7–10 History




A part of a dating system, an abbreviation of ‘anno Domini’, meaning ‘in the year of our Lord’; the years after the birth of Christ.


As defined in the Australian Curriculum: History, the ancient period covers history from the development of early human communities (from 60 000 BCE) to the end of late antiquity (around 650 CE).

Anzac Day

A national remembrance in Australia for the troops that fought at Gallipoli in Turkey (April–December 1915) during World War I, and for Australians who have fought in subsequent conflicts. The acronym ANZAC refers to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).


Something made or shaped by humans for their use, such as a stone tool, a metal sword, a letter, a plastic toy, usually of historical interest.


As defined in the Australian Curriculum: History, Asia refers to the territorial area that extends from the western border of Pakistan, to the northern border of Mongolia, the eastern border of Japan, and to the southern border of Indonesia.


An abbreviation of ‘before the Common Era’. It is the same dating system as the traditionally used BC, meaning ‘before Christ’. Historical dates before the birth of Christ are classified as BCE. There is no year zero in this dating system, so the year CE 1 immediately follows the year 1 BCE. Also see CE.

cause and effect

Used by historians to identify chains of events and developments over time, short-term and long-term.


An abbreviation of `Common Era’. It is the same dating system as the traditionally used AD, short for the Latin phrase anno Domini, ‘in the year of our Lord’. Historical dates after the birth of Christ are classified as CE. There is no year zero in this dating system, so the year CE 1 immediately follows the year 1 BCE. Also see BCE.


A study of time. In history, chronology involves an arrangement of events in order, as in a timeline.


An identifiable body of knowledge, understanding and skills relating to the organisation and working of society, including a country's political and social heritage, democratic processes, government, public administration and judicial systems.


Any general notion or idea that is used to develop an understanding of the past, such as concepts related to the process of historical inquiry (for example, evidence, continuity and change, perspectives, significance) and concepts that are culturally significant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, such as Country/Place.


An inescapable characteristic of history that occurs when particular interpretations about the past are open to debate, for example, as a result of a lack of evidence or different perspectives.

continuity and change

Are both evident in any given period of time and apply to the material and immaterial world, continuities being aspects of the past that remain(ed) the same over certain periods of time.


In the Australian Curriculum, Country in this instance refers to a space mapped out by physical or intangible boundaries that individuals or groups of Aboriginal Peoples occupy and regard as their own. It is a space with varying degrees of spirituality.

Place (as it pertains in Country/Place) is a space mapped out by physical or intangible boundaries that individuals or groups of Torres Strait Islander Peoples occupy and regard as their own. It is a space with varying degrees of spirituality.


A body of beliefs, attitudes, skills and tools by which communities structure their lives and interact with their environments.


A form of government where a decision-making power is vested in the people. In a democracy, the people or their elected representatives determine policy and/or laws. Equality of rights is a principle of democracy.


A study of characteristics of human populations, such as size, age profile and life expectancy.

depth study

As described in the Australian Curriculum: History, a detailed study of specific aspects of a historical period, for example, a particular society, event, movement or development. It gives students an opportunity to develop and apply concepts and skills of historical inquiry. A depth study commonly employs investigation of a range of sources, and may include site and museum visits.


Economic, social and political changes that improve the wellbeing of people.

digital media

Data generated in a computer, that is, digital audio, digital video, the World Wide Web and other technologies.


As defined in the Australian Curriculum: History, engaging with past thought and feelings through a historical inquiry.


An extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, or a sovereign state, which exercises political, economic and cultural rule or control over the people within, such as the Roman Empire and the British Empire.

ethical protocols

Involves an application of fundamental ethical principles when undertaking research and collecting information from primarysources and secondarysources, for example, confidentiality, informed consent, citation and integrity of data.


What can be learnt from a historical source to help construct a historical narrative. Also see primary source and secondary source.

