvantages suffered by Aboriginal people. Freedom riders travelled by bus, often meeting strong opposition from local people.
justice
1. The principle of what is fair or right.
2. The principle of what is fair or right as administered through the law, for example a court of justice.
legislation
1. A law or a set of laws.
2. The making of laws.
lobbying Attempting to influence attitudes or decisions of politicians or governments.
media
1. The means of communication, including radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
2. The journalists who work for radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
negotiation A discussion between parties to reach an agreement.
prejudice Unwillingness to give equal or fair treatment to a certain group in society.
protest A public statement of disapproval of an action or situation; a demonstration against an individual or against the action of governments or others.
racism The belief that one race of people is superior or inferior to another, and that people of different races should not be treated equally.
regulation A law made under the authority of an Act of Parliament.
rights A series of claims which are recognised as just and fair by society. They can include legal rights, political rights, social rights and human rights.
segregation Separation of one racial group from another, for example former segregated schooling, transport and other public facilities in the southern United States; South Africa's former apartheid system; former exclusion of Aboriginal people from swimming pools in NSW.
strategy A plan to achieve a goal by good management. Also means planning and directing military operations.
strike To stop work to demonstrate or to demand an employer meet workers' demands.
trade union An association of workers in a trade or industry who band together to protect their working conditions and negotiate wages and conditions with employers.
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Lower Secondary - Should the people rule?
anarchy A society without government or law. It can also mean political and social disorder through lack of government control.
aristocracy A state ruled by people of noble birth or a privileged upper class. Also means members of a social class considered to be socially or otherwise superior.
assembly A number of people gathered together for a special purpose; law-making body (usually a lower house).
citizen A member of a city, state or nation who enjoys its rights and protection, and of whom loyalty is expected.
citizen-initiated referendum In some countries, citizens may initiate a referendum to remove an existing law or to introduce a new law.
city-state A small state consisting of a city and its surrounding territory.
dictator A person who has absolute power over a country or state.
dictatorship A country in which one person or group has absolute power to govern.
direct democracy A system of government in which citizens participate in making decisions, often by voting in referendums or in public assemblies.
donkey vote A vote where a voter appears to make no choice at all amongst the candidates, usually by numbering preferences for candidates in the order in which they are listed on the ballot paper.
government The system by which the affairs of a state or nation are administered. It also refers to the ruling party in a state or nation, which has been elected or appointed to be in charge of its administration.
Hare-Clark system A system of proportional representation, used in Tasmanian parliamentary elections, in which each succeeding preference expressed by a voter has less value than his or her first.
House of Representatives In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament elected by the people, organised in electorates with approximately equal numbers of voters. It is called the lower house, and represents the people of the nation.
jury A group of citizens selected from the community to sit in court to hear the evidence for and against a person accused of a crime, and deliver a verdict as to his or her guilt or innocence.
monarchy A state or country in which power is held by a monarch (a king or queen). It is called an absolute monarchy when the monarch's authority is not limited by laws or a constitution. It is called a limited or constitutional monarchy when the monarch's power is limited by a constitution.
oligarchy A form of government in which power is held by a small number of people belonging to a dominant class or group.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
philosophy
1. A system or study of knowledge, ideas and ways of thinking.
2. Rules for or approach to life.
plebiscite A vote by all voters on a question; a referendum; a vote by members of a party to decide on a candidate or select a delegate.
politician A person who is active in politics, who might hold a political office into which he or she has been voted in an election.
preferential voting A system of voting in which a voter shows an order of preference for candidates, giving the number one to his or her first choice and the last number to the last choice.
representative democracy A system of government in which electors choose representatives to make decisions for them.
secret ballot A system of voting which allows voters to cast their votes privately, so that they cannot be influenced or pressured to vote in a certain way.
Senate In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament which represents the states in the federation. Each state, no matter how big or small it is, has the same number of Senate seats.
tyranny Uncontrolled exercise of power, often by an oppressive or unjustly severe government or a ruler.
tyrant An absolute ruler who uses his or her power unjustly or oppressively.
voting A formal expression of choice in some matter signified by voice or by ballot.
