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History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that develops students’ curiosity and imagination. Awareness of history is an essential characteristic of any society, and historical knowledge is fundamental to understanding ourselves and and others.



The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop:

interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens



The Australian Curriculum: History is organised into two interrelated strands: historical knowledge and understanding and historical inquiry and skills.
Historical knowledge and understanding strand
This strand includes personal, family, local, state or territory, national, regional and world history.


PDF documents

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




Year 9

Year 9 Level Description

The making of the modern world

The Year 9 curriculum provides a study of the history of the making of the modern world from 1750 to 1918. It was a period of industrialisation and rapid change in the ways people lived, worked and thought. It was an era of nationalism and imperialism, and the colonisation of Australia was part of the expansion of European power. The period culminated in World War I, 1914–1918, the ‘war to end all wars’.

The content provides opportunities to develop historical understanding through key concepts, including evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability. These concepts may be investigated within a particular historical context to facilitate an understanding of the past and to provide a focus for historical inquiries.

The history content at this year level involves two strands: historical knowledge and understanding, and historical 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’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills is provided by inquiry questions through the use and interpretation of sources. The key inquiry questions for Year 9 are:

  • What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750 to 1918?
  • How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this period?
  • What was the origin, development, significance and long-term impact of imperialism in this period?
  • What was the significance of World War I?

Year 9 Content Descriptions

Overview of the making of the modern world

The following content is taught as part of an overview for the historical period. It is not intended to be taught in depth. Overview content identifies important features of the period (1750 – 1918) as part of an expansive chronology that helps students understand broad patterns of historical change. As such, the overview provides the broader context for the teaching of depth study content and can be built into various parts of a teaching and learning program. This means that overview content can be used to give students an introduction to the historical period; to make the links to and between the depth studies, and to consolidate understanding through a review of the period.


Overview content for the making of the modern world includes the following:

the nature and significance of the Industrial Revolution and how it affected living and working conditions, including within Australia (ACOKFH016 - Scootle )
the nature and extent of the movement of peoples in the period (slaves, convicts and settlers) (ACOKFH015 - Scootle )
the extent of European imperial expansion and different responses, including in the Asian region (ACOKFH017 - Scootle )
the emergence and nature of significant economic, social and political ideas in the period, including nationalism (ACOKFH019 - Scootle )

Depth Studies

Making a better world?

Students investigate how life changed in the period in depth through the study of ONE of these major developments: the Industrial Revolution or Progressive ideas and movements or Movement of peoples. The study includes the causes and effects of the development, and the Australian experience.

The Industrial Revolution (1750 – 1914)

The technological innovations that led to the Industrial Revolution, and other conditions that influenced the industrialisation of Britain (ACDSEH017 - Scootle )
  • mapping the British Empire c.1800 AD (CE) and the raw materials it obtained from colonies (for example, sugar from Jamaica, wool from Australia and cotton from India)
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • explaining changes in technology (for example, steam-driven spinning mills, railways and steam ships) which led to factories and cities
  • identifying the spread of innovations such as steam power; iron and steel production; transport; and chemicals in Europe, USA and Japan
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • identifying factors that led to the Industrial Revolution such as the agricultural revolution, access to raw materials, wealthy middle class, cheap labour, transport system and expanding empire
The population movements and changing settlement patterns during this period (ACDSEH080 - Scootle )
  • examining changes to the population statistics of major cities during this period
  • investigating changes to the cities and landscape in European countries and Australia as the Industrial Revolution continued to develop, using photos (for example, those that were taken as the Eiffel Tower was being constructed using iron)
The experiences of men, women and children during the Industrial Revolution, and their changing way of life (ACDSEH081 - Scootle )
  • describing the impact of steam, gas and electricity on people’s way of life during the Industrial Revolution
  • investigating the changes in working conditions (for example, longer working hours for low pay and the use of children as a cheap source of labour)
The short and long-term impacts of the Industrial Revolution, including global changes in landscapes, transport and communication (ACDSEH082 - Scootle )
  • Sustainability
  • describing the impact of factories, mines and cities on the environment, and on population growth and distribution
    • Sustainability
  • outlining the growth of trade unions as a response to the impacts of the Industrial Revolution