Harmony Day

A national day, held in Australia, which celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity and promotes intercultural understanding and peace.

historical inquiry

A process of investigation undertaken in order to understand the past. Steps in the inquiry process include posing questions, locating and analysing sources and using evidence from sources to develop an informed explanation about the past.


A process whereby rule or control is established and maintained over other peoples and nations.


An introduction of machinery to produce large quantities of goods using fuel-based technology. Industrialisation involves a division of labour and a development of factories and cities.


An explanation of the past, for example, about a specific person, event or development. There may be more than one interpretation of a particular aspect of the past because historians may have used different sources, asked different questions and held different points of view about the topic.


A political philosophy or world view founded on ideas of liberty and equality.


A term used to describe the period of history between the end of the Roman Empire in the West in the fifth century CE to the end of the Renaissance around 1500 CE.


A term used to describe the period of history from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution around 1750 CE to the present.


In history, a way of making sense of the past based on a selection of events. There are different types of narrative such as accounts of the past that relate a story (for example, personal, fictitious) and historical recounts (for example, the course of events during the Second World War).


Loyalty and devotion of a person to their nation and culture.

native title

The name given by the High Court of Australia to Indigenous property rights recognised by the court in the Mabo judgement (3 June 1992). The Mabo judgement overthrew the concept of terra nullius – that the land of Australia had belonged to no-one when the British arrived in 1788.

oral histories

People’s spoken recollections of the past, sometimes recorded through an audio or video interviews.


As described in the Australian Curriculum: History, a conceptual and chronological framework for understanding a particular historical period. It can consist of key features, events, developments and broad patterns of historical change. An overview provides a context for a depth study.


In humanities and social sciences, a world view or a set of ideas or beliefs that guide actions. Perspectives draw on a person’s or group’s age, gender experiences, cultural or religious background, ideologies and/or intellectual contexts, which influence their world view and inform their opinions, values, and actions. Two types of perspective can be considered: those ‘of’ people, and perspectives ‘on’ events and phenomena of the past and present. Also see point of view.

point of view

Looking at someone or something from a location or position. In the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences, an individual’s view about a particular person, event or phenomena, which may be irrational and/or immediately sensed, or deeply considered and reflective. Also see perspective.

primary sources

In history, objects and documents created or written during the time being investigated, for example, during an event or very soon after. Examples of primary sources include official documents, such as laws and treaties; personal documents, such as diaries and letters; photographs; film, documentaries, artefacts, and oral histories. These original, firsthand accounts are analysed by a historian to answer questions about the past.


Measuring or being measured and expressed in numerical terms, for example, the number of women who arrived on the First Fleet; the proportion of Australian soldiers who died in World War I; radiocarbon dating of an ancient site.


An organised system of human values, which recognises spiritual or transcendent dimensions in life.

secondary sources

In history, accounts about the past that were created after the time being investigated, and which often use or refer to primary sources and present a particular interpretation. Examples of secondary sources include writings of historians, encyclopaedia, documentaries, history textbooks and websites.


Pertaining to events, periods, developments, perspectives and ideas of the past, which are regarded as having important consequences, duration and relevance to the present, from the point of view of society or ordinary people when contextualised to larger events.

significant past

Those aspects of history that are of importance or significance for a nation or group when considering such issues as curricula, or research funding, or what should be emphasised in museums.


Any written or non-written material that can be used to investigate the past, for example, coins, photographs, letters, gravestones, buildings, transcripts. A source becomes ‘evidence’ if it is of value to a particular inquiry.


An ongoing capacity of an environment to maintain all life, whereby the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


In the Australian Curriculum: History, a word or phrase used to describe an abstract aspect or feature of the past (for example, colonisation, revolution, imperialism, democracy) and more specific features (for example, pyramid, gladiator, temple, rock shelter).

terra nullius

A concept in international law meaning 'a territory belonging to no-one' or 'over which no-one claims ownership'. The concept has been used to justify the colonisation of Australia. Also see native title.

Back to top