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Topic 2: Representation in States and Territories

Student handout 1: State and Territory parliaments

Focus questions

What are the names of your State and Territory parliaments?
When were they formed?
What do they do?
How do citizens vote for them?
What are their symbols?
Who are your local representatives?


In this activity you will research the Parliament @ Work information and database to access key information about representation in the States and Territories.

Student activity

1. Overview of State and Territory parliament

From the home page of Parliament @ Work choose 'Search' and then select 'Parliaments at a Glance'. Choose your State or Territory and complete the following table.

QuestionsState or Territory
1. When was this colony first settled by Europeans?

2. When was parliament first formed in this State or Territory?

3. What is the name of the House or Houses of Parliament?

4. How many Members of the House or Houses of Parliament are there?

5. What are the functions and roles of this Parliament?

6. What is the name of the head of government?

7. How often are elections held?

8. What system or systems of voting are used to elect representatives?

9. Who votes in elections?

10. What are three symbols of this Parliament?

11. How does local government operate in this State or Territory?


2. Electorates and issues

From the home page of Parliament @ Work choose 'Search' and then 'Electorates'. Type in your postcode and/or place name and note the name, size and location of your electorate.

  • How does your electorate population size compare with the size of your Federal electorate?
  • Describe the key characteristics of your electorate. What might be significant issues and priorities for the voters in your electorate and your classmates' electorates?
  • Write down the names of your local parliamentary Member or Members. (Include Upper House Members if appropriate.)
  • Given your understanding of the responsibilities and powers of State and Territory governments, brainstorm a list of questions that you might ask on behalf of your electorate. (These might relate to such issues as schools, roads, hospitals and transport.)

Check issues in the daily newspapers – including local papers (online you might be able to view several papers).

Write down:

  • the name of the paper;
  • a list of the leading issues (usually in the front few pages and in the opinion and editorial sections).

How many of the lead issues relate to State and Territory matters? How many of these issues would affect your electorate? (If your teacher has arranged a visit from a local Member of Parliament you might question them about their response to these issues.)

3. Voting systems in States and Territories 

Using 'wwwlinks' in Parliament @ Work, find your State or Territory electorate office. Write down a brief account of the voting system or voting systems used to elect your State or Territory representatives.

Compare the voting system used in your State and Territory with the voting system of another State or Territory.

Overview | Notes for teachers | Introductory activities 1 | Introductory activities 2 | Topic 1.1 | Topic 1.2 | Topic 1.3 | Topic 1.4 | Topic 1.5 | Topic 2 | Topic 3 | Topic 4 | Extension activities

Student Handout