People Power


Upper primary


People power refers to the potential that ordinary citizens in a democracy have to change situations that they believe are unjust. Their power comes from their ability to stand together as a group to confront an issue, to use democratic avenues to influence government policy or public opinon, and to sustain their actions over a period of time. Their campaigns to address injustice include demonstrations, strikes, media publicity, action through the courts, and direct appeals to the government to make policy changes.

Areas of Study

This unit investigates three popular movements in which citizens combined to seek justice, addressing the following focus questions:

  1. How Did the Freedom Riders Confront Injustice Toward Aboriginal People in the 1960s? 
  2. How Did Australians Improve Their Working Conditions in the 1850s? 
  3. How Have Women Addressed the Issue of Equal Pay for Equal Work? 

Curriculum Links

Links to the Australian Curriculum

Learning outcomes

Indicators of Student Achievement

The student can:

  • give accounts of the actions and achievements of popular movements

  • identify values and beliefs that influence people to publicly campaign for specific causes

  • evaluate the effectiveness of political strategies used to achieve change.  

Overview of Activities

Overview of Activities: Focus Question 1 | Focus Question 2 | Focus Question 3 | Teacher Information

People Power Introduction | 1. Aboriginal Rights | 2. Eight-Hour Day |  3. Equal Pay for Women 

Back to Upper Primary Teaching and Learning Activities