Progressive ideas and movements (1750 – 1918)

The emergence and nature of key ideas in the period, with a particular focus on ONE of the following: capitalism, socialism, egalitarianism, nationalism, imperialism, Darwinism, Chartism (ACDSEH019 - Scootle )
  • explaining why an idea emerged and the basis of that idea (for example, egalitarianism — being judged on merit rather than by birth or past deeds)
Reasons why ONE key idea emerged and/or developed a following (ACDSEH086 - Scootle )
  • investigating reasons why a key idea gained support, such as the support for Chartism among the poorer classes as a response to deteriorating living and working conditions
The role of an individual or group in the promotion of ONE of these key ideas, and the responses to it, for example from workers, entrepreneurs, land owners, religious groups (ACDSEH087 - Scootle )
  • explaining responses to particular ideas (for example, how religious groups responded to ideas in Charles Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species or how workers responded to the idea of capitalism or socialism)
  • investigating the role played by an individual or group in promoting a key idea (for example, the role of Adam Smith and entrepreneurs in promoting capitalism)
The short and long-term impacts of ONE of these ideas on Australia and the world (ACDSEH088 - Scootle )
  • assessing the impact of a key idea in Australia and elsewhere (for example, the effect of increasing nationalist sentiment in Australia in the mid- to late nineteenth century or the effects of Chartism on democracy in Britain or on the Victorian goldfields)

Movement of peoples (1750 – 1901)

The influence of the Industrial Revolution on the movement of peoples throughout the world, including the transatlantic slave trade and convict transportation (ACDSEH018 - Scootle )
  • mapping the movement of peoples in the transatlantic slave trade or in convict transportation to Australia
  • explaining the role of the Industrial Revolution in creating a growing need for labour and transportation
Experiences of slaves, convicts and free settlers upon departure, their journey abroad, and their reactions on arrival, including the Australian experience (ACDSEH083 - Scootle )
  • investigating sources that record the reactions of new arrivals to other countries in this period (for example, responses to the natural environment and climate)
Changes in the way of life of a group(s) of people who moved to Australia in this period, such as free settlers on the frontier in Australia (ACDSEH084 - Scootle )
  • investigating the experiences of a specific group of arrivals to Australia (for example, convicts in Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane; or free settlers in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Darwin)
  • describing the impact of this group on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of the region
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
The short and long-term impacts of the movement of peoples during this period (ACDSEH085 - Scootle )
  • evaluating the effects of the movement of peoples on the indigenous and immigrant populations

Australia and Asia

Students investigate the history of an Asian society OR Australia in the period 1750 – 1918 in depth.

Asia and the world

Key features (social, cultural, economic, political) of ONE Asian society at the start of this period (ACDSEH093 - Scootle )
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • investigating the key aspects an Asian society at the beginning of this period (for example, identifying the territorial extent of Qing China, the role and influence of the Emperor, and the nature of literature, art and architecture)
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
Change and continuity in the Asian society during this period, including any effects of contact (intended and unintended) with European power(s) (ACDSEH094 - Scootle )
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • identifying aspects of the Asian society under investigation that remained the same or changed during this period, especially as a result of contact with European powers (for example, describing the British Raj and identifying British influences on society (such as the building of roads, an extensive railway network, schools and Christian missions))
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
The position of the Asian society in relation to other nations in the world around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900), including the influence of key ideas such as nationalism (ACDSEH142 - Scootle )
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • investigating the confrontation between Japan and Western powers (for example, the Russo-Japanese war) and the emergence of Japan as a major world power
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
The significance of ONE key event that involved the Asian society and European power(s), including different perspectives of the event at the time (ACDSEH141 - Scootle )
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • describing the activities of Christian missionaries in China and the outcomes of the Boxer Rebellion
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia

