International obligations and tax spending

SubjectCivics & Citizenship YearYear 10 CurriculumAC v8.4 Time150

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Students explore reasons why Australia’s aid program extends further than assisting people in crisis situations and aims to build human capital for countries to become economically independent. Students consider circumstances in countries across the globe where people would benefit from Australian aid and they explain strategic benefits to Australia of using tax revenue to fund particular aid projects. They participate in mock parliamentary processes in determining how Australia’s foreign aid policy influences tax revenue expenditure.

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 10, students compare and evaluate the key features and values of systems of government, and analyse the Australian Government’s global roles and responsibilities. They analyse the role of the High Court and explain how Australia’s international legal obligations influence law and government policy. Students evaluate a range of factors that sustain democratic societies.

When researching, students evaluate a range of questions to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems and critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance, reliability and omission. They account for and evaluate different interpretations and points of view on civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take account of multiple perspectives and ambiguities, use democratic processes, and negotiate solutions to an issue. Students develop and present evidenced-based arguments incorporating different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. They use appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They evaluate ways they can be active and informed citizens in different contexts.

Content descriptions

Civics and Citizenship Knowledge and Understanding 

The Australian Government’s role and responsibilities at a global level, for example provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping, participation in international organisations and the United Nations (ACHCK091).

Civics and Citizenship Skills

Identify, gather and sort information and ideas from a range of sources and reference as appropriate (ACHCS096).

Critically evaluate information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS097).

Account for different interpretations and points of view (ACHCS098).

Recognise and consider multiple perspectives and ambiguities, and use strategies to negotiate and resolve contentious issues (ACHCS099).

Use democratic processes to reach consensus on a course of action relating to a civics or citizenship issue and plan for that action (ACHCS100).

Present evidence-based civics and citizenship arguments using subject-specific language (ACHCS101).

Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australian, regional and global contexts (ACHCS102).

Teacher resources

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Why foreign aid?

Student learning resources

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Case study

Foreign aid for micro-entrepreneurs

How to

Writing paragraphs in Civics and Citizenship


Writing essays

Backgound notes

Foreign aid Bill debate

Suggested activity sequence

This sequence is intended as a framework to be modified and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of a class group. If you assign this activity to a class, your students will be assigned all student resources on their 'My learning' page. You can also hand-pick the resources students are assigned by selecting individual resources when you add a work item to a class in 'My classes'.

Part A: Australia’s priorities in the distribution of foreign aid

  1. Challenge students to reflect on what it means for Australia to be a good global citizen. 
  2. Students brainstorm reasons why revenue from tax is used to provide aid to people in other countries.
  3. Display the extract from the Australian Aid Development Policy on the visualiser.
  4. Discuss and clarify the meaning of key phrases. 
  5. As a class, read and discuss the case study.
  6. Set the task of writing an essay on the implementation of Australia’s aid program:

    Using Kalyani as a case study, or identifying a case study of your own, explain how the study illustrates Australia’s priorities in the distribution of foreign aid. 

  7. Depending on the literacy skills of members of the class, the following questions could be provided as a scaffold.
    • How does the case study demonstrate effectiveness of Australia’s aid in relation to poverty reduction?
    • In what ways does the case study illustrate private sector development?
    • How has the development of the country’s institutions been supported by Australia’s involvement?
    • In what ways have local/domestic resources been mobilised?
    • How has the program extended benefits to the broader community? 

    Refer students to Writing paragraphs in Civics and Citizenship – Model and the Writing essays - Template to scaffold their writing. 

  8. Students review the reasons they gave earlier for the use of Australian tax revenue to provide aid to people in other countries.

Part B: Where should foreign aid be directed?

  1. Divide the class into research teams of 3 or 4 students and allocate one of the 4 research tasks (below) to each team:
    • Identify and explain the major issues in the Asia Pacific Region that would benefit from Australia’s aid.
    • Identify and explain perceived benefits to Australia of providing aid in the Asia Pacific. 
    • Investigate and explain the social and economic conditions in Middle Eastern countries where Australian has participated in the War on Terror. 
    • Identify and explain perceived benefits to Australia of providing aid to war torn countries in the Middle East. 
  2. After teams have completed their investigations, they present their findings in a 2-minute presentation that includes a justification of information sources that have been used.

Part C: Legislating for foreign aid

  1. Review students’ prior learning of the operation of the Australian Parliament and particularly the functioning of the House of Representatives. This is summarised in the background notes.
  2. Students read the background notes to prepare for the mock International Aid Bill debate.

    Refer to The Parliamentary Education Office’s Make a law: House of Representatives if you want to replicate the parliamentary process.

  3. Students prepare arguments for the House of Representatives debate using research undertaken in part B.
  4. A member of each party presents speeches to Parliament.
  5. Following the House of Representatives first reading debate, the Speaker conducts a vote of Members.
  6. The Speaker announces the decision of the House. As a result of the debate, the Bill is either passed and sent to the Senate or it is defeated or it might be modified by an amendment.
  7. Students (individually) write a paragraph explaining whether or not procedures of the House allowed fairness to be considered in relation to the passage of the International Aid Bill.

    Refer students to Writing paragraphs in Civics and Citizenship – Model to scaffold their writing.