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Lower Secondary - Law
Act of Parliament A law made by parliament; a Bill which has passed all three readings in each house and has received the royal assent.
annexation To take over a territory and add it to a larger state; for example, Queensland's annexation of the Murray Islands in 1879.
cause A goal or aim of a group of activists for social or political change; for example, the preservation of the environment is the cause of environmentalists.
civil law The law of a state or nation regulating the conduct of citizens in non-criminal areas.
clause A separate numbered item in a Bill; once a Bill becomes an Act, a clause is known as a section.
common law Law based on custom or court decisions, as distinct from statute law.
Commonwealth Government The government of Australia can be called the Federal Government, the Commonwealth Government or the Australian Government.
compensation Money or other goods given to make up for something which has been taken away or lost. For example, people are entitled to compensation if their land is taken away by government for another use.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
court A body set up to administer justice, to find the guilt or innocence of someone accused of a crime, or to ensure that people's legal rights are protected. Also means the people who surround a monarch.
criminal law A body of law dealing with criminal behaviour.
crown land Land which is controlled by the government since it is officially owned by the monarch (the Crown).
due process of law The correct procedures when a person is charged with a crime.
equality Treating people fairly.
fair trial A trial conducted legally and free from bias.
fairness Free from bias, dishonesty or injustice.
freehold Full ownership of real property (land) for the life of the owner and, following that, able to be inherited by his or her heirs.
High Court of Australia The court set up under the Commonwealth Constitution to decide matters arising out of the Constitution, and to hear appeals from the supreme courts of the states and other federal courts.
independent (Member or Senator) A Member of Parliament who does not belong to a political party.
Indigenous peoples The original inhabitants of a country; also called First Peoples.
jury A group of citizens selected from the community to sit in court to hear the evidence for and against a person accused of a crime, and deliver a verdict as to his or her guilt or innocence.
justice
1. The principle of what is fair or right.
2. The principle of what is fair or right as administered through the law, for example, a court of justice.
Justice (of the High Court) The title of a judge of the High Court.
land rights Term given to the claim of Aboriginal people to own their traditional lands. The Mabo decision created the term 'native title' to describe this.
law A set of rules, especially those made by a parliament or ruler, recognised by a community as binding.
leasehold A form of real estate holding in which a person or corporation has possession of a property for a fixed period. Once the lease period has ended, the property can be leased to another person, or the lease can be renewed.
legislation
1. A law or a set of laws.
2. The making of laws.
legislative process The series of actions which result in a law being made.
local court A court of law held to judge minor crimes committed in a certain area and settle local disputes.
local government
1. The management of the affairs of a shire, municipality or town, by people who are usually elected by the residents of that area.
2. The people who make up such a management group, usually called a council.
minister A Member of Parliament who is a member of the executive government, and who is usually in charge of a government department.
Murray Islands A small group of islands in the Torres Strait, over which the late Eddie Mabo and his associates were granted native title by the High Court of Australia.
nation A group of people who think of themselves as a community which has or thinks it should have its own government. (They may speak the same language or have the same culture.)
national court Court of law which deals with cases at the national level, after they have been referred from lower courts.
native title A form of title which recognises the long-term traditional relationship of Indigenous people to their land.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
political party A group of people with similar ideas or aims, some of whose members stand at elections in the hope that they will form or influence the government.
precedent
1. What has been done before as a guide to what should be done now.
2. A legal decision which courts will follow in future similar cases.
press gallery
1. A gallery in a House of Parliament reserved for the press.
2. The area in a House of Parliament set aside for accommodation for reporters from newspapers, radio and television (the media).
presumption of innocence When a court treats a person charged with a crime as not having done it until the case against them is proved.
proclamation An official public announcement.
prosecution
1. Legal proceedings against a person charged with a crime.
2. The group of people who carry out these legal proceedings.
question time A daily period of time in a House of Parliament in which ministers are asked questions concerning their responsibilities by other members.
racial discrimination Unfair treatment of an individual or group because of their racial or ethnic origin.
reading (of a Bill) A formal stage in the passage of a Bill through a House of Parliament.
royal assent The signing of a Bill by the Queen's representative (the governor-general in the case of the Commonwealth Parliament, the governor in the case of State parliaments), which is the last step in making a Bill into an Act of Parliament, or law.
rule of law A society in which everyone is equal before the law, and no one is above the law. In a society with the rule of law, even a president or monarch can be tried for breaking the law, and the government is subject to the law.
shadow minister A member of the shadow ministry. Shadow ministers 'shadow', or follow closely, the areas of responsibility of ministers in the government.
squatter In nineteenth-century Australia, a person who took up crown land, at first illegally, for sheep and cattle grazing.
state court A court at state level, to which cases are referred from lower courts such as district or local courts.
