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Years 7 to 9  

  Elements of Representative Democracy



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Tasmanian Electoral History Interactive Timeline

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Zoomable timeline covers many electorally significant events in Tasmania, from 1803 to 2011.

Includes links to more information on the web. Could be used as a 'jumping off point' to further research around an event, or series of events in the development of government in Tasmania.

TEC created & owned content - Feel free to download & copy (in unaltered form) this timeline for educational use within your classroom.

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‘Glossary of Electoral Terms’
An engaging iPhone style glossary of electoral terminology.

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Format suits reluctant readers
Includes direct email link to the Tasmanian Electoral Commission for further clarification or explanation.

TEC created & owned content - Feel free to download & copy this glossary for educational use within your classroom.
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‘Electing 2 Houses of Parliament’

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This info graphic is a great way to compare the election processes and makeup of the 2 Houses of Tasmania's Parliament.

Students could create their own version in pairs or a group of pairs, comparing and contrasting the differences and similarities in electing the 2 Houses.

TEC created & owned content – Feel free to download & copy this resource for educational use within your classroom.

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‘Electing 2 Houses of Parliament’
Poster / Game + teaching notes

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Use this resource online or offline, as an information poster, a springboard to further research, or as a puzzle in the teaching & assessment phases.

TEC created & owned content - Feel free to download & copy this resource for educational use within your classroom.

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'My Representatives'

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Use this tool developed by the TEC to discover who represents you in Local, State and Federal government.

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Images of the 2014 State Election
(the House of Assembly Election)

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Discover if students or their family members were present at the Tally Room & listen to a retelling of their experiences. Examine the photographs & establish the various groups present – from media (in front of camera, behind the camera, printed press etc), to party faithful, to interested citizens, to party leaders, to TEC staff... Discuss the various reasons / roles these groups play in the evening. Make connections & comparisons to the National Tally Room.

Feel free to download & copy these images for educational use within your classroom.

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Images of a Local Government Election in action

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Use the image titles to help build a picture of what happens during a local government election. Compare the processes in evidence to the processes of the State Election:
- all votes are postal
- voting is not compulsory for local government elections
- compare the Tally Room to the State Election Tally Room

Feel free to download & copy these images for educational use within your classroom.

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Tasmanian Casino Referendum ‘How to Vote’ card

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A scan of a 'how to vote' card from the 1968 Casino Referendum campaign.

Note the similar layout to a ballot paper, & the use of font size to emphasize the point of view of the advertiser.

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‘No Dam’ Headline

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The result of the Tasmanian Dams Case.  1983.

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1855 Proclamation of Tasmania

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The proclamation of Van Diemen's Land name change to take effect 1st January 1856.

Lots of scope to investigate the language used in the proclamation.

Springboard for further research into this significant event in our history.

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1909 Map of the Federal Division Boundaries in Tasmania
(File size 11.2MB)

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Interesting comparison to modern division maps.

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1968 Newspaper Article – ‘Full Adult Franchise Approved’

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Discusses an amendment to the Bill, around the age qualifications to stand for office.

Stimulus for debate around age, experience & suitability for office, in the context of the role of the Legislative Council, then and now.

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In a wonderful mix of art & philosophy, this video looks at the many ways to define the concept of democracy.

Could be used as a springboard to debate & defend the inclusion / exclusion of terms used in the video.

Perhaps use as an inspiration for creating animations / videos where students illustrate their own definition of democracy, or what constitutes a free and fair election etc

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 ‘Democracy' (Britannica.com)

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A 1945 'informational' B&W film created by the Encyclopedia Britannica & a Yale University lecturer.

This film could lead to analysis, debate & further research along these lines:
Vocabulary / pejorative language; imagery used; filming techniques; the way the film defines democracy in the context of the era, of US political environment and more.

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‘No Fair Way to Vote’

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Based in the British context, this video explains the concept of 'first past the post' voting as compared to preferential voting.

Note that the term 'single transferrable vote' used in the film is an element of a preferential voting system.

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‘Fighting for the Vote’  - a personal story

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A powerful, confronting and personal story of one man's 'fight to vote'.

Springboard to discussion / debate & further research around:
How political landscapes around the world change over time; Students' personal experiences of democracy; Students' personal views about the right to vote;

Design communication objects that encourage youth to vote, perhaps utilising personal stories.


  Resources on the Web
| Democracy Over Time | Suffrage | Referenda |

'MP for a Week'
A United Kingdom game where players interact and experience the many tasks a UK parliamentarian may undertake.

