Discovering Democracy Units
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People Power

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 5 and Year 7 Statements of Learning relate to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘People Power’.

Year 5

Citizenship in a democracy

  • Students understand and practise personal rights and responsibilities within their school and community (eg recognise that citizens can individually and collectively influence decision making).

Year 7

Citizenship in a democracy

  • Students explore the civic values and rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society (eg how non-government organisations can influence government decisions).
  • Students examine the ways in which Australians are connected to other people around the world and explore the responsibilities of global citizenship (eg participate in a campaign to raise awareness about a significant issue).

Historical perspectives

  • Students explore the impact of people events and movements of the past on Australian identities and democracy (eg individuals who have campaigned for expanded human rights and democracy).

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, ‘People Power’.

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; 1967 Referendum).


  • 21.EA.10 Sequence key historical events to create a narrative of a key period in Australian history.
  • 21.EA.11 Find out about, discuss and evaluate historical events using appropriate genres, sources and evidence.
  • 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 within a democracy.

Active citizenship

  • 22.EA.12 Ways in which individuals and non-government organisations can contribute to and influence representative bodies, including government.
  • 22.EA.14 Investigate the contributions of people and groups who have helped achieve civil and political rights in Australia through historical and contemporary examples.

New South Wales

Learning outcomes within Stage 3 of the Human Society & Its Environment K–6 Syllabus are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘People Power’.

Stage 3

Change and Continuity

Time and Change

  • CCS3.2 Explains the development of the principles of Australian democracy (eg events and issues that have influenced democratic practices in Australia such as women’s suffrage and the 1967 Referendum; exclusion from citizenship of Aboriginal peoples; contribution of groups and movements to the development of fairness, social justice and human rights in Australia).

Social Systems and Structures

Roles, Rights and Responsibilities

  • SSS3.8 Explains the structures, roles, responsibilities and decision-making processes of state and federal governments (eg how civic action has improved national communities; ways citizens influence the decisions and actions of their governments; contributions of groups and movements to fairness and social justice in Australia).

Northern Territory

Student learning outcomes within Band 3 of the Studies of Society and Environment Learning Area of the Northern Territory Curriculum Framework are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘People Power’.

Band 3

Social Systems and Structures

Time, Continuity and Change

  • Soc 3.1 Investigate the past and how events have impacted on individuals and groups.


    Student learning outcomes within Levels 3 and 4 of the Studies of Society and Environment Years 1 to 10 Syllabus are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘People Power’.

    Level 3

    Time, Continuity and Change

    • TCC 3.2 Students create sequences and timelines about specific Australian changes and continuities.
    • TCC 3.4 Students organise information about the causes and effects of specific historical events.

    Level 4

    Time, Continuity and Change

    • TCC D4.8 Students communicate how an individual or group was crucial to a political development that promoted a value.

    Systems, Resources and Power

    • SRP 4.5 Students classify values that underpin campaigns and organisations associated with human or environmental rights.

    South Australia

    Standards 3 and 4 in Society and Environment of the South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘People Power’.

    Standard 3

    Time, continuity and change

    • 3.1 Identifies and explains sequences of change that have occurred in Australia over time, and recognises various perspectives on events.
    • 3.2 Researches and discuses the importance of understanding events and ways of life of some past periods, using primary and secondary sources (eg power, democracy and colonisation; different perspectives on an issue in various sources).

    Societies and cultures

    • 3.7 Considers factors which contribute to personal and group identity and social cohesion (eg injustices to be overcome).
    • 3.8 Learns from rural and urban Aboriginal peoples and other minorities about their histories and present-day experiences, and acts to counter prejudice (common themes in the histories, cultures and concerns of Aboriginal and other minority peoples; events in Aboriginal people’s lives resulting from government policies).

    Social systems

  • 3.10 Discusses examples of forms and structures of Australian and other governments over time.

    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.

    Societies and cultures

    • 4.10 Analyses differences between political, legal and social systems and people’s rights and responsibilities.


    Strands and performance criteria at Standard 3 in the Society and History Syllabus of The Tasmanian Curriculum are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘People Power’.

    Standard 3

    Strand 1 Identity, relationships and culture

    • Students understand how culture and community shape identity and relationships (eg how individuals and cultural and ethnic groups have made/can make a positive contribution to society).

    Strand 2 Democratic values and processes

    • Students understand democratic values and processes in society, government and law (eg key people and events that have helped shape women’s rights, equal pay – Stage 8: how democratic values influence group action).

    Strand 4 Interconnections between systems

    • Students understand social, economic and political systems and the connections between them (eg how people can individually or collectively influence political decision making through protest and petitions).

    Strand 5 Responsible citizenship

    • Students understand how individuals and groups take action to positively influence change (eg why and how people participate in civic or environmental action to effect positive change).

    Strand 8 Communication

    • Students acquire, critically examine and communicate information.


    Standards in the domain of Civics and Citizenship and in the Humanities – History within the Victorian Essential Learning Standards are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘People Power’.

    Level 4

    Civics and Citizenship

    Civic knowledge and understanding

    • Students describe the nature of Australia’s democracy that developed as a result of Federation (eg the rights of different groups of people such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and women).

    Community engagement

    • Students present a point of view on a significant current issue or issues and include recommendations about the actions that individuals can take to resolve issues.

    The Humanities – History

    Historical knowledge and understanding

    • Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of significant events in Australian history.

    Historical reasoning and interpretation

    • Students use a range of primary and secondary sources to investigate the past. They comprehend and question sources and make judgements about the views being expressed, the completeness of the evidence, and the values represented. They use historical language and concepts to develop historical explanations. They present their understandings in a range of forms.

    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, ‘People Power’.

    Year 6 and 7

    Time, Continuity and Change

    Understanding the Past

    • About the interrelationship between people, events and ideas (eg how past experiences can impact on people’s beliefs, values and actions).

    Continuity and Change

    • That continuity and heritage are features of all societies (eg significant people and events such as Charles Perkins and the Freedom Rides).

    Natural and Social Systems

    Political and Legal Systems

    • The elements and processes of government and governance (eg development and evolution of the principles of democracy; ways in which citizens can influence decision-making processes).
  • AcknowledgementsLegal Information