Glossary

A person’s perspective is their point of view, the position from that they see and understand events going on around them. People in the past may have had different points of view about a particular event, depending on their age, gender, social position and their beliefs and values. Historians also have perspectives and this can influence their interpretation of the past. A way of viewing the world, the people in it, their relationship to each other and their relationship to communities and environments.

A person’s perspective is their point of view, the position from that they see and understand events going on around them. People in the past may have had different points of view about a particular event, depending on their age, gender, social position and their beliefs and values. Historians also have perspectives and this can influence their interpretation of the past.

Places play a fundamental role in human life. The world is made up of places, from those with largely natural features, for example, an area of rainforest, to those with largely constructed features such as the centre of a large city. Places are where we live and grow up. Our most common relationships are likely to be with people in the same place. The environmental and human qualities of places influence our lives and life opportunities. Places are, therefore, cultural constructs. They are sites of biodiversity; locations for economic activity; centres of decision-making and administration; sites for the transmission and exchange of knowledge and ideas; meeting places for social interaction; sources of identity, belonging and enjoyment; and areas of natural beauty and wonder. They are where major events occur, from natural disasters and financial crises to sporting events.

Places can also be laboratories for the comparative study of the relationships between processes and phenomena, because the uniqueness of each place means that similar processes and influences can produce different outcomes in different places.

The importance of Country/Place to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is an example of the interaction between culture and identity, and shows how places can be invested with spiritual and other significance.

In History, primary sources are 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 and documentaries. These original, firsthand accounts are analysed by the historian to answer questions about the past.

Secondary sources are 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.