Democracy Over Time  

Web Page
'Sesquicentenary of Bicameral Parliament in Tasmania'
Detailed Tasmanian Parliament Chronology, includes Parliamentary events and a number of important events in the state.
Web Page
'Electoral Events Timeline'
An overview of some major dates in Australian electoral history, plus some stimulus questions.
'History of Voting'
Animated explanation of the history of voting in Australia, including a revision quiz.
Unit of work
'Voting and Belonging'
Short unit of work with printable worksheets.
'Australian System of Government'
Fact sheet outlining Australia's system of government.
Web Page + PDFs

'Elections and Voting in Australia'
Fact Sheet outlining voting systems at a Federal level.
Web Page + PDFs

'Our Electoral System'
Overview of the systems in operation in Australia, including a useful table comparing the states and territories.
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Useful for sourcing dates, comparing the systems used in each state, and a good starting point for a variety of research tasks and building timelines.
'History of Voting'
Assessment Interactive game where students organise voting history events in a timeline.
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Useful self-assessment tool, that also has an option to 'research' an answer on the spot.


'1902 An Act to provide for an Uniform Federal Franchise'
Printable scan of the original 1902 Act of Parliament giving adult suffrage to Australians over 21 years of age.
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Opportunity for discussions and further research around the exclusion clauses (p3), the gender-biased language and the signs and symbols used.
Web Page
'Australian Suffragettes'
Detailed outline of Women's suffrage, with a number of small photographs and extensive list of links for further research.
Web Page
'Women's Suffrage'
Short comparison list of Women's suffrage across the Australia states & territories.
Historic Cartoon
'Shrieking Sisterhood', 1894 Cartoon about the suffragette movement in Australia.
The Learning Federation ID No R9345.
(Use your Scootle login to access)
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Many opportunities for discussion and debate around the language, the goals of the suffragettes, the attitudes at the time, subtext, cartoon styles and more.
Create a satirical cartoon, either of that era, or of the contemporary era.
'Short assessment of students' knowledge of the history of some aspects of Australian suffrage.    


Web Page
Referendums in Tasmania'
Tasmanian Parliamentary Library information page outlining the process and the actual referenda in Tasmania's history, complete with result summaries.
Role Play PDF
'The Franklin River Debate 1983'
Role Play about the Franklin Dam Debate, as used in Canberra's Old Parliament House education tours.
'Constitutional Referendums'
General explanation of the process of referenda, with a result summary of national referenda.
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An informative backgrounder for teachers.
'Referendums – Do You Get It?'
Short yet comprehensive assessment of students' knowledge of the processes involved in referenda in Australia.
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While the format is a little juvenile for this age group, the questions are valid and could form a useful pre-testing exercise.
The quiz could serve as inspiration for students to create their own version for their peers.

  Young People as Active Citizens



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Interview with My Space Political Director about the impact of social networking on a recent US election

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The 2008 United States election saw one of the first campaigns to make considerable use of social media in an attempt to connect to young voters.
This interview could serve as a springboard for debate and further research to answer questions such as:
How much did social media marketing affect the outcome?
Can you find other examples of this in Australia or Tasmania?
Collect, analyse & present data about young Tasmanian's opinions about the use of social media in election campaigns.

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'End Child Slavery'

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The story of a group of high school girls and their efforts to highlight child exploitation in connection with the chocolate industry.

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A powerful story of how a small group of high school boys is bringing cultures together while helping others... all through soccer!

'Change a Million Light Bulbs'

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How one girl's small idea made a big impact!


  Resources on the Web

Newspaper Article
'Class action on war'
The Age newspaper discusses active citizenship among high school students, in relation to anti-war protests, followed by comments from high school readers.
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Debate stimulus around civil disobedience, age limitations, appropriate actions.
Survey student body to establish what activism projects students may have been involved in, what barriers they came across and how they might like to be involved. Generate newspaper / newsletter articles from findings.
Interactive Animation
'Make a Difference'
Simple animation that outlines the steps young people might undertake to get involved in solving a problem of concern to them.
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Inspiration for:
- Finding an active citizenship project the students are passionate about; &/or
- A multi-media assignment where students create their own 'how to make a difference' guide.
'Student Action Teams'
Active Citizenship 'How to Manual' developed by the Victorian government, contains useful tips for creating student action groups.
Unit of work
'Having Opinions'
Full colour unit of work around becoming involved in active citizenship.
Unit Outline
'Getting Things Done'
Overview of Discovering Democracy units.
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Could lead to useful background information for teacher-developed tasks.

K Prep & Yr 1 Years 2 & 3 Years 4 - 6 Years 7 - 9 Year 10 SRC Professional Learning

This content is intended for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Contact: education@tec.tas.gov.au

© Tasmanian Electoral Commission