Resource Type

The Province of South Australia - Founding Ideas and Documents

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Ethical Understanding
  • History
  • Humanites and Social Sciences
  • Intercultural Understanding

The Province of South Australia – Founding Ideas and Documents

People believe that Australia was discovered by the British, but it was the First Nations people that discovered the land. It’s been a journey for Aboriginal people of rediscovering and recognising connection to Country and the importance they play in that.

The Province of South Australia - Founding Ideas and Documents



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 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

Discussion Questions

How have laws affected the lives of people, past and present?

What were the short- and long-term effects of European settlement on the local environment and Indigenous land and water management practices?

Why do you think King William IV put so much emphasis on equality and fairness with Aboriginal people in the South Australian colony, when other Australian colonies had already been established without this?

Investigate what the current South Australian flag looks like. Do you recognise any representation of Aboriginal people or culture on this flag?


Use this video in conjunction with the “Governance in the Early Colony: a Guide for Teachers” to get the most out of your learning

Governance in the Early Colony

Where to Next?

To learn more about the Founding Ideas and Documents central to the history of South Australia

Visit the Centre of Democracy


Related Resources

Watch more education videos from the History Trust of South Australia

The Letters Patent

The First Dinner Given to The Aborigines 1838, Martha Berkeley – Critical Analysis


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