Discovering democracy: The women's story

collections_Womens story 

Copyright Education Services Australia

Resource title: Discovering democracy: The women’s story

Digital resource identifier: L9817

Resource description

This learning object provides a slideshow of images and text to examine the ways in which women campaigned for the right to vote in Australia.

Stage of schooling: Lower Secondary

CCE focus: Historical Perspectives

Students are given the opportunity to look at the suffragette movement in Australia and how this impacted on the role of women in society and in politics. They can compare and contrast the role of women before and after the vote and discuss how this impacted on Australian identity.

Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning

‘Discovering democracy: The women’s story’ provides opportunities for students to:

  • find out when different groups of Australians were granted the right to vote

  • explore what it means for some Australians to be denied the right to vote

  • research what led to women gaining the right to vote in Australia

  • consider what impact the suffragette movement had on Australian identity

  • discuss issues around the concepts of ‘equality’ and ‘empowerment’. 

Ideas for the classroom

  • Ask students to discuss what rights they think women in Australia have today. Write these on the board.

  • Ask students to write the word ‘suffragette’ at the top of a page and then draw four columns below. In the first column, students should write things they know; in the second, things they feel; in the third, things they want to find out about; and in the fourth, ways they could find out.

  • Discuss their responses and explain that the class is going to view the learning object.

  • Work through the slides as a class and stop at slide 5. Ask students to interpret the message of the cartoon and to discuss their interpretation with another student. Ask them to explain what they might draw as part of a cartoon depicting the state of voting rights for Australian women today.

  • Ask students to complete the learning object and use the library to find out more about some important people in the Australian suffragette movement.

  • To complete the activity, ask each student to share one interesting thing they found out and why it interested them.