Discovering Democracy Units
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Men and Women in Political Life

National, state and territory curriculum links

National | ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA


The nationally developed Statements of Learning for Civics and Citizenship includes three ‘Aspects’ that are defined at four levels of schooling (ie Year 3, 5, 7 and 9). The Year 7 Statements of Learning relate to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

Year 7

Historical perspectives

  • Students explore the impact of particular people, events and movements on Australia’s identity and democracy and consider ways in which people were governed in ancient times.

Australian Capital Territory

The Every chance to learn: Curriculum framework for ACT schools has essential content within the early adolescence band relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

Early adolescence band

ELA 21 The student understands about Australia and Australians.


  • 21.EA.4 Past and contemporary people, movements, events and ideas which shaped Australia as a nation with a sense of Australian identity (eg role of women).
  • 21.EA.7 The values reflected in national celebrations and commemorations, what they represent to diverse groups and how they have changed over time (eg Australia Day).


  • 21.EA.12 Identify and suggest reasons for different perspectives in accounts of history and contemporary society.

  • ELA 22 The student understands and values what it means to be a citizen in a democracy.

    Democratic principles

    • 22.EA.14 Investigate the contributions of people and groups who helped achieve civil and political rights in Australia through historical and contemporary examples (eg William Spence, Vida Goldstein, Pearl Gibbs).

    New South Wales

    Learning outcomes within Stages 4 and 5 of the History 7–10 Syllabus are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

    Stage 4


    • (Topic 4 – Optional Study: The Shaping of the Modern World may allow students at Year 7 and 8 focus on the individuals described in the unit Men and Women in Political Life.)

    Stage 5


    Civics and Citizenship is a key focus of the syllabus (eg effects of events on people’s rights and responsibilities). The Australian content of the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’, is more appropriately taught at Middle Secondary levels (ie Stage 5) in New South Wales Schools where the history syllabus has outcomes and content relating to Australia in the twentieth century.

    • 5.1 Explains social, political and cultural developments and events and evaluates their impact on Australian life (eg voting rights of different groups at Federation; women’s suffrage; women in parliament; one prime minister in the post-war period).
    • 5.3 Explains the changing rights and freedoms of Aboriginal peoples and other groups in Australia (eg changing government policies towards Aboriginal peoples over time; growth of unionism).
    • LS.8 Investigates the importance of significant people, events and issues in Australian history (eg Edith Cowan).

    Northern Territory

    Student learning outcomes within Band 4 of the Studies of Society and Environment Learning Area of the Northern Territory Curriculum Framework are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

    Band 4

    Social Systems and Structures

    Time, Continuity and Change

    • Soc 4.1 Students analyse significant ideas, peoples and movements that have shaped societies.

    Indigenous Studies

    • Soc 4.2 Students compare their own cultural practices with the histories and current experiences of all Indigenous groups.


    Student learning outcomes within Level 5 of the Studies of Society and Environment Years 1 to 10 Syllabus are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

    Level 5

    Time, Continuity and Change

    • TCC 5.3 Students collaborate to locate and systematically record information about the contributions of people in diverse past settings.

    Systems, Resources and Power

    • (Content: Access to power eg access to democracy in Queensland and Australian political settings such as the right to vote.)

    South Australia

    Standard 4 in Society and Environment of the South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework is relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

    Standard 4

    Time, continuity and change

    • 4.3 Interprets people’s motives and actions from perspectives of power, and relates this to future possibilities using a historical or contemporary event or issue (eg interpretation of events from the perspective of those who hold or want power, and the perspective of those with less power).


    Strands and performance criteria at Standard 4 in the Society and History Syllabus of The Tasmanian Curriculum are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

    Standard 4

    Strand 1 Identity, relationships and culture

    • Students understand how culture and community shape identity and relationships (eg how community values and relationships can be strengthened by individual and collective action; investigate historical or other sources about an aspect of Australian culture).

    Strand 2 Democratic values and processes

    • Students understand democratic values and processes in society, government and law (eg how a key individual from the past has made a positive difference to Australian democracy and civic life).

    Strand 5 Responsible citizenship

    • Students understand how individuals and groups take action to positively influence change (eg why people choose to participate or not in democratic processes and community life).

    Strand 6 Historical inquiry

    • Students undertake historical inquiries in relation to continuity and change in society (eg individuals who have campaigned for human rights and democratic principles).

    Strand 8 Communication

    • Students acquire, critically examine and communicate information.


    Standards in the domains of Civics and Citizenship and the Humanities – History within the Victorian Essential Learning Standards are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.

    Level 5

    Civics and Citizenship

    Civic knowledge and understanding

    • Students identify significant developments in the governance and achievement of political rights in Australia (eg universal suffrage, fair working conditions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights and the vote for women). They identify and discuss the qualities of leadership through historical examples.

    The Humanities – History

    Historical reasoning and interpretation

    • Students frame key research questions, plan their investigations, and report on their findings. They use a range of primary and secondary sources (including visual sources) that record features of the societies in their investigations. They identify the content, origin, purpose and context of historical sources.

    Western Australia

    The K–10 Society and Environment Syllabus (2007) is consistent with other Department of Education and Curriculum Council frameworks and progress maps. There are developmental progressions of broad understandings in a number of strands relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Men and Women in Political Life’.


    Personal, Group and Cultural Identity

    • National identity (eg people identified as significant Australians; marginalisation of Indigenous Australians through denial of the right to vote).

    Time, Continuity and Change

    Understanding the Past

    • The interrelationship between people, events and ideas (eg feminist movement in Australia; significant people, events and ideas from the past that have shaped present communities by contributing to change; women as leaders).

    Interpretations and Perspectives

    • That interpretations and perspectives of history vary (eg that evidence is used to understand past people, events and ideas; that there is/was a range of perspectives such as Indigenous peoples’ and women’s).

    Natural and Social Systems

    Political and Legal Systems

  • The elements and processes of government and governance.

    Active Citizenship

    • When teaching history, students should be taught the values and processes of social justice … and democratic process in how people, events and ideas of the past can be used to trace the development of … democracy that has evolved over time.
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