Cross-curriculum priorities

The cross-curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia and Sustainability – give students the tools and language to engage with and better understand their world at national, regional and global levels.

The cross-curriculum priorities inherently align with the knowledge and understandings, competencies and dispositions for consumer and financial capacity and wellbeing in the 21st century. In a world of increasing global integration, it is critical to the financial wellbeing of individuals, the economic prosperity of society and the sustainability of the environment that young Australians develop a holistic understanding of their world at all levels – national, regional and global. The priorities give students a rich knowledge and understanding of the world they live in and equip them to take action and make informed and effective decisions that have a positive impact on themselves, their families, the broader community and the environment. The priorities also enable students to appreciate that behaviour, perceptions and decision-making in financial and consumer contexts vary according to different cultural experiences and ways of knowing.

The three priorities provide opportunities to develop and explore knowledge and understandings, develop and practise competencies, and investigate and reflect on values about consumer and financial matters in and through authentic and meaningful contexts.

This priority plays an important role in promoting consumer and financial literacy, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people grow up in diverse socio-economic, sociocultural and geographic contexts. Their unique and diverse ways of knowing, being, thinking and doing create challenges and opportunities for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as they engage in consumer and financial matters. As more continues to be understood about the holistic ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples conceptualise, value and manage money and resources, informed learning programs can more effectively respond to students’ learning needs and life contexts, preparing them for financial capability and wellbeing in multiple cultural contexts.

It is also important that other students come to understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures so that they may appreciate the challenges young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face and participate in creating opportunities that support financial wellbeing for all Australians.

This priority is organised around the three ideas of: Country/Place, Culture and People, which can provide an authentic context for teaching and learning about consumer and financial literacy. The priority supports the development of knowledge, understandings and competencies in relation to:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ law, languages, dialects, literacies and numeracies
  • the significant contributions in the present and past by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their knowledge
  • the relationship between culture and identity and consumer and financial behaviours and values and how this knowledge can influence programming for financial wellbeing
  • the strengths and resilience of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities against the historic and present-day impacts of colonisation, and how these have effected approaches to consumer and financial matters
  • the enterprising ways in which diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples approach challenges and opportunities associated with resources, access to services and goods, navigating multiple worlds, and ways of thinking and ways of doing
  • how governments support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs for wellbeing
  • behaviours and dispositions that enable responsible action founded on valuing reconciliation, respect and recognition.

Learning experiences that focus on deep understandings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ histories and cultures provide a relevant and meaningful context for consumer and financial education and can support the development of financial capability. Access examples of how this priority can support the development of consumer and financial literacy.

Examples of how this priority can support the development of consumer and financial literacy can be accessed below.

Digital activity – MilbaDjunga – Smart Money Primary Unit

Digital activity – MilbaDjunga – Smart Money – Secondary unit

Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia recognises that the Asia region exerts enormous influence globally and in Australia. Countries of the Asia region are significant producers and consumers of goods and services and collectively represent one of Australia’s top export markets. Australia’s strategic, political and diplomatic engagement with Asia also continues to grow.

This priority provides a regional context for learning in all areas of the curriculum and is intertwined with the knowledge and competencies of consumer and financial literacy. Successful participation in the ‘Asian century’ requires a knowledge of Asian societies, cultures, beliefs and environments and a knowledge of economic and financial interconnections between Asia, Australia and the world. It requires competencies associated with intercultural understanding and decision-making, and an appreciation of the responsibility of being active and informed citizens, working together to build harmonious local, regional and global communities. Studying consumer and financial literacy through this priority helps to build Australia’s social, intellectual and creative capital, which is vital to the prosperity of individuals and Australia.

This priority is organised around the three ideas of: Asia and its diversity, achievements and contributions of the peoples of Asia, and Asia–Australia engagement, which can provide an authentic context for teaching and learning about consumer and financial literacy. The priority supports the development of knowledge, understandings and competencies in relation to:

  • diversity of peoples and countries of Asia and the diversity of people of Asian heritage in Australia and their contributions
  • interconnections between Australia and the Asia region, past and present
  • interrelationships between humans and the diverse environments and economies in Asia, which shape the region and have global implications
  • Australia’s significant role in social, cultural, political and economic developments in the Asia region
  • how Australia’s national revenue and Asian development are interdependent
  • how consumer and financial services and products are interrelated and consequences when aspects within these interrelationships change
  • the arts and literature of Asia which influence aesthetic, creative and economic pursuits and activity within Australia, the region and globally
  • collaboration and engagement with the peoples of Asia, thereby supporting effective regional and global citizenship
  • communication skills and engagement with the peoples of Asia so they can effectively live, work and learn in the region.

Learning experiences that focus on deep understandings about Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia provide relevant and meaningful contexts for consumer and financial education and can support the development of financial capability. Access examples of how this priority can support the development of consumer and financial literacy.

Examples of how this priority can support the development of consumer and financial literacy can be accessed below.

Kieren's Coin – Unit of work Year Two Mathematics

How can we access money overseas? – Unit of work Year 8 Mathematics

The cross-curriculum priority of Sustainability recognises that sustainable patterns of living rely on the healthy interdependence of social, economic and ecological systems and, in so doing, contributes to the development of consumer and financial literacy in young people.

Education for sustainability develops the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living. It enables individuals and communities to reflect on ways of interpreting and engaging with the world. Sustainability education is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically, socially and economically just world through informed action. Actions to improve sustainability are individual and collective endeavours, shared across local and global communities. Through this priority, young people are empowered to make consumer and financial decisions that will lead to more equitable and sustainable futures.

This priority is organised around the three ideas of: systems, world views and futures, which can provide an authentic context for teaching and learning about consumer and financial literacy. The priority supports the development of knowledge, understandings and competencies in relation to:

  • the ways social, economic and environmental systems interact to support and maintain human life and wellbeing
  • sustainable patterns of living and ways that individuals, groups and governments plan and resource sustainable ways of living
  • resource use and management, including through financial products and services, and how they benefit individuals, societies, economics and environments
  • appreciation of and respect for the diversity of views and values people and groups have about financial and consumer matters that influence sustainable outcomes
  • world views formed by experiences at personal, local, national and global levels, and linked to individual and community actions for sustainability
  • informed individual and community decisions and actions that value local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future
  • actions for a more sustainable future that reflect values of care, respect and responsibility, and require us to explore and understand environments
  • participating critically, imagining and acting creatively in determining more sustainable ways of living
  • designing action for sustainability that involves an evaluation of past practices and balanced judgements based on projected future economic, social and environmental impacts.

Learning experiences that focus on deep understandings about sustainability provide a relevant and meaningful context for consumer and financial education and can support the development of financial capability. Access examples of how this priority can support the development of consumer and financial literacy.

Examples of how this priority can support the development of consumer and financial literacy can be accessed below.

Smart consumers 4 a smart future – Mathematics, English and Science Years 9 & 10

Light up the Globe – Unit of work Science Year 8

Could I live smaller? – Unit of work English Year 9

Should I drink bottled water? – Unit of work Science Year 7

How can we reduce our spending? – Unit of work Mathematics Year 7