State government The government at a State level as distinct from a federal or local level.
statute law Law passed by parliament as distinct from common law.
terra nullius Latin, meaning 'land belonging to no one' or 'empty' or 'uninhabited land'. Australia was considered to be a terra nullius in the early years of European occupation because its Indigenous people did not use the land in the same way as Europeans did, by building towns and cities and farming the land in European fashion.
traditional ownership A situation in which land has been held by Indigenous people continuously, or in which they can claim ceremonial and social attachments to the land.
vote
1. A formal expression of a choice, such as putting one's hand up or marking a piece of paper.
2. The total number of votes.
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Lower Secondary - Democratic Struggles
ballot
1. A ticket or paper you fill in to record your vote.
2. To select by a secret vote.
3. The process by which a choice is made.
chartism Nineteenth-century movement in Britain which sought the democratic reforms outlined in the People's Charter.
Chartist A supporter of the movement to have the People's Charter adopted by parliament.
citizen A member of a city, state or nation who enjoys its rights and protection, and of whom loyalty is expected.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
democracy Government by the people, either by them directly, or through elected representatives. Also a form of society which favours equal rights, freedom of speech, a fair trial and tolerates the views of minorities.
democratic rights Those which are characterised by the principle of political or social equality for all.
elector A person who votes or who is eligible to vote.
Eureka Stockade Uprising of miners on the Ballarat goldfields as a protest against government abuses. Although the uprising was crushed, democratic political reforms followed soon afterwards.
franchise A citizen's right to vote at elections.
licence fee The fee miners on the goldfields in the 1850s had to pay to be able to work their claims. Unrest at the way this licence fee was collected led to an uprising by miners at Ballarat in December 1854, known as the Eureka Stockade.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
parliamentary Having to do with parliament.
People's Charter Petition to the British Parliament which demanded the following democratic reforms - manhood suffrage, secret ballot, equal electorates, payment of Members of Parliament, no property qualifications for Members of Parliament, and annual parliaments. Most of the reforms had been achieved by the end of the nineteenth century in Australia.
petition A document presented to a House of Parliament by a person or group of people asking for action on a matter; a formal request, especially to a person or a group in power.
representative democracy A system of government in which electors choose representatives to make decisions for them.
revolution A complete overthrow of an established government or political system.
secret ballot A system of voting which allows voters to cast their votes privately, so that they cannot be influenced or pressured to vote in a certain way.
strike To stop work to demonstrate or to demand an employer meets workers' demands.
suffrage The right to vote.
suffragist Someone who wanted women to have the vote.
treason A betrayal by a citizen of his or her loyalty to the state or the sovereign. Giving secret government documents to an enemy is an act of treason, particularly in wartime.
working class People who are manual workers and labourers.
working conditions Hours of work, levels of pay, physical conditions, and legal rights in the workplace.
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Lower Secondary - Men and Women in Political Life
activist A person who is active in movements to achieve political or social change.
activity A deed or action.
Australian Labor Party A political party formed nationally in 1901 and given its present name in 1918. Labor wants greater equality in the distribution of income, wealth and opportunity. It believes that private businesses produce injustices and inequalities and so need to be controlled by the government for the benefit of workers and the common good.
Cold War The armed but non-violent confrontation, between the anti-communist 'Western' nations, especially the United States, and the former Soviet Union, 1940s to 1980s.
commonwealth
1. An old word meaning the common good or general welfare which was used as the name for the Australian Federation in 1901.
2. A group of countries or peoples united by a common interest, in particular the Commonwealth of Nations which used to make up the British Empire.
Communist Party of Australia The original Communist Party of Australia, established in 1920.
constituency The electorate or area, or the people in it, which a Member of Parliament represents.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
discrimination Unfair treatment or laws against particular individuals or groups in society.
electorate
1. An area represented by a Member of Parliament; a constituency.
2. The group of people who live in an area represented by a Member of Parliament.
3. All the people who have a right to vote in an election.
federal Having to do with the national parliament or government rather than State parliaments or governments.
