Tax and community cohesion

SubjectCivics & Citizenship YearYear 7 Time50

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Students explore how past actions and events influence people today and how governments use tax revenue for the commemoration of events that should remain part of Australia’s collective memory. They consider the importance of respect, responsibility and compassion in valuing Australia’s First Nations peoples and in developing a cohesive Australian society.

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 7, students explain features of Australia’s Constitution, including the process for constitutional change. They explain how Australia’s legal system is based on the principle of justice. Students explain the diverse nature of Australian society and identify the importance of shared values in promoting a cohesive society.

When researching, students develop a range of questions and gather and analyse information from different sources to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems. They consider different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take into account multiple perspectives to develop solutions to an issue. Students develop and present arguments on civics and citizenship issues using appropriate texts, terms and concepts. They identify ways they can be active and informed citizens.

Content descriptions

Civics and Citizenship Knowledge and Understanding

How values, including freedom, respect, inclusion, civility, responsibility, compassion, equality and a ‘fair go’, can promote cohesion within Australian society (ACHCK052).

Civics and Citizenship Skills

Appreciate multiple perspectives and use strategies to mediate differences (ACHCS057).

Use democratic processes to reach consensus on a course of action relating to a civics or citizenship issue and plan for that action (ACHCS058).

Present evidence-based civics and citizenship arguments using subject-specific language (ACHCS059).

Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australia’s democracy (ACHCS060).

Student learning resources

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Case study

For a fair Australia


A letter from the Mayor

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.

Part A: Listening and fairness

  1. Students read the case study and identify words they do not understand. Possible words include:
    • adventure centre
    • council
    • consultation
    • massacre
    • motion
    • stewardship
    • residents.
  2. Record the words on the board and explain their meaning.
  3. In pairs, students share their understanding of the case study and suggest reasons why the Aboriginal group would not want an adventure centre to go ahead on the site of the massacre. 
  4. Invite pairs to share their reasons. 
  5. Provide the hypothetical situation below:
    Imagine the council approves the adventure centre. It is a year after the opening, and you are a member of the Aboriginal group watching young people doing adventure activities on the site of the massacre.
  6. Ask the students to each write down 3 words that describe their feelings about the adventure centre.
  7. Record a word bank of ‘feelings’ on the board.

Part B: Clarifying views 

  1. Conduct a where do you stand? activity to determine student views in relation to the statement:
    Tax is paid for the greater good and revenue from tax can be used to commemorate Aboriginal massacre sites.
  2. If possible, take a photograph of where students are standing for later comparison. Note: exercise judgement when taking photos of students and if it is not appropriate, record where students are standing.
  3. Students work in pairs to web search and record types of memorials and commemorative events that are used to honour Australians. 
  4. Record a list of the events and commemorative places on the board. 
  5. Explain that taxpayer money (revenue) is used by governments over time to pay for public commemorations and memorials. 
  6. Provide the example of the Australian War Memorial
  7. Repeat the Where do you stand? activity. Again, read the statement: 
  8. Compare where students are standing now with the photograph from the first iteration of the activity.
  9. Ask students whose position has changed to provide reasons why. 

Part C: Expressing views 

  1. Explain the task:
    The Council has agreed to purchase the section of the Ajax Adventure Company’s land where the massacre took place. As Mayor of the Council you are to write a letter to the local Aboriginal group announcing the Council’s decision to purchase the site. The letter should ask for the group’s advice on how the past events are to be remembered. The letter should suggest working with the local Aboriginal people to ensure that the future use of the Council area is appropriate. 
  2. Students use the letter template to write their letters.
  3. Review the word bank.

Useful prior learning