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Focus question 4: To what extent and when were the Chartists' six points achieved in Australia?

Teaching and learning activities

  ESL Introduction
Activity 1: Achieving democracy in Australia ESL Activity 1


In each colony there were separate moves for democratic reforms, both before and after self-government was granted.

After 1850 the British Government allowed the separate colonies in Australia to govern themselves. This meant each colony was allowed to draw up a constitution or set of rules about how to set up their government. Some of the things they had to decide on were:

  • who was allowed to vote
  • how old a person had to be before they were eligible to vote
  • who could stand for parliament
  • how often there were to be elections for parliament.

Activity 1: Achieving democracy in Australia

1a You will notice that one of the Chartists' points has never been achieved. Why do you think this is so?

1b Look at the table below. You will notice that it includes a point not fought for by the Chartists. As a class discuss why this point is included in the table.

Date achieved in Britain
Date achieved in your State/Territory/colony
Dated achieved in Australia
Votes for women      
Votes for men      
Annual elections      
Payment of Members of Parliament      
Equal electorates      
No property qualifications for Members of Parliament      
Secret ballot      

1c With a partner, draw a table similar to the one above into your workbook and complete it. In order to do this you will need to find out when the Chartist points were granted in your State or Territory. The answers for the 'Britain' column can be copied from the table in Focus question 2, Activity 6.


Research the 'Parliament at a Glance' section at the Browse page in the Parliament@Work website. Visit each State and Territory and click on the 'Chartist checkbox'.

ESL activities

Back to 'Democratic Struggles - At a glance'

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