House of Representatives In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament elected by the people, organised in electorates with approximately equal numbers of voters. It is called the lower house, and represents the people of the nation.
labour movement In Australia, the broad organisation of workers including the trade unions and the Australian Labor Party.
League of Nations The first international body to arbitrate in disputes between nations. Its formation was one of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I, but the fact that the United States did not join limited its usefulness, and it was powerless to stop the aggression of European dictators in the 1930s. A new organisation, the United Nations, was formed in its place after World War II.
legislation
1. A law or a set of laws.
2. The making of laws.
legislature The law-making body of a country or state.
Liberal Party of Australia A party founded in 1944 by Sir Robert Menzies and others, which developed from the Liberal Party of 1909, later the Nationalist Party of 1917 and then the United Australia Party of 1931. The Liberal Party wants more freedom, less government control, and encouragement of wealth-making so that everyone can enjoy a good standard of living. It believes strongly in private business and in individuals looking after themselves.
lobbying Attempting to influence attitudes or decisions of politicians or governments.
Member of Parliament A member of a House of Parliament, usually used to describe a member of a lower house and, in Australia, referring to a Member of the House of Representatives, who have 'MP' shown after their names.
memorial Object, structure, lecture or scholarship erected or founded to remember a certain person or a group of people or to commemorate an event. There are memorials also to animals, for example, the memorial to Simpson and his donkey outside the Australian War Memorial.
migrant A person who leaves his or her country of origin to settle in another.
monument Something erected in memory of a person or event.
nationalise To bring under the control or ownership of a government.
pacifism The belief that violence, especially war, must be avoided and that individuals should refuse to participate in war.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
pastoralist A person who raises livestock on a large rural property.
political Dealing with the distribution of power or connected with a political party.
political party A group of people with similar ideas or aims, some of whose members stand at elections in the hope that they will form or influence the government.
referendum A vote by all voters on a question; in Australia, nearly always a public vote on a proposed law to alter the Constitution.
reformer A person who seeks to bring about change especially political change.
Senate In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament which represents the states in the federation. Each state, no matter how big or small it is, has the same number of Senate seats.
strategy A plan to achieve a goal by good management. Also means planning and directing military operations.
suffrage The right to vote.
trade union An association of workers in a trade or industry who band together to protect their working conditions and negotiate wages and conditions with employers.
treasurer The government minister responsible for economic and financial policy, and who prepares the government's budget; the minister in charge of the Treasury (the department of government which has control over public revenue).
United Nations An international organisation founded after World War II to try to achieve international security by providing arbitration for conflicts between countries, as well as assistance to refugees and many health, development and cultural programs.
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Middle Secondary - Parties Control Parliament
Australian Democrats A party formed in 1977. The Democrats claim to represent all Australians. They want more government control of the economy to reduce unemployment, greater protection for the environment and less foreign ownership of Australian resources.
Australian Government Gazette The government journal containing official government notices, such as lists of appointments and bankruptcies.
Australian Labor Party A political party formed nationally in 1901 and given its present name in 1918. Labor wants greater equality in the distribution of income, wealth and opportunity. It believes that private businesses produce injustices and inequalities and so need to be controlled by the government for the benefit of workers and the common good.
balance of power
1. An arrangement of countries, such that none of them will be strong enough to control all the others.
2. The ability of one person or party to decide an issue by the way they vote, if two opposing parties are evenly divided.
Bill A proposal for a law which has been presented to parliament.
branch A section of a political party that draws members from a local area.
campaign A competition for votes by people who are seeking election to parliament.
candidate Someone who stands for election to parliament.
caucus The Members of Parliament belonging to a particular political party; used particularly in relation to the Labor Party.
cause A goal or aim of a group of activists for social or political change; for example, the preservation of the environment is the cause of environmentalists.
clause A separate numbered item in a Bill; once a Bill becomes an Act, a clause is known as a section.
coalition The joining together of two or more groups or parties, usually to form a government or opposition.
communism A system in which people share the ownership of all goods and property; a system of government such as in the former Soviet Union where the government owns everything and denies political freedoms.
election The choosing of a person or a government by voting.
electorate
1. An area represented by a Member of Parliament; a constituency.
2. The group of people who live in an area represented by a Member of Parliament.
3. All the people who have a right to vote in an election.
free enterprise Trade which is not subject to special regulation or restrictions.
free trade Trade between different countries, free from governmental restrictions or duties.
image The impression a public figure strives to create for the public.
independent (Member or Senator) A Member of Parliament who does not belong to a political party.
interest group A group of people organised to further some cause or interest which they have in common.
left The side of politics interested in greater political and economic equality, usually occupied by socialist and progressive parties, and parties of the workers, such as the Labor Party.
legislative process The series of actions which result in a law being made.
