Civics and Citizenship

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A deep understanding of Australia's federal system of government and the liberal democratic values that underpin it is essential in enabling students to become active and informed citizens who participate in and sustain Australia’s democracy.



The Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship aims to ensure students develop:

a lifelong sense of belonging to and engagement with civic life as an active and informed citizen in the context of Australia as a secular democratic nation with a dynamic, multicultural, multi-faith society and a Christian heritage



The Years 7–10 Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship is organised into two interrelated strands: civics and citizenship knowledge and understanding, and civics and citizenship inquiry and skills.


PDF documents

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship are available as PDF documents. 
Civics and Citizenship: Sequence of content 7-10
Civics and Citizenship: Sequence of achievement 7-10  




Year 10

Year 10 Level Description

The Year 10 curriculum develops student understanding of Australia’s system of government through comparison with another system of government in the Asian region. Students examine Australia’s roles and responsibilities within the international context, such as its involvement with the United Nations. Students also study the purpose and work of the High Court. They investigate the values and practices that enable a democratic society to be sustained.

The civics and citizenship content at this year level involves two strands: civics and citizenship knowledge and understanding, and civics and citizenship skills. These strands are interrelated and have been developed to be taught in an integrated way, and in ways that are appropriate to specific local contexts. The order and detail in which they are taught are programming decisions.

Key inquiry questions

A framework for developing students’ civics and citizenship knowledge, understanding and skills at this year level is provided by the following key questions:

  • How is Australia’s democracy defined and shaped by the global context?
  • How are government policies shaped by Australia’s international legal obligations?
  • What are the features of a resilient democracy?

Year 10 Content Descriptions

Government and democracy

The key features and values of Australia’s system of government compared with at least ONE other system of government in the Asia region (ACHCK090 - Scootle )
  • categorising the key features of Australia’s system of government (for example, democratic elections and the separation of powers) and comparing and contrasting these to the key features found in another country in the Asia region, such as Japan, India or Indonesia
  • interviewing people with connections to a country in the Asia region to compare the values they associate with the system of government in that country with those of Australia
The Australian Government’s role and responsibilities at a global level, for example provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping, participation in international organisations and the United Nations (ACHCK091 - Scootle )
  • exploring the types of participation that Australia has in the Asia region and internationally (for example, exchange programs, peacekeeping, election monitoring, health programs, disaster management)
  • investigating Australia’s involvement with the United Nations (for example, representation in the organisation and adherence to conventions and declarations that Australia has ratified)

Laws and citizens

The role of the High Court, including in interpreting the Constitution (ACHCK092 - Scootle )
  • examining the jurisdiction of the High Court
  • exploring an example of a High Court judgement in interpreting and applying Australian law, such as the Mabo decision or the construction of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge
How Australia’s international legal obligations shape Australian law and government policies, including in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACHCK093 - Scootle )
  • listing some of the international agreements Australia has ratified and identifying examples of how each one might shape government policies and laws (for example, the protection of World Heritage areas)
  • researching the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • identifying how international conventions and declarations have shaped Australian government policies with regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • recognising that the obligations in international treaties only take domestic effect in Australia if they are implemented by statute, whether by the Commonwealth or state parliaments

Citizenship, diversity and identity

The challenges to and ways of sustaining a resilient democracy and cohesive society (ACHCK094 - Scootle )
  • exploring the concept of ‘cohesive society’ using examples from contemporary events in Australia or in other countries to identify factors that support cohesiveness
  • considering threats to Australian democracy and other democracies, such as the influence of vested interests, organised crime, corruption and lawlessness
  • identifying the safeguards that protect Australia’s democratic system and society, including shared values and the right to dissent within the bounds of the law
  • investigating processes by which individuals and groups resolve differences in Australian communities (for example, negotiation, mediation and reconciliation)

Questioning and research

Develop, select and evaluate a range of questions to investigate Australia's political and legal systems (ACHCS095 - Scootle )
  • developing and evaluating a set of questions that provide a comprehensive framework for research (for example, in relation to how systems of government might differ and how democratic they are)
Identify, gather and sort information and ideas from a range of sources and reference as appropriate (ACHCS096 - Scootle )
  • conducting an opinion poll using information technologies and analysing the results
  • referencing a range of sources using an appropriate referencing system

Analysis, synthesis and interpretation

Critically evaluate information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS097 - Scootle )
  • developing and using criteria to evaluate the suitability of data in an investigation about Australia’s international involvements
  • critically analysing published material relevant to civics and citizenship topics and issues to assess reliability and purpose (for example, NGO fundraising material or a government information campaign)
Account for different interpretations and points of view (ACHCS098 - Scootle )
  • identifying the values, motivations and contexts which underpin different interpretations about civics and citizenship topics and issues
  • developing an evidence-based argument that includes a rebuttal of an alternative point of view (for example, about Australia’s commitment to its international legal obligations)

Problem-solving and decision-making

Recognise and consider multiple perspectives and ambiguities, and use strategies to negotiate and resolve contentious issues (ACHCS099 - Scootle )
  • identifying civics and citizenship topics and issues that may involve dissent, uncertainty or be open to interpretation and debate (for example, international views on whaling and money laundering)
  • using skills associated with the negotiation process (seeking to understand other views, applying reason and logic, building on common ground, isolating areas of difficulty, and recording agreements reached)
Use democratic processes to reach consensus on a course of action relating to a civics or citizenship issue and plan for that action (ACHCS100 - Scootle )
  • developing a plan for action that takes into account challenges, opportunities, risks and strategies to respond to a civics and citizenship issue
  • using democratic processes to decide on criteria that can be used to evaluate plans for action to addresses a civics and citizenship issue

Communication and reflection

Present evidence-based civics and citizenship arguments using subject-specific language (ACHCS101 - Scootle )
  • using appropriate terms and concepts such as conventions, international law, cohesive society and global citizen
  • using a range of relevant evidence to persuade an audience to a point of view about how to sustain a resilient democracy
Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australian, regional and global contexts (ACHCS102 - Scootle )
  • considering and identifying the qualities of a citizen in a contemporary, successful democracy
  • discussing the implications of living in an interconnected world and what this could mean for active and informed citizenship

Year 10 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 10, students compare and evaluate the key features and values of systems of government, and analyse the Australian Government’s global roles and responsibilities. They analyse the role of the High Court and explain how Australia’s international legal obligations influence law and government policy. Students evaluate a range of factors that sustain democratic societies.

When researching, students evaluate a range of questions to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems and critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance, reliability and omission. They account for and evaluate different interpretations and points of view on civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take account of multiple perspectives and ambiguities, use democratic processes, and negotiate solutions to an issue. Students develop and present evidenced-based arguments incorporating different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. They use appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They evaluate ways they can be active and informed citizens in different contexts.