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  1. The Australian Constitution

    Discover the history, features and function of the Australian Constitution—the set of rules by which Australia is run. The Constitution guides the composition of the Australian Parliament, what it can make laws about and how the Australian Parliament and state parliaments share power.

  2. Separation of powers

    The Australian Constitution defines 3 groups—the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary—and describes how they share the power to make and manage Australian laws. The principle of the separation of powers is an important part of Australia’s system of government.

  3. Three levels of government

    The three levels of government is a key feature of the Australian system of government. Discover the roles and responsibilities of the federal Parliament, state and territory parliaments and local councils, and how they work together to deliver services to Australians.

  4. Bills and laws

    Everything you need to know about the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. Discover the path of a bill, how laws are changed and the different types of laws.

  5. Curriculum links

    PEO resources are designed to directly meet the Years 6 to 10 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. These resources are arranged according to the relevant content descriptions.

  6. Parliament House

    Parliament House in Canberra is home to Australia's Parliament. It is a place where decisions that shape our nation are made, and a place for celebration, memorial and sometimes protest. Most importantly, it is a place for all Australians.

  7. Units of work

    Explore parliamentary education in the classroom with these units of work aligned to the Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  8. Parliamentary processes and practices

    Experience the work of the Parliament with these adaptable classroom activities.

  9. Accessibility

    The PEO website has been designed to meet the Australian Government standard established for web accessibility.

  10. Playing fair

    Explore how the power to make and manage law is shared in Australia with this interactive. It can be used in the classroom to illustrate the separation of powers.

  11. PA for an MP

    Become the personal assistant for a member of the House of Representatives (MP) in this fun interactive experience. Explore the different demands on the MP's time as you organise their appointments in the electorate office and at Parliament House.

  12. Voting in the chambers

    Two types of voting are used in the Australian Parliament to make decisions on proposed laws and other issues—a 'vote on the voices' and a 'division'. This fact sheet explores both types of vote and what happens when a vote is tied.

  13. Make a difference

    Play this interactive to explore how to get informed and get active in your community.

  14. Our house

    This interactive explores the idea of Parliament House as a meeting place for different groups of people, including members of parliament, the public, the media, protestors, and international guests. Perfect for starting classroom discussions about the people in Parliament.

  15. Year 5

    The PEO has a range of resources which assist teachers in their delivery of Year 5 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  16. Federal elections

    Australians vote to elect members of the Australian Parliament to make laws and decisions on their behalf. Find out how much you know about the process with this fun quiz.

  17. Australian Constitution

    How much do you know about the Australian Constitution—the set of rules by which Australia is run? Test your knowledge with this fun quiz.

  18. Getting involved

    There are many ways Australians can have their say about decisions made by the Australian Parliament. Take this quiz to discover some ways you can get involved.

  19. The role of political parties

    Test your knowledge of political parties in the Australian Parliament with this fun quiz. It includes key parliamentary terms such as 'hung parliament' and 'crossing the floor'.

  20. Separation of powers

    Test your knowledge of the separation of powers—an important principle of Australia's democracy—with this fun quiz.

  21. Bills and laws

    How does the Australian Parliament make laws for Australia? Revise your students' study of law-making with this quiz.

  22. Australian Parliament

    Test your students' understanding of the history, make-up and people of the Australian Parliament with this quick quiz.

  23. Year 6

    The PEO has a range of resources which assist teachers in their delivery of Year 6 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  24. Types of laws

    Test your students' recollection of the 3 types of law in Australia—statute, common and delegated—with this quick quiz.

  25. Three levels of government

    Australia has three levels of government that work together to provide Australians with the services they need. Learn more about the three levels of government with this quiz.

  26. Year 7

    The PEO has a range of resources which assist teachers in their delivery of Year 7 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  27. Australian History Curriculum

    The PEO has a range of resources which assist teachers in their delivery of Years 6 and 9 Australian History Curriculum.