Making a nation

The extension of settlement, including the effects of contact (intended and unintended) between European settlers in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACDSEH020 - Scootle )
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • explaining the effects of contact (for example, the massacres of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; their killing of sheep; the spread of European diseases) and categorising these effects as either intended or unintended
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • investigating the forcible removal of children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families in the late nineteenth century/early twentieth century (leading to the Stolen Generations), such as the motivations for the removal of children, the practices and laws that were in place, and experiences of separation.
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Experiences of non-Europeans in Australia prior to the 1900s (such as the Japanese, Chinese, South Sea Islanders, Afghans) (ACDSEH089 - Scootle )
  • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
  • outlining the migration of Chinese to the goldfields in Australia in the nineteenth century and attitudes towards the Chinese as revealed in cartoons (for example, 'The Mongolian Octopus')
    • Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia
Living and working conditions in Australia around the turn of the twentieth century (that is 1900) (ACDSEH090 - Scootle )
  • identifying the main features of housing, sanitation, transport, education and industry that influenced living and working conditions in Australia
  • describing the impact of the gold rushes (hinterland) on the development of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’
Key people, events and ideas in the development of Australian self-government and democracy, including, the role of founders, key features of constitutional development, the importance of British and Western influences in the formation of Australia’s system of government and women's voting rights (ACDSEH091 - Scootle )
  • explaining the factors that contributed to federation and the development of democracy in Australia, including the role of key individuals, defence concerns, the 1890s depression, nationalist ideals and egalitarianism
  • examining the key features of and British and Western influences on Australia's system of government including the Westminster System and Federalism
  • investigating the factors that led to the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which enabled women to vote and stand for election for the federal Parliament
Laws made by federal Parliament between 1901-1914 including the Harvester Judgment, pensions, and the Immigration Restriction Act (ACDSEH092 - Scootle )
  • investigating how the major social legislation of the new Federal Government affected living and working conditions in Australia (for example, invalid and old-age pensions and the maternity allowance scheme)
  • creating a timeline of major social legislation passed by federal Parliament between 1901 and 1914

World War I (1914-1918)

Students investigate key aspects of World War I and the Australian experience of the war, including the nature and significance of the war in world and Australian history.

World War I (1914-1918)

An overview of the causes of World War I and the reasons why men enlisted to fight in the war (ACDSEH021 - Scootle )
  • investigating the rise of nationalist sentiment as well as the values and attitudes towards war in the period 1750–1918 (for example, idealistic notions of war; sense of adventure)
The places where Australians fought and the nature of warfare during World War I, including the Gallipoli campaign (ACDSEH095 - Scootle )
  • identifying the places where Australians fought, including Fromelles, the Somme, Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine
  • using sources to investigate the fighting at Gallipoli, the difficulties of trench warfare, and the use of tanks, aeroplanes and chemical weapons (gas)
  • exploring the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people during the war
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
The impact of World War I, with a particular emphasis on Australia including the changing role of women (ACDSEH096 - Scootle )
  • graphing the proportion of Australian servicemen who died during World War I, compared to that of other countries involved in the war
  • investigating examples of the war’s impact on Australia’s economy and society (for example, the development of the steel industry in Newcastle and the implementation of the War Precautions Act)
  • identifying the groups who opposed conscription (for example, trade unionists, Irish Catholics) and the grounds for their objections
  • studying the first and second referenda on conscription, including the division within the Labor Party over this issue
  • explaining the treatment of people of German descent during the war (for example, their classification as ‘enemy aliens’ and placement in internment camps, as well as their depiction in government propaganda)
  • investigating the short- and long-term impact of World War I on the role of women in Australia
The commemoration of World War I, including debates about the nature and significance of the Anzac legend (ACDSEH097 - Scootle )
  • investigating the ideals associated with the Anzac tradition and how and why World War I is commemorated within Australian society

