Glossary (Version 8.4)

A quantitative (output and value) and qualitative (wellbeing) improvement in the standard of living.

An increase in the quantity of goods and services produced in an economy over a period of time; an increasing ability of society to satisfy the needs and wants of its people.

Economic activity that supports the economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

A system that coordinates production and distribution of goods and services.

A social science (study of human behaviour) that studies decisions made by individuals, households, businesses, governments and other groups about how scarce resources are allocated in attempting to satisfy needs and unlimited wants.

All activities undertaken for the purpose of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a region or country.

A functioning unit of nature defined by a complex set of relationships among its living organisms (such as microorganisms, plants, animals, humans) and its non-living components (such as water, minerals, soil, air), where all organisms and components are interdependent through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Every unit can be explored at macro levels (such as the planet) or as specific limited areas.

Management based on improving health of an ecosystem producing commodities rather than on maximising production of individual commodities, for example, by increasing biodiversity, restoring hydrological systems, protecting marine breeding areas or rebuilding soil structure and fertility.

People who have the right to participate in an election and chose to do so.

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.

A flow of energy through a biological food chain; a movement of energy around an ecosystem through biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) means. Also referred to as ecology.

A business unit, company or project that is profit-oriented, non-profit, privately owned or government-controlled, and that combines scarce resources for a production and supply of goods and services, and especially may require boldness or effort. Alternatively, the term may refer to an undertaking of a project or business.

A person who sets out to build a successful business in a new field. Entrepreneur’s methods are sometimes regarded as ‘ground-breaking’ or innovative.

A setting and conditions of an area in which activity occurs, and where features may be natural, managed or constructed.

Functions of an environment that support human life and economic activity are:

  • production of raw materials from the natural resources of soil, water, forests, minerals and marine life (the earth’s source function)
  • safe absorption (through breakdown, recycling or storage) of wastes and pollution produced by production and human life (the earth’s sink function)
  • provision of environmental or ecosystem services that support life without requiring human action, for example, climatic stability, biodiversity, ecosystem integrity and protection from ultraviolet radiation (the earth’s service function)
  • intrinsic recreational, psychological, aesthetic and spiritual value of environments (the earth’s spiritual function).

Characteristics of a local environment that affect human physical and mental health and quality of life, for example, an extent of air and water pollution, noise, access to open space, traffic volumes, and visual effects of buildings and roads.

Resources sourced from an environment, which can be classified as renewable, non-renewable and continuous.

A person’s view of the relationship between humans and nature. This ranges from human-centred (in which humans are separate from nature, and any environmental problems can be solved by technology) to earth-centred (in which humans are a part of and dependent on nature and have to work with nature).

A perceived fairness of the way scarce resources are used and the way benefits of production are distributed.

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.

Also known as the Crown or the government. An institution that develops and implements policies and administers the law in Australia. It comprises the Governor-General (or Governor at the state level), the ministry and the public service.

A constitutional mechanism for providing ministerial advice to the Governor-General. The Executive Council, which is comprised of ministers and presided over by the Governor-General (or Governor, at the state level) meets to advise the Governor-General or Governor to approve decisions that have been made by the Cabinet. Once approved, decisions are given effect by the public service.

Industries that sell a service to customers who come from other places to obtain the service, as in tourism and education of students from overseas. Both industries bring income into a place.