  28. Year 9

    The PEO has a range of resources which assist teachers in their delivery of Year 9 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  29. Year 8

    The PEO has a range of resources which assist teachers in their delivery of Year 8 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  30. Year 10

    The PEO has a range of resources which assist teachers in their delivery of Year 10 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  31. Videos for teachers

    Immerse your students in the Australian Parliament by creating a parliament in your classroom. These videos show you how to debate in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and how to investigate bills and issues in committees.

  32. Year 5

    This unit of work contains 8 lessons aligned to the Year 5 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum and the Year 5 English curriculum. It includes 2 informal assessment items, a formal assessment item with marking rubric, background information for teachers and a list of resources.

  33. Year 8

    This unit of work is aligned to the Year 8 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. It includes one informal assessment item and one formal assessment item with marking rubric. It also contains background information for teachers and a list of resources.

  34. Year 10

    This unit of work contains 6 lessons aligned to the Year 10 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum and explores 2 curriculum inquiry questions. It includes an informal assessment item, a formal assessment item with marking rubric, background information for teachers and a list of resources.

  35. Year 9

    This unit of work contains 9 lessons aligned to the Year 9 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. It includes informal assessment items and a formal assessment item with marking rubric. It also contains background information for teachers and a list of resources.

  36. Prepare for your program

    Getting ready to participate in a PEO program? Here are some ideas to help your students get the most out of their immersive learning program at Parliament House.

  37. The role of the media

    The media provides information and stories about the Australian Parliament. But how much do you know about their role? Take this quick quiz to find out.

  38. Pass the bill

    This interactive details each step of the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. Users choose an idea for a new law and then follow its progress through the Australian Parliament. Perfect for use in the classroom.

  39. Having your say

    All Australians can have their say about decisions made by the Australian Parliament. At federal elections, we select the people who represent us in Parliament. We can also be active citizens by signing a petition, getting involved in a committee inquiry and contacting our members of parliament.

  40. History of Parliament

    The Australian Parliament is over 100 years old but some of its practices and traditions are centuries older. Explore the history of the Australian Parliament including the Magna Carta, federation, World War I and more recent milestones.

  41. How Parliament works

    How the Australian Parliament works is set out in the Australian Constitution and is influenced by the separation of powers and the three levels of government. Explore how the Parliament does its work including how laws are made.

  42. Democratic ideas

    Discover the concepts that underpin our democracy in these adaptable classroom activities.

  43. Classroom activities

    Explore the ideas that underpin Australia's democracy and create a parliament in your classroom with these fun and engaging activities. Each activity includes a lesson plan and a toolkit with the resources you’ll need to teach key functions of and concepts relating to the Australian Parliament.

  44. House of Representatives current numbers

    This image shows the current numbers in the Australian House of Representatives.

  45. House of Representatives

    The House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the Australian Parliament. It is the house in which the Australian Government is formed and has an important role representing the views of Australians and making laws for Australia.

  46. Referencing

    Information to help you reference content from the PEO website.

  47. New ministry

    Following the federal election held on 18 May, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has announced his ministry

  48. New opposition leadership team and shadow ministry

    The Hon Anthony Albanese MP has been elected as leader of the Australian Labor Party and also Leader of the Opposition, with the Hon Richard Marles MP elected as Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

  49. Preferential voting

    When you vote for your local member of the House of Representatives you need to decide who you like the most, the second most and so on. Discover why preferences matter on election day with the ABC’s Behind the News.

  50. Drought assistance approved by Parliament

    Future funding for drought-resilience projects has been put in place, under bills passed by the Parliament. 

  51. Examining national identity

    The Senate has referred an inquiry relating to nationhood, national identity and democracy to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for investigation.

  52. Levels of government

    In a land called Australia, 3 superheroes fight for the people. Discover their powers and those of the three levels of government they are named after with this video. From the ABC’s Behind the News.

  53. ‘A bloke who loved his country’

    The Parliament paid tribute to former Prime Minister the Hon Robert James Lee Hawke AC. 