Liberal Party of Australia A party founded in 1944 by Sir Robert Menzies and others, which developed from the Liberal Party of 1909, later the Nationalist Party of 1917 and then the United Australia Party of 1931. The Liberal Party wants more freedom, less government control, and encouragement of wealth-making so that everyone can enjoy a good standard of living. It believes strongly in private business and in individuals looking after themselves.
marginal seat A seat held by a political party by a very narrow margin and so liable to be lost.
minister A Member of Parliament who is a member of the executive government, and who is usually in charge of a government department.
nation A group of people who think of themselves as a community which has or thinks it should have its own government. (They may speak the same language or have the same culture.)
National Party of Australia A party formed in 1920 as the Australian Country Party, later called the National Country Party, and then the National Party of Australia. For most of its history, the National Party has worked in coalition with the Liberal Party, in both opposition and government. The leader of the National Party always becomes deputy prime minister when this coalition wins government. As part of the coalition the National Party supports Liberal Government policies, but safeguards the interests of farmers and country people and upholds traditional values.
opposition The second largest political party or coalition of parties after the government party in a lower House of Parliament which works to oppose what it believes to be wrong in government policies or actions, and which stands ready to form a government should the voters so decide at the next election.
parliamentary wing (of a political party) Those people from a political party who have been elected to parliament.
party committee A group of Members of Parliament from the same political party who look at a particular area of government or opposition policy, and assist their party to make decisions on laws and other matters connected with that area of policy.
party discipline The control used by a political party to encourage its members in parliament to vote together, for example party discipline in Australia is almost total, with members of the major parties rarely voting against their party.
party room A room where the parliamentary members of a political party hold meetings.
party-political Having to do with the affairs or interests of a political party, sometimes to the benefit of a party instead of the benefit of the public.
political party A group of people with similar ideas or aims, some of whose members stand at elections in the hope that they will form or influence the government.
poll
1. A count of people, votes or opinions.
2. To ask and record the opinion of.
3. To receive a number of votes.
4. An election.
polling An organised procedure of voting.
press gallery
1. A gallery in a House of Parliament reserved for the press.
2. The area in a House of Parliament set aside for accommodation for reporters from newspapers, radio and television (the media).
proclamation An official public announcement.
protection Protection of a country's industries by restricting imports (by customs duties), or encouraging local industry with subsidies.
question time A daily period of time in a House of Parliament in which ministers are asked questions concerning their responsibilities by other members.
reading (of a Bill) A formal stage in the passage of a Bill through a House of Parliament.
responsible government A system where the government is answerable to elected representatives of the people for its actions, especially a system where the government is formed from the party or parties which has the support of a majority of the lower house (in Australia the House of Representatives), and must maintain the confidence of a majority of that house.
right The conservative side of politics. Generally the political party or parties which either support the way things are now, or want to return to past ways of doing things. It can also mean a political party which favours the free enterprise system over a socialist system.
royal assent The signing of a Bill by the Queen's representative (the governor-general in the case of the Commonwealth Parliament, the governor in the case of State parliaments), which is the last step in making a Bill into an Act of Parliament, or law.
safe seat An electorate in which the support for a member or party is so strong that the member or representative of that party is very likely to be elected.
shadow minister A member of the shadow ministry. Shadow ministers 'shadow', or follow closely, the areas of responsibility of ministers in the government.
socialism A system of society in which the community has ownership of the businesses and the land.
vote
1. A formal expression of a choice, such as putting one's hand up or marking a piece of paper.
2. The total number of votes.
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Middle Secondary - Human Rights
bill of rights A bill of rights is a set of protections of human rights set out in a country's constitution, or in an Act of Parliament.
civic rights The rights that allow citizens or members of a community to take part in community decision-making.
civil liberty
1. Freedom to act, assemble, think or speak as you wish, regulated only as much as is needed for the good of other people.
