Esther Robinson

Esther Robinson

Esther Robinson is the Education and Events Manager at the National Archives of Australia. She is responsible for preparing school resource kits based on the Archives' collection. Esther also deals with developing and presenting education programs, including guided tours of the galleries at the National Archives in Canberra.

Esther's Choice Civics Clicks are:

Archives of Australia
Archives of Australia, part of Australia's Cultural Network, is the best way to get access to every archives site in Australia. From this site you can link to archives organisations around Australia and overseas and can see a range of 'treasures' online.

Amnesty International
I think websites like this Amnesty site are extremely important in the study of civics because they (a) have an international focus and (b) do not have a specific party political agenda. You can find out about Amnesty campaigns in various parts of the world and can link to other countries' Amnesty sites.

Civics and Citizenship Education
This site has two subjects from Open Learning Australia. You can study the subjects through Griffith University or you can use information from this site as an excellent resource on various topics. The two subjects are (1) Civics and Citizenship Education and (2) Citizenship and Australian Democracy. I particularly like the extensive references and resources you are referred to and the international context within which the issues are addressed.

Constitutional Centenary of Federation
There is lots of information on this site about our Constitution and related issues. Much is presented as fact sheets or as transcripts of actual records such as various Constitutional Conventions. The fact sheets are very readable and therefore suitable for school students. The records of Constitutional Conventions are copies of the original records and are a great resource.

Discovering Democracy The home of Discovering Democracy materials – where else would you find resources, links, information for teachers at all levels! Not only can you access Discovering Democracy materials, but you can also find out about web-based civics and citizenship education projects, become part of a discussion group on a range of topics and contact others working in this area. The resource database and relevant professional development material is also extremely useful.

Documenting a Democracy
Coming in March 2000! This site will digitally show over 100 of Australia's founding documents or 'birth certificates' as well as background information, visual material, transcripts of the documents and all sorts of information about the legal establishment of the Australian colonies and later the federation of the colonies as the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Good Citizen
Accessible and easy to read. Another Open Learning site – very good for kids. Done in conjunction with ABC television programs, but informative, fun and quite useable on its own. It covers the history of our democratic system; the formal systems and institutions of our democracy and the contemporary debates surrounding Australian democracy as well as including a glossary, stories, games and connections to other useful sites.

National Archives of Australia
Through archives we can investigate the historical role of citizenship in Australia and this helps us to understand citizenship today. The National Archives website has useful content for schoolteachers and students. You can find out what's in the Archives collection, look at digitised archives in the Federation Gallery and Photo Search, find fact sheets and guides about the collection, use the Activities database for the Convict Fleet to Dragon Boat CD-ROM and much more.

National Council for the Centenary of Federation
Obviously this is an important site if you are interested in Federation. It has a useful timeline for the period 1846 to 9 May 1901. There are also links to other Federation sites and information about anniversary celebrations in 2001 that will be developed as more celebrations are planned.

Parliamentary Education Office (PEO)
Much of this site is aimed directly at younger children so the language and activities are suitable. There are research activities for students to complete using this website and that of the Prime Minister and you can also explore projects done by school students under the guidance of PEO staff.

US Charters of Freedoms
One of the constant issues in Australian discussions about civics and citizenship issues is that, unlike countries such as the USA, we don't have a Bill of Rights. This link will take you to the American Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and I think that looking at the wording of these documents opens up discussions on what we could develop.

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