  54. Tax cuts bill passes Parliament

    The Parliament has passed a bill to lower personal income taxes paid by Australians.

  55. A change to the Constitution?

    Senator Rex Patrick introduced the Constitution Alteration (Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press) 2019 that would change the Australian Constitution to explicitly include freedom of speech and freedom of the press as basic rights.

  56. A new Governor-General

    His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) has been sworn-in as Australia’s 27th Governor-General. 

  57. Get involved

    Explore ways you can get involved in the work of Parliament with this in-depth video. Find out how you can get informed about the work of the Parliament, contact and vote for members of parliament, petition the Parliament and participate in parliamentary inquiries.

  58. Question Time

    In Question Time members of parliament ask the government to explain its actions and decisions. This video explores the purpose, function and format of Question Time in the House of Representatives and Senate.

  59. The Constitution

    This short video introduces the Australian Constitution—the rules by which Australia is run.

  60. Three levels of government

    Get an introduction to the three levels of government with this short video. It explores the areas each level can make laws about.

  61. Make speeches

    Discover the different types of speeches senators and members make in Parliament by turning your class into a Parliament and doing it yourselves! Use these activities to further explore the work of the Parliament or to give context to oral presentations in any classroom.

  62. One voice for many

    This video explores representation. It can be used as a visual aid in discussing representation with students.

  63. Counterterrorism bills pass Parliament

    The Parliament has passed bills to allow law enforcement agencies to manage the way Australians who may have links to terrorist groups re-enter Australia, with the introduction of a temporary exclusion order (TEO) scheme to delay their return.

  64. The Australian Constitution audio

    Listen to the complete text of the Australian Constitution.

    The full written text of the Australian Constitution can be read on The Australian Constitution online website.

  65. House of Representatives

    This fact sheet explores the House of Representatives, one of the two chambers of the Australian Parliament. It includes information about the role, appearance and history of the House.

  66. Session notes

    The Session Notes teacher newsletter features news from the Parliamentary Education Office, such as new resources, programs and how the PEO can help you teach about the Australian Parliament.

  67. Images and copyright/privacy/disclaimer

    We encourage you to reuse content on the PEO website. Find out the copyright requirements of the site, and read our privacy statement and website disclaimer.

  68. Trespassing on agricultural land

    Electronically publishing or distributing material that intentionally and recklessly encourages a person to trespass on agricultural land will be an offence, under a bill passed by the Parliament.

  69. National Integrity Commission bill passes the Senate

    The Senate has passed a private senator’s bill to establish a national integrity commission to investigate alleged corruption at a federal—national—level.

  70. First speeches

    More first speeches were presented to Parliament. In this speech, members of parliament may talk about their background and the people they represent, and discuss issues—local, national or global—that they are concerned about.

  71. ‘An Australian original’

    The Parliament paid tribute to former Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Timothy Andrew Fischer AC.

  72. Protecting children from abuse

    The Parliament has passed a bill that will put into effect a number of recommendations from the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child abuse.

  73. Inspection of live animal exports

    The Parliament has passed a bill to establish an Inspector-General of Live Animal Exports to oversee the Department of Agriculture’s role in regulating exports.

  74. Federation

    Federation is the process by which 6 partly self-governing British colonies decided to form a new nation. Australia was created by peaceful means as an Act of the British Parliament—the result of much consideration and debate.

  75. History milestones

    Explore the history of our Parliament from the Magna Carta to now with these resources. Topics include the development of the concept of parliament, the role of the Australian Parliament in World War I and the activism that led to the 1967 referendum.

  76. Your Questions on Notice

    Need help with a question about the Australian Parliament? The Parliamentary Education Office has the answers! Search the answers to already asked questions or, if you can't find the information you are looking for, ask your own question.

  77. Create political parties

    Investigate how the party system operates in Australia, and how government is formed in Parliament with this classroom activity. Explore the concepts of parliamentary majority, hung parliament, minority government and the balance of power in the Senate.