2. (in plural) basic human rights.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen A statement made by the National Assembly in France in 1789. It is one of the founding statements of what we accept as a set of basic human rights for people today.
democracy Government by the people, either by them directly, or through elected representatives. Also a form of society which favours equal rights, freedom of speech, a fair trial and tolerates the views of minorities.
ethnicity The feeling of belonging to a particular racial or cultural group.
freedom of speech The right to speak freely on social and political matters without fear of persecution or suppression.
gender
1. The sex of living things, including people.
2. The identity assigned to people on the basis of their sex.
human rights The rights which people have as human beings, whether recognised by their government or not. The first rights in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights are the right to life, liberty and security of the person.
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission A body set up by the Commonwealth Parliament to promote respect for and observance of the human rights of all people in Australia and their access to equal opportunity.
international law The rules which most countries accept as regulating their behaviour towards one another.
international security A system by which an international body such as the United Nations attempts to arbitrate in disputes between countries in an effort to stop wars from breaking out, or imposes sanctions against countries that threaten their neighbours.
liberty Freedom from control; the right to act according to choice.
ombudsman A public official with the responsibility of investigating complaints against the government or the Public Service.
political freedom A person's right to express his or her political beliefs freely, and to vote as he or she wants.
political rights The rights that allow a person to participate in political life. They include the right to vote, the right to hold particular political views, and the right to join a political party and influence public life.
Racial Discrimination Act This 1975 Commonwealth legislation was passed to outlaw any acts which discriminate against any Australians on the basis of race.
sexuality The sexual character of a person. Heterosexuality is having sexual relations with members of the opposite sex. Homosexuality is having sexual relations with members of the same sex.
social rights The rights that allow a person to have a decent standard of living. They include the right to housing, employment, good nutrition and health care.
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights The key statement of human rights today. It was written in 1948 in response to the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany.
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Middle Secondary - A Democracy Destroyed
allies A group of countries or people that band together to fight a common enemy or to achieve a particular goal; for example, the Allied powers in World War II included the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, the United States and the Soviet Union, who fought against Germany, Italy and Japan.
armistice A stage in a war when both sides stop fighting to discuss possible peace terms.
assimilation When people of differing ethnic heritage acquire or are urged to acquire the basic attitudes, habits and mode of life of another national culture.
chancellor The leader of the government in the German Parliament.
Communist Party A political party professing the principles of communism.
conservative Someone who wants to keep the existing way of life and is suspicious of change.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
democracy Government by the people, either by them directly, or through elected representatives. Also a form of society which favours equal rights, freedom of speech, a fair trial and tolerates the views of minorities.
depression A time when economic activity declines. There is often high unemployment, prices may fall, and many people may be made bankrupt. The Great Depression of the 1930s brought widespread hardship throughout the world.
dictator A person who has absolute power over a country or state.
dictatorship A country in which one person or group has absolute power to govern.
Enabling Act A law which suspends other laws, and allows something previously illegal to be done. The Enabling Act of 1933 in Germany overturned sections of the Weimar Constitution.
Führer The leader, applied especially to Adolf Hitler.
Gestapo The Secret State Police of Nazi Germany who acted brutally to suppress opposition to Hitler's regime.
kaiser German word for 'king'. Name given to the Hohensollern rulers of Prussia who became leaders of the united Germany. Wilhelm II, the kaiser during World War I, abdicated at the end of the war and Germany became a democracy.
left The side of politics interested in greater political and economic equality, usually occupied by socialist and progressive parties, and parties of the workers, such as the Labor Party in Australia.
nationalism
1. The belief that a people are or should be a nation with its own government.
2. The policy of asserting the interests of a nation against other nations, or the common interests of all nations.
3. National spirit or devotion to the interests of one's nation.
Nazi Party The National Socialist German Workers' party which in 1933, under Adolf Hitler, obtained political control of Germany.
radical Favouring fundamental political, social or other reforms.
Reichstag The name of the German Parliament under Hitler. Also the building in which the parliament sat.
republic A state in which citizens rule themselves and do not have a monarch.
resistance A secret organisation which keeps on fighting against a foreign enemy or against a dictator to whom they are opposed.
rights A series of claims which are recognised as just and fair by society. They can include legal rights, political rights, social rights and human rights.
