Years 4-10
Resource Type
Teachers Guide

Governance in the Early Colony: a Guide for Teachers

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Critical & Creative Thinking
  • English
  • Ethical Understanding
  • History
  • Humanites and Social Sciences
  • Intercultural Understanding
  • Literacy
  • Personal and Social Capability

Governance in the Early Colony: a Guide for Teachers

South Australia was an unusual settlement within the British Empire. Unlike the older colonies on Australia’s eastern seaboard there were to be no convicts, and this commitment to a ‘free’ settlement was fiercely maintained.

Historians are divided about the lasting impact of the absence of the ‘convict taint’ on the province’s society and culture, but an awareness of difference distinguishes South Australians to this day.

South Australia was also created initially as a commercial and administrative partnership between the British Government (represented in the office of the Governor) and the South Australian Colonization Commission.


Year 4


AC9HS4K02 – the causes of the establishment of the first British colony in Australia in 1788

AC9HS4K03 – the experiences of individuals and groups, including military and civilian officials, and convicts involved in the establishment of the first British colony

AC9HS4K07 – the differences between “rules” and “laws”, why laws are important and how they affect the lives of people

Year 5


AC9HS5K01 – the economic, political and social causes of the establishment of British colonies in Australia after 1800

AC9HS5K02 – the impact of the development of British colonies in Australia on the lives of First Nations Australians, the colonists and convicts, and on the natural environment

AC9HS5K06 – the key values and features of Australia’s democracy, including elections, and the roles and responsibilities of elected representatives

Year 6


AC9HS6K01 – significant individuals, events and ideas that led to Australia’s Federation, the Constitution and democratic system of government

AC9HS6K02 – changes in Australia’s political system and to Australian citizenship after Federation and throughout the 20th century that impacted First Nations Australians, migrants, women and children

AC9HS6K06 – the key institutions of Australia’s system of government, how it is based on the Westminster system, and the key values and beliefs of Western democracies

Year 7

Civics and Citizenship

AC9HC7K01 – the key features of Australia’s system of government, including democracy, the Australian Constitution, responsible government and federalism

AC9HC7K02 – the characteristics of Australia’s democracy, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement

Year 8

Civics and Citizenship

AC9HC8K02 – the role of political parties and independent representatives in Australian democracy, including elections and the formation of governments

Year 9 


AC9HH9K01 – the causes and effects of European imperial expansion and the movement of peoples in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and the different responses to colonisation and migration

AC9HH9K02 – the key social, cultural, economic and political changes and their significance in the development of Australian society during the period

AC9HH9K04 – significant events, ideas, people, groups and movements in the development of Australian society

AC9HH9K03 – the causes and effects of European contact and extension of settlement, including their impact on the First Nations Peoples of Australia


Civics and Citizenship

AC9HC9K01 – the role of the Australian Constitution in providing the basis for Australia’s federal system of government and democratic processes, including institutions, and the process for constitutional change through a referendum

Year 10

Civics and Citizenship

AC9HC10K01 – the key features and values of Australia’s system of government compared with at least one other democratic or non-democratic system of government in the Asia-Pacific region


Download the teacher’s guide to get started

Governance in the Early Colony: a Guide for Teachers

Where to Next?

To learn more about Governance in the Early Colony make a booking to visit the Centre of Democracy.

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