  78. Run an election campaign

    Experience a modern social media election campaign in your classroom with this classroom activity.

  79. The Australian Constitution online

    Browse the complete text of the Australian Constitution with this easy-to use subsite. It includes a detailed overview by the Australian Government Solicitor.

  80. Create a new federation

    Explore why the authors of the Australian Constitution designed our Parliament to have both a House of Representatives—with representation based on population—and a Senate—with equal representation for the states. This activity invites students to think critically and creatively to write a new constitution.

  81. Explore decision making

    Explore various forms of decision-making in your classroom with this activity. Investigate majority rule, executive, consensus, autocracy, and the power of veto.

  82. Run a parliamentary committee

    Investigate the work of parliamentary committees in this classroom activity. Use this activity to further your study of civics and citizenship or as a framework for an inquiry study into any topic.

  83. Explore the three levels of government

    Explore the three levels of government—federal, state, and local—with this classroom activity. Investigate the responsibilities of each level by forming taskforces to respond to major events.

  84. Year 7

    This unit of work contains 9 lessons aligned to the Year 7 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. It includes worksheets, informal assessment items, a formal assessment item with marking rubric, information for teachers and a list of related resources.

  85. Role-play the Parliament: the role-play in action

    This video shows a snapshot of a parliamentary role-play in the Education Centre at Australia’s Parliament House.

  86. Quizzes

    Have a go at these quizzes about the Australian Parliament. You might even learn something you didn’t know! Topics include the three levels of government, separation of powers and the Australian Constitution.

  87. Parliament House

    This fact sheet explores the building that houses the Australian Parliament. Discover key facts about the building and its symbolism.

  88. Federation

    Discover the story behind federation in Australia with this introductory video.

  89. Government

    The Australian Government puts Australian law into action, provides government services and makes decisions on behalf of the nation. Learn more about the Australian Government, including how it is formed, Cabinet and its role.

  90. To our last shilling: the Australian Parliament and World War I

    Discover Australia’s experience of World War I from the perspective of the Australian Parliament. From fixing the price of food to interning ‘enemy aliens’, the decisions made by the Parliament during the War affected the lives of everyday Australians. 

  91. Federal Parliament history timeline

    Explore the history of Australia’s Parliament with this easy-to-use timeline. Investigate the milestones to find out how the work of the Parliament has influenced the development of Australia since federation.

  92. Get Parliament online

    Discover all about Parliament in one place. This sub-site includes explorations of federation, three levels of government, elections and how to get involved in Parliament.

  93. Federal, state and local

    Do you know what each level of government is responsible for? Test your knowledge of the three levels of government in Australia with this game. Use in the classroom or just for fun.

  94. 1967 referendum

    In 1967 the majority of Australians voted to change the Australian Constitution to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the national census. This video from the ABC’s Behind the News explores how the 1967 referendum was part of a movement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights.

  95. Parliament and its people

    The Australian Parliament is made up of the Queen—represented by the Governor-General—the Senate and the House of Representatives. Discover the two chambers, the Australian Government, opposition and the people who help the Parliament do its work.

  96. Education resources

    Get support to teach about the Australian Parliament in your classroom with Parliamentary Education Office resources. We have printed publications, news for teachers, and videos and quizzes which support the Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.

  97. Elections and voting

    Discover how senators and members of the House of Representatives are elected by the Australian people to the Australian Parliament. Explore what a double dissolution is and how the Australian people can have their say on big issues in referendums and plebiscites.

  98. Getting involved

    Explore the ways you can have your say and contribute to the work of the Australian Parliament. From voting to petitions, contacting members of parliament to protesting, there are many ways Australians can have their voice heard in Parliament.

  99. Senate current numbers

    This image shows the current numbers in the Australian Senate.

  100. Parliament at work

    There is always a lot happening in the Australian Parliament. Discover the latest news from your Parliament and information about how it does its work.

