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2022

 
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VCE Humanities

Australian History Unit 3: Foundations and Transformations

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Course Description

In Units 3 and 4 Australian History, students develop their understanding of the foundational and transformative ideas, perspectives and events in Australia’s history and the complexity of continuity and change in the nation’s story.

The study of Australian history is considered both within a national and a global context, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture, a colonial settler society within the British Empire and as part of the Asia-Pacific region. Students come to understand that the history of Australia is contested and that the past continues to contribute to ongoing interpretations, debates and tensions in Australian society.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are the oldest, continuous cultures in the world, having existed in Australia for at least 60,000 years. Their custodianship of Country led to the development of unique and sophisticated systems of land management, social structures, cultural beliefs and economic practices. European colonisation of Australia brought devastating and radical changes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Furthermore, the significant turning points such as European settlement, the gold rushes, Federation, the passage of social, political, and economic reforms, the world wars, the emergence of social movements and Aboriginal recognition and land rights have challenged and changed the social, political, economic, environmental and cultural features of the nation, contributing to development of a multicultural and democratic society. Students explore the factors that have contributed to Australia becoming a successful multicultural and democratic society. Throughout this study, students examine and discuss the experiences, perspectives and historical interpretations of Indigenous as well as non-Indigenous people.

In Units 3 and 4, students construct arguments about the past using historical sources (primary sources and historical interpretations) as evidence to analyse the continuities and changes, and evaluate the extent to which change occurred in the lives of Australians. Students investigate the significant turning points and trends in Australia’s past to identify the causes, patterns, direction, pace, depth and impact of continuity and change in society. They consider the extent to which events, ideas, individuals, groups and movements contributed to, influenced and/or resisted change. They consider competing historical interpretations, debates and the diverse perspectives of people at the time and how they may have changed while others may have remained the same.

Areas of Study

  • What were the foundations of continuity and change in Australia?
  • How did significant individuals and movements demand and/or resist change?
  • How were Australians challenged over time by ideas and events?
  • To what extent were there continuities and changes in Australian society?
  • How did Australians influence and experience continuity and change?

In this area of study students focus on the foundations of continuity and change in Australian history. They consider how ideas, perspectives, events and the differing social, political and economic experiences may have triggered changes and the extent of continuity and change in Australia and among Australians. The revolutionary nature of the Australian experience is explored, including how the continent’s distinct environment and landscape has shaped and been shaped by human processes and actions, and the embrace of democratic experiments that placed Australia in the vanguard of individual and political rights and freedoms in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Students examine the prominent trends, interactions and relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, early European colonisers, settlers and migrants, as they debated how the new society should be governed and who should be excluded and included as citizens.

Students explore significant moments in Australia’s history and consider the contributions of different individuals, groups and movements. They analyse a variety of diverse and competing perspectives and historical interpretations, and evaluate the actions and responses of those who advocated for, challenged and/or resisted change. These include the struggles over political rights and freedoms, shifting conceptions of who is an Australian, ways of thinking that were shaped by and responded to the environment and its management, and Australia’s engagement in global and regional conflict. Specifically, students at Carey will study the following option:

Power and resistance (1788–1913)

Students investigate the ways in which the colonisation of Australia began as a complex story of the exercise of power and resistance to authority. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples confronted the challenge of colonisation in a variety of ways, from frontier battles and conflicts that resisted the dispossession of their land, to adaptation and attempts to coexist, survive and preserve their culture. Resistance also emerged among the settler communities and their descendants who challenged governing structures, sought democratic rights, land reforms, and social, political and economic rights and reforms.

  • What were the motivations for seeking continuity and change in modern Australia?
  • How did significant individuals and movements demand and/or resist change?
  • How were Australians challenged over time by events and ideas?
  • To what extent were there continuities and changes in Australian society?
  • How did Australians influence and experience continuity and change?

In this area of study students focus on the extent to which Australia was transformed and changed by social, political and economic events, ideas, experiences and movements that took place after World War Two.

Students consider how long-term trends in Australian history continue to resonate and be contested in contemporary Australian society. They explore how perspectives towards the environment, debates about race, immigration, citizenship, civil rights and land rights, and questions about Australia’s participation in war and conflict, have changed or remained the same. They analyse a variety of diverse and competing perspectives, experiences and conditions of everyday life and consider how Australians were affected by, advocated for and challenged and/or resisted changes. Students evaluate the contested debates and historical interpretations about the extent of continuity and change, and the impact and depth of change, in Australian society in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Specifically, students at Carey will study the following option:

War and upheaval (1909–1950)

Students investigate the debates and perspectives about Australia’s participation in World War One and World War Two. Students analyse the ways in which social, political and economic cohesion of the nation was influenced by the impacts of these conflicts, including different perspectives about participation in war and conflict, enlistment and conscription and the ways that different groups experienced the war.

 

Assessment

Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)
Analyse the foundations of continuity and change in Australia, and evaluate the contribution of significant events, ideas, perspectives and experiences to continuity and change.

extended responses

•      an essay

50

Analyse the changes in Australian society, and evaluate the extent to which continuity and change occurred.

a historical inquiry

•      evaluation of historical sources 

50
Total Marks 100

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment Exam Duration Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Unit 3 Coursework School-assessed   25
2 Unit 4 Coursework School-assessed   25
3 Written Examination November 2 hours 50

 

Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: www.vcaa.vic.edu.au