Social Democratic Party A left-wing democratic party in Germany which opposed the Nazi Party.
socialism A system of society in which the community has ownership of the businesses and the land.
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Middle Secondary - Making a Nation
amendment An alteration (to a Bill, or an Act or the Constitution).
colony A settlement in a new land which is ruled by the parent country; all the States in Australia began as British colonies.
Congress (USA) The national law-making body or parliament of the United States of America, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
despot
1. An absolute ruler.
2. A tyrant or oppressor.
executive government (parliamentary) The ministers, supported by public servants, who administer the affairs of a country or state.
federation The forming of a nation by the union of a number of states which give up some of their powers and responsibilities to a national government.
free trade Trade between different countries, free from governmental restrictions or duties.
governor-general The representative of the Queen at the federal level in the Commonwealth of Australia.
head of state The actual or titular (formal) leader of a country or a group of people organised under one government.
human rights The rights which people have as human beings, whether recognised by their government or not. The first rights in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights are the right to life, liberty and security of the person.
legislature The law-making body of a country or state.
lower house A house of a two-chamber parliament, usually having more members than the upper house, and whose members usually represent electorates with similar numbers of voters; the 'popular' or national house to which the government is responsible.
parliament An assembly of elected representatives which forms the legislature of a state or a nation. It may have both an upper and a lower house, or one house only.
petition A document presented to a House of Parliament by a person or group of people asking for action on a matter; a formal request, especially to a person or a group in power.
president
1. The chief officer in an organisation, who presides at meetings.
2. The head of a republic.
3. The person elected to be the presiding officer of the Senate or State legislative councils.
protection Protection of a country's industries by restricting imports, or encouraging local industry with subsidies.
rebellion Open, organised and often armed resistance to one's government or ruler.
referendum A vote by all voters on a question; in Australia, nearly always a public vote on a proposed law to alter the Constitution.
republic A state in which citizens rule themselves and do not have a monarch.
secession To withdraw formally from an alliance or association, as from a political organisation, especially from a federation of states.
self-government
1. Political independence of a country, people or region.
2. A people ruling themselves; in Australia refers to colonies controlling their internal affairs while Britain remained in charge of their external affairs.
Senate In Australia and the United States, the House of Parliament which represents the states in the federation. Each state, no matter how big or small it is, has the same number of Senate seats.
slavery A situation in which a person is not free, but is owned by another person and can be bought and sold, and made to work against their will. Slavery was once widespread, but was made illegal in most parts of the world in the nineteenth century. It continues in some places.
Supreme Court (USA) The highest court of appeal in the United States. Also interprets the Constitution of the United States.
tariff A duty on imported goods, designed to protect local primary and secondary industries.
taxation Money that has to be paid to a government and levied on incomes, property, goods purchased etc.
upper house The second house in a two-chamber parliament. It has fewer members than the lower house and they are usually elected for longer terms and from larger electorates. It checks and reviews legislation coming from the lower house and is known as the house of review.
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Middle Secondary - What Sort of Nation?
Australian citizen A citizen of the Commonwealth of Australia, either by birth or by naturalisation.
culture All the different ways of living built up by a group of human beings, which are passed on from one generation to another.
deficit The amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount.
demand The quantity of any goods which buyers will take at a particular price.
economy The total activities involved in the production, exchange and consumption of goods and services within a defined area.
equal pay A situation in which people receive equal pay for work of equal value.
ethnic Pertaining to a population especially to a group of people, racially, historically or linguistically related.
exports Products sent to other countries for sale.
free trade Trade between different countries, free from governmental restrictions or duties.
global economy The total activities involved in the production, exchange and consumption of goods and services on a global scale.
government revenue The income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs or other sources, appropriated to the payment of public expenses.
identity
1. Individual characteristics.
2. Cultural identity - characteristics of a social group.
immigration The process of coming into a country of which one is not a native for the purpose of permanent residence.
imports Products brought in from a foreign country for sale or use.
income Returns that are received from one's work, property or business or from social security payments.
indigenous Originating in a country.
inflation Rising prices usually caused by expansion of the issue of paper money or credit.
living standards The income and living conditions of a people.
manufacturing industry Sector of the economy engaged in turning raw materials into manufactured goods.
market
1. The buying and selling of goods and services.
2. The place where this happens.
3. The demand for a product.
migrant A person who leaves his or her country of origin to settle in another.
