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Years 7 to 9 - Democracy & Active Citizenship

Years 7 to 9

4 sections  

Elements of a Representative Democracy

Electing 2 Houses of Parliament

A great infographic about electing the 2 houses of Parliament in Tasmania.

Who Represents You?

Use this simple search tool to learn who currently represents you at each level of government.


A snapshot of just some of the activity from the 2018 Local Government elections.

Tasmanian Casino Referendum ‘How to Vote’ card

A scanned copy 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.

Tasmanian Dams Case

Newspaper article about the result of the Tasmanian Dams Case.  1983.

1855 Proclamation of Tasmania

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

Learning and teaching suggestions - Lots of scope to investigate the language used in the proclamation. Springboard for further research into this significant event in our history.

1900 federal divisions map

1909 Map of the Federal Division Boundaries in Tasmania

(File size 11.2MB)

full adult franchise article

1968 Newspaper Article – ‘Full Adult Franchise Approved’

Learning and teaching suggestions - 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.


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

Learning and teaching suggestions - 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.

Democracy, a definition

A 1945 'informational' Black and white film created by the Encyclopedia Britannica and a Yale University lecturer.

Learning and teaching suggestions - 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.

No Fair Way to Vote

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.

Fighing for the Vote

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

Learning and teaching suggestions - Springboard to discussion / debate and 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 for

 Teachers (Democracy)

MP for a week

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

Democracy Over Time

Tasmanian Parliament Chronology

Detailed Tasmanian Parliament Chronology, includes Parliamentary events and a number of important events in the State.

History of Voting Challenge

Animated explanation of the history of voting in Australia, including a revision quiz.

Voting and Belonging

Short unit of work with printable worksheets.

Our Electoral System

Overview of the systems in operation in Australia.

History of Voting

Assessment Interactive game where students organise voting history events in a timeline.

Learning and Teaching suggestion - 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.

Learning and Teaching suggestion - Opportunity for discussions and further research around the exclusion clauses (p3), the gender-biased language and the signs and symbols used.

Women's Suffrage

Short comparison list of Women's suffrage across the Australia states & territories.

Shrieking Sisterhood

1894 Cartoon about the suffragette movement in Australia. The Learning Federation ID No R9345, (Use your Scootle login to access)

Learning and Teaching suggestion - 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.

History of Suffrage

Short assessment of students' knowledge of the history of some aspects of Australian suffrage.


Referendums in Tasmania

Tasmanian Parliamentary Library information page outlining the process and the actual referenda in Tasmania's history, complete with result summaries.

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.

Learning and Teaching suggestion - 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.

Learning and Teaching suggestion - 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

Be Heard

What does it mean to form partnerships with community-based organisations? Three young Victorians share their experiences.

Your Issue, Your Voice, Your Say

This video explores how a student voice can be heard. The students here are petitioning the Victorian Parliment about animal cruelty.

Taking Action

This story follows a group of Victorian secondary students as they take action on issues in their community. The students identify the type of actions which can be undertaken when attempting to solve community based issues.

Resources for

 Teachers (Active Citizenship)

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.

Learning and Teaching suggestion - 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.

Make a Difference

Simple animation that outlines the steps young people might undertake to get involved in solving a problem of concern to them.

Learning and Teaching suggestion - Inspiration for:
- Finding an active citizenship project the students are passionate about; &/or
- A multimedia assignment where students create their own 'how to make a difference' guide.

This content is intended for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon for any other purpose.

© Tasmanian Electoral Commission