Discovering Democracy Units
HomeThe UnitsTeacher NotesState & Territory LinksKey TermsA Guide to Government & Law in AustraliaSelected SourcesESL InformationCivics and Citizenship Education About DDUDownloadsSitemapSearchHelpDiscovering Democracy Banner


Navigation | Contents menu | The Units | Teacher Notes | State & Territory Links | Key Terms | A Guide to Government and Law in Australia | Selected Sources | ESL Information | Utilities menu | Home | About DDU | Downloads | Sitemap | Search | Help | The icons


This website has the contents menu on the left-hand side of the screen and the utilities menu at the top of the screen.

Contents menu

The contents menu items are:

  • The Units
  • Teacher Notes
  • State & Territory Links
  • Key Terms
  • A Guide to Government and Law in Australia
  • Selected Sources
  • ESL Information

Units To access the units, click on 'The Units' button in the contents navigation menu on the left-hand side of the screen. The initial page will display a table of all the units and their associated schooling level. For a unit overview, click on the name of the unit you require. A unit 'At a Glance' screen will appear. 'At a Glance' will give you a list of focus questions associated with the unit. Clicking on the 'Teaching and learning activities' link below each focus question takes you to its related teaching and learning activities.
Teacher Notes The teacher notes provide the following information to support the teaching of the units:

  • A brief introduction to the unit
  • Indicators of student achievement
  • Background notes that provide content information on the unit
  • A list of selected resources that directly relate to the unit where relevant
  • Links to other key learning areas or units
  • Other information related to the unit where relevant.

From anywhere within a unit, clicking on 'Teacher Notes' will bring up the relevant notes for that unit.

State and Territory Links

State and Territory curriculum links are provided for each unit. You can access them either by clicking on the name of a unit in the table provided in the contents menu or by clicking on 'State & Territory Links' from within a unit.

You can also obtain more detailed information by accessing the major curriculum sites in your State or Territory.

Key Terms

The website contains a list of parliamentary terms and definitions and key terms and definitions from the Discovering Democracy Units, A Guide to Government and Law in Australia and all the Selected Sources. The key terms can be accessed in two ways, alphabetically or within each unit.

  • Alpha search provides an alphabetical listing and definitions of all the key terms from the units and other stated sources.
  • Key Term Unit search will list the key terms and definitions from the selected Discovering Democracy unit.
A Guide to Government and Law in Australia

This website contains the complete text of A Guide to Government and Law in Australia by Dr John Hirst. The book is an exploration of the history, structure and operations of Australian democracy with a concise description of the operations of the Australian system of government and law. The text also has a units index and there are links from the units to relevant sections of A Guide to Government a Law in Australia. Although written largely for teachers, older students may also find it useful.

On the website A Guide to Government and Law in Australia is available in HTML, and in Portable Document Format (PDF) in Downloads.

To view and print the PDF version you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available for dowload free of charge from Adobe.

Selected Sources

This section of the website provides a number of sources that will enhance the teaching of civics and citizenship in Australian schools. They are:

  • The Australian Constitution
  • Citizenship Pledge
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

Throughout the Discovering Democracy Units a number of student activities directly relate to the content of these sources.

The sources are also available in Portable Document Format (PDF) from 'Downloads'. To view and print them you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available for download free of charge from Adobe.

ESL Information

This section provides suggestions under the following headings on how teachers can support ESL learners completing Discovering Democracy units of work in the mainstream classroom.

  • Using the Key Terms and topic vocabulary
  • Working in small groups or pairs
  • Using role-plays
  • Adapting activities
  • Using visual resources
  • Providing language models
  • Reporting
  • Assessment.

ESL advice is also provided for each focus question within the units. It contains suggested modifications for each focus question and is designed to assist ESL learners to attain the unit indicators of student achievement. This advice can be accessed through the ESL links at the end of each unit.

Utilities menu

The utilities menu items are:

  • Home
  • About DDU
  • Downloads
  • Sitemap
  • Search
  • Help

Home This takes you to the home page of Discovering Democracy Units.
About DDU This provides background information about the Discovering Democracy Program and materials.
Downloads You can download the following documents in the formats shown.

Material Format
A Guide to Government and Law in Australia PDF
The Australian Constitution PDF
Citizenship Pledge PDF
Declaration of Human Rights PDF
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen PDF
Teaching and learning activities RTF
Handouts (middle and upper primary) PDF
Accessing PDFs

To access documents in PDF (Portable Document Format) you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader free of charge from Adobe.

Accessing RTFs

To access documents in RTF (Rich Text Format), use a word-processing application. You can customise the files associated with the teaching and learning activities: download them as RTFs to your desktop, open them in your normal word-processing application, and amend and adapt them according to your teaching requirements.

Note: Material in Rich Text Files (RTF) on this website owned by the Commonwealth and not subject to third-party copyright may only be:

  • customised by teachers in Australian schools for their specific classroom needs; and
  • downloaded, displayed, printed and copied in whole, in part, in altered and in unaltered form for use in Australian school classrooms subject to your acknowledging the source of the RTF material used and not using it for commercial purposes.


To print any page on the website click on the 'Print' button in your browser. To reduce Internet time, save PDFs and RTFs to your desktop for printing off-line.

Sitemap The sitemap provides an overview of the Discovering Democracy Units website.
Search This search facility enables you to search for material in the Primary and Secondary Units, A Guide to Government and Law in Australia and Selected Sources.
Help Help provides advice on how to navigate your way around the website to find the information you require.

The icons

Throughout the Discovering Democracy Units references are made to a number of other Discovering Democracy resources that support the teaching and learning in the units. Listed below are the icons that refer to other resources.

Stories of Democracy Stories of Democracy CD ROM supports all units. It provides an engaging narrative supported by images and interactive activities for students.
Parliament at Work The Parliament at Work CD ROM contains challenging activities that allow students to explore aspects of parliamentary processes and the interplay between people and parliament. The CD ROM is supported by the Parliament@Work website database (see below).
Parliament at Work The Parliament@Work website is an interactive database of all State, Territory and Commonwealth Members of Parliament and electorates, and associated census and election results. It contains information about each Australian Parliament and the major Australian political parties. Information on the site is regularly updated.
One Destiny The 2001 Centenary Edition of One Destiny! The Federation Story CD ROM has extensive educational enhancements and eight themes that explore the Federation story. The themes have slide shows, libraries, interactives and downloadable teacher notes.
Video The Discovering Democracy videos were distributed with the Discovering Democracy Primary and Secondary Kits.
Poster and Cards Posters and cards were distributed with the Discovering Democracy Primary and Secondary Kits. There are four posters and eight cards providing full-colour illustrative material relevant to the units and two posters explaining Australia's political and legal systems.
Internet The Discovering Democracy website was created in 1997. It contains background information on the Discovering Democracy Program, a regular online newsletter, case studies of excellent civics and citizenship programs using the Discovering Democracy materials and a database of other curriculum materials relevant to civics and citizenship education.

The website also provides opportunities for teachers and students to interact through the Discovering Democracy Discussion Group. A newsletter informs the Discussion Group about issues of interest in the media and of forthcoming events in their State or Territory.

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