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History – The Modern World and Australia

The aim of this subject is to investigate and discuss the major events of the second half of the twentieth century, and examine both Australia’s role in them, and how they influenced Australian society. The subject seeks to place Australia and Australian experiences in a global context. It does this by studying three distinct yet connected five-week units:

World War II (1939 – 1945)

Just twenty years after the end of World War I, Australia found itself yet again in a global conflict. But how did this happen? The Year 10 History course begins with an investigation into World War II in which covers a range of topics, including:

  • The causes of WWII and the reasons why Australia took up arms.
  • The reasons why Australians enlisted to join the war, significant places they fought, and detailed study of their perspectives and experiences.
  • Significant events, turning points, and the nature of warfare during the conflict.
  • The effects of the war, with particular emphasis on the changes and continuity brought to the Australian home front and society.
  • Different historical interpretations and contested debates about World War II and the significance of Australian commemoration of war

Rights and Freedoms (1945 – present)

The period after World War II saw another struggle for basic human rights and freedoms by many members of society, both in Australia and around the world. This struggle was defined by the civil rights protests of the 1960s and beyond. In this section of the course, students will investigate several topics relating to this struggle, including:

  • Significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including Australia’s involvement in the development of the declaration.
  • Effects of the US civil rights movement and its influence on Australia.
  • Causes of the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for rights and freedoms before 1965, and the significance of several events in changing society such as the 1967 Referendum, Reconciliation and the Mabo decision.
  • Effects of methods used by civil rights activists to achieve change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the role of one individual or group in the struggle.
  • Continuity and change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in securing and achieving civil rights and freedoms in Australia.

The Globalising World (1945 – present)

The twentieth century has been one of increasing connectedness between people around the world, and a growing ability of events in different parts of the world to influence each other. In the final section of the course, students investigate one major global influence that has shaped Australian society, with a focus on how that event relates to globalisation. The global influences are:

  • Popular culture
  • The environmental movement.
  • Migration experiences.
  • Political crises