Discovering democracy: Democratic struggles

 collections_democratic struggles

Copyright Education Services Australia

Resource title: Discovering democracy: Democratic struggles

Digital resource identifier: L9519

Resource description
This learning object explores the influence of the British Chartist movement on the miners’ struggle in Ballarat, Victoria, in the 1850s.

Stage of schooling: Upper Primary

CCE focus: Historical Perspectives


This resource invites students to view a slideshow of images and text that explore the relationship between the Chartist movement in Britain and the struggle for democratic rights on the goldfields of Victoria in the 1850s. Students are encouraged to make the connection between key elements of the Chartist movement in Britain and the emergence of democratic ideas in Australia.

Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning

 ‘Discovering democracy: Democratic struggles’ provides opportunities for students to:

  • explore key historical events in the development of political rights in Australia

  • understand that political rights are a component of citizenship rights

  • investigate the effectiveness of extra-parliamentary participation as a dimension of active citizenship

  • understand that equality is a fundamental democratic principle

  • recognise the evolution of rights in Australia’s democracy. 

Ideas for the classroom

  • Explain to students that they will be writing a story about the emergence of democratic rights in Australia, and that they will be using an onion diagram to identify key ideas to be used in the story.

  • Ask students to read through the learning object slides.

  • Explain that the onion diagram will feature the title of the story in the centre circle.

  • Ask students to draw five concentric circles around the title. Each of these will be used to record a key idea from the slideshow.

  • Ask students to think about what these key ideas might be.

  • Document the students’ key ideas on the board.

  • Ask students to revisit the learning object and summarise the key points in each of the circles.

  • Complete the task by asking students to write their stories, with the added dimension of the importance of these key ideas in contemporary Australia. The stories could be displayed for all students to read.