multiculturalism In Australia, the belief and policy that all residents should be able to live in harmony, whatever their cultural or ethnic background, based on acceptance of diversity but also on acceptance of common values such as democracy and the rule of law.
participation rate The number of people, working for pay, expressed as a percentage of the population.
policy An aim or a plan of action on a matter.
production The making of things or the growing of crops for sale.
protection Protection of a country's industries by restricting imports, or encouraging local industry with subsidies.
race
1. A major group of human beings, having distinct physical characteristics.
2. A tribe, nation etc regarded as having a distinct ethnic ancestry.
service industry An activity which does not produce manufactured or primary products, but delivers services to people. Service industries include hospitality, tourism, business services, and medical and nursing services.
services (applied to types of work) Jobs in which people provide a service to other people such as real estate, banking, restaurants and shops.
social harmony Social and political peace in a community, region or country.
social security Payments from the government to people in need, such as the unemployed.
social welfare The provision to people in need by government of payments and services such as housing and hospitals.
supply Bill A Bill which, if passed, will allow the government to spend money on the requirements of government.
tariff A duty on imported goods, designed to protect local primary and secondary industries.
unemployment A situation in which a person is out of work. In times of high unemployment many people have difficulty in finding work.
wealth
1. All the things a person owns.
2. The total amount of goods and services in a country.
welfare Money and goods provided by governments and private agencies for those who cannot earn them by their own efforts due to illness, age, unemployment or disability. Also means the well-being of all.
White Australia Policy Until the late 1960s, Australia had national government policies to deny permanent entry to non-whites.
workforce All the people who work in a country, or in an industry or on a particular task. Usually means the paid workforce - those who are employed in a job - but also includes volunteers on a project.
working conditions Hours of work, physical conditions, legal rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
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Middle Secondary - Getting Things Done
allegiance Being true or faithful to a ruler or state.
Bill A proposal for a law which has been presented to parliament.
bill of rights A bill of rights is a set of protections of human rights set out in a country's constitution, or in an Act of Parliament.
Cabinet The group of senior ministers in a government who decide government policy.
citizen A member of a city, state or nation who enjoys its rights and protection, and of whom loyalty is expected.
conservation Keeping wilderness, using resources wisely and retaining heritage buildings.
constitution The principles by which an organisation, including a country or a state, is governed. It also means the document setting out those principles.
environmental impact study A study undertaken in order to assess the effect on a specified environment of the introduction of any new factor which may upset the ecological balance.
Federal government The national government of a federation, which shares powers and responsibilities with State or Territory governments.
government The system by which the affairs of a state or nation are administered. It also refers to the ruling party in a state or nation, which has been elected or appointed to be in charge of its administration.
heritage The culture, traditions and national assets preserved from one generation to another.
High Court of Australia The court set up under the Commonwealth Constitution to decide matters arising out of the Constitution, and to hear appeals from the supreme courts of the states and other federal courts.
influence Power to modify, affect or sway.
legislation
1. A law or a set of laws.
2. The making of laws.
levels of government Federal, State and local governments.
mayor
1. The head of the corporation of a city or borough.
2. Head of a district council with the status of a borough.
member
1. A person elected to the House of Representatives or to a State parliament.
2. A person who belongs to or has joined an organisation.
minister A Member of Parliament who is a member of the executive government, and who is usually in charge of a government department.
party policy What a political party believes in and plans to do.
political agenda The topics which are being discussed or dealt with in politics at any one time.
political ideology The system of ideas that underlies the aims and program of a political party.
political values The principles people believe should operate in the governing of their society. They can include equality, liberty, tolerance and diversity.
politics
1. The business of governing a country.
2. The activities involved in gaining or using power.
power
1. Control over others, especially the control that governments have.
2. The right of a government to act in a particular area; for example, the Commonwealth has power over defence and the States over the police.
public policy A course or line of action pursued by a government, ruler or political party.
revenue Incoming money; the money a government collects from taxes and other sources.
states' rights The powers or entitlements of states in a federal system.
submission (to a committee) Suggestions or arguments made orally or in writing to some authority such as a house, a committee or a court; a written paper placed before a committee for consideration.
terms of reference A matter referred for inquiry to a committee; the scope for activity and investigation open to a committee.
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AcknowledgementsLegal Information