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Government: Australian citizenship and the formal rights and responsibilities

Curriculum Content

The shared values of Australian citizenship and the formal rights and responsibilities of Australian citizens.


  • investigating how people become Australian citizens
  • discussing the Australian citizenship pledge and comparing it to the former oath of allegiance to the monarch to explore notions of allegiance
  • clarifying the formal rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship and comparing these to the rights and responsibilities of non-citizens
  • exploring how laws protect human rights (for example, gender, disability, race and age discrimination law)
  • exploring the experiences of people who have migrated to Australia and who have taken up Australian citizenship (for example, those of Asian heritage)

An introduction to human rights and responsibilities


This is a unit of work for years 5 and 6 on human rights, the responsibilities that accompany them, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The unit consists of two interactive lessons for students and a teacher lesson plan, also in two parts. The interactive lessons include quizzes, short answer and multiple choice questions, drag and drop responses, ‘think, discuss and share’ activities as well as charts and tables to complete. The teacher lesson plan contains a detailed discussion of the recommended pedagogical approach using the interactive whiteboard linking to the student interactive lessons. Available in both Word and PDF formats, the lesson plan also includes a glossary, recommended additional resources, suggested extension and homework activities, and teacher reference and information sheets.

Australia Day Celebrations


This inquiry unit explores the various events held across the nation to mark Australia Day including personal and public events, celebrations and commemorations. Working in groups, students consider the roles of the Australian of the Year Awards, Citizenship Ceremonies, Australian Citizenship Affirmation and the meaning behind the celebrations and how they reflect Australia's civic identity. Through independent research and vox pop interviews students gather data from which to create a short video to address the key question of 'What does Australia Day mean to me?'

Values we admire in others - unit of work


This is a unit consisting of three activities extended over five lessons about the values set out in 'Nine values for Australian schooling' and how well-known Australians have enacted these values. The suggested teaching and learning strategies involve analysing each value, annotating a biography of Aboriginal footballer and activist Michael Long, and writing and annotating a biography of a well-known Australian. The unit is intended for upper primary students and includes resources such as X-charts for values and an example of an annotated biography.

What are my values? - unit of work

This is a unit consisting of two extended lessons about those values that young people feel strongly about and how they can and have been translated into action. The teaching and learning strategies centre on values identification, firstly by reading biographies of three Australians and secondly by students examining their own values and considering how they can put them into practice. The unit is underpinned by 'Nine values for Australian schooling' and is intended for upper primary and lower secondary students.

The 1967 referendum


This resource (an ‘education pack’) is a sequenced series of teaching/learning activities about the 1967 referendum to amend or repeal sections of the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Intended for teachers, the 13-page pdf resource focuses mainly on the 40th anniversary of the referendum in 2007. It is introduced by background notes and organised in three main sections: Early Years; Primary Years; and Middle Years. Each section contains inquiry questions, detailed teaching suggestions and lists of resources. The Middle Years section also contains assessment strategies and suggested ways in which students can demonstrate achievement. The education pack closes with an extensive resource list and a statement about Reconciliation.

Why is citizenship important?


What makes an Aussie an Aussie? Is it loving Vegemite, playing cricket or maybe wrestling crocodiles? Find out about Australian citizenship and the ways someone can become a citizen of a country. What rights does citizenship afford you in Australia?