Chronology, terms and concepts

Use chronological sequencing to demonstrate the relationship between events and developments in different periods and places (ACHHS164 - Scootle )
  • representing the relationship between events in different times and places using interactive timelines
  • placing key events in sequence (for example, the Boer War, 1899–1902; World War I, 1914–1918), and identifying parts of the world that were involved in, or affected by, those events
Use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS165 - Scootle )
  • discussing the contestability of particular historical terms such as 'settlement', 'invasion' and 'colonisation' in the context of Australia’s history
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • defining and using concepts such as ‘imperialism’, ‘nationalism’, ‘evolution’, ‘evidence’

Historical questions and research

Identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry (ACHHS166 - Scootle )
  • developing questions about aspects of the past that require historical argument
  • assembling, as part of the planning process, a range of sources that would be useful for researching the causes of World War I
Evaluate and enhance these questions (ACHHS167 - Scootle )
  • developing an inquiry question such as: ‘What were the effects of the Industrial Revolution?’ and refining it as further factors are introduced into the research process
Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS168 - Scootle )
  • locating historical sources from archives, museums and online collections

Analysis and use of sources

Identify the origin, purpose and context of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS169 - Scootle )
  • explaining the contextual significance of a source, such as Frank Hurley’s World War I photos, and identifying the purpose of Hurley’s creation of composite photos
Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument (ACHHS170 - Scootle )
  • graphing historical data to identify past trends and to draw conclusions about their significance (for example, the proportion of Australian servicemen who returned from World War I, and the ‘lost generations’ in the years after the war)
Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS171 - Scootle )
  • understanding that the reliability and usefulness of a source depends on the questions asked of it (for example, an account may be one-sided; however, it may still be useful in revealing past prevailing attitudes)

Perspectives and interpretations

Identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past (ACHHS172 - Scootle )
  • investigating the role of human agency in historical events and developments
  • analysing the accounts of poets such as William Blake (‘dark Satanic mills’) and novelists such as Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist, Bleak House) as sources of information on living conditions in England during the Industrial Revolution
Identify and analyse different historical interpretations (including their own) (ACHHS173 - Scootle )
  • recognising that historical interpretations may be provisional
  • examining different accounts of eighteenth-century journeys to Australia (for example, ships’ logs; diaries; recorded testimonies of male and female convicts, and officers; and explaining the variations in perspective which can lead to different historical interpretations

Explanation and communication

Develop texts, particularly descriptions and discussions that use evidence from a range of sources that are referenced (ACHHS174 - Scootle )
  • developing a historical argument that identifies different possibilities in interpretation and argues a particular point of view with consistent reference to the evidence available
Select and use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies (ACHHS175 - Scootle )
  • using online conferencing and other forms of ICT to discuss historical questions and issues
  • creating a travel brochure (incorporating written text and graphics) to advertise the achievements and opportunities available to an immigrant to nineteenth-century Brisbane

Year 9 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 9, students refer to key events and the actions of individuals and groups to explain patterns of change and continuity over time. They analyse the causes and effects of events and developments and make judgments about their importance. They explain the motives and actions of people at the time. Students explain the significance of these events and developments over the short and long term. They explain different interpretations of the past.

Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework, with reference to periods of time and their duration. When researching, students develop different kinds of questions to frame a historical inquiry. They interpret, process, analyse and organise information from a range of primary and secondary sources and use it as evidence to answer inquiry questions. Students examine sources to compare different points of view. When evaluating these sources, they analyse origin and purpose, and draw conclusions about their usefulness. They develop their own interpretations about the past. Students develop texts, particularly explanations and discussions, incorporating historical interpretations. In developing these texts and organising and presenting their conclusions, they use historical terms and concepts, evidence identified in sources, and they reference these sources.

Year 9 Work Sample Portfolios