  101. Age of criminal responsibility

    The age at which a child can be held responsible for criminal acts could be raised from 10 to 14 if a private member’s bill which has been introduced into the House of Representatives passes the Parliament.

  102. Parliamentary statistics

    Keep up-to-date with the current numbers and work of the Australian Parliament with these facts and figures.

  103. Senate estimates October 2019

    Press freedom, live animal exports and primary school enrolment were some of the issues covered during Senate estimates hearings.

  104. My First Speech winners speak in Parliament

    The 3 winners of the My First Speech competition presented their speeches in Parliament House.

  105. Farewell Senator Sinodinos

    Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO made a valedictory—farewell—statement before retiring from Parliament. He leaves to take up a post as Australia’s ambassador to the United States.

  106. Votes for young people

    The voting age would be lowered from 18 to 16 if a private member’s bill introduced in the House of Representatives passes the Parliament.

  107. Senator Henderson’s second first speech

    Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson delivered her first speech to the Senate. Senator Henderson was previously the Member for Corangamite in the House of Representatives.

  108. Senators

    A person elected to the Senate is called a senator. This fact sheet explores their role in the Parliament and in their states and territories, as well as their working hours, period of service and history.

  109. Prime Minister

    Get to know the role of the Prime Minister with this fact sheet. Learn how the Prime Minister is chosen, their responsibilities, and about their official residences.

  110. Serjeant-at-Arms

    This fact sheet explores the role of the Serjeant-at-Arms, one of the parliamentary officers in the House of Representatives. It looks at their role in the House and in the department, and the history of the position.

  111. Opposition

    Discover the opposition, the largest party or coalition of parties who did not form government, with this fact sheet. The opposition is sometimes called the ‘alternative government’ and has a range of responsibilities in the Parliament, including closely examining the work of the government.

  112. Press Gallery

    This fact sheet investigates the work of the press gallery in gathering information and publishing stories about what happens in the Australian Parliament. It includes information about the relationship between the press and Parliament.

  113. People in Parliament – Usher of the Black Rod

    Meet the Usher of the Black Rod in this informative video. Learn about their role in the Senate and the department, the symbolism of the Black Rod, and the history of the position.

  114. Governor-General

    The Governor-General has an important role in the governing of Australia. This fact sheet introduces the constitutional, ceremonial, and civic roles of the Governor-General, and the history of the position.

  115. Ministers and shadow ministers

    This fact sheet investigates the work of ministers (members of the Australian Government with special responsibilities) and shadow ministers (members of the opposition who closely examine the work of the government).

  116. Members of the House of Representatives

    Discover the work of members of the House of Representatives in this fact sheet. It explores their role in the Australian Parliament and in their local community, their working hours and period of service.

  117. Speaker of the House of Representatives

    The Speaker of the House of Representatives is a member chosen to run the meetings of the House of Representatives. Explore the role of the Speaker with this fact sheet, which covers how they are chosen, their role in the House and in the department, their chair and the history of the position.

  118. Cabinet

    Cabinet is the top-level decision-making group within the Australian Government. Find out more about who is in Cabinet and how it works with this fact sheet.

  119. Usher of the Black Rod

    This fact sheet explores the role of the Usher of the Black Rod, one of the parliamentary officers in the Senate. It looks at their role in the Senate and in the department, the symbolism of the Black Rod and the history of the position.

  120. Government

    This fact sheet explores the role and functions of the Australian Government, including who is in the government, how it is formed, minority government and the principle of responsible government.

  121. The House of Representatives

    Discover the role and work of the Australian House of Representatives with this introductory video.

  122. Getting involved in Parliament

    This fact sheet explores ways Australians can get involved in the Australian Parliament. It includes information on contacting members of parliament, the work of committees, protesting and observing the Parliament.

  123. Making a law in the Australian Parliament

    This fact sheet explains the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. It also describes where ideas for laws come from and the history of law-making in the Parliament.

  124. Delegated law

    Delegated law gives government ministers and others the power to make decisions about the details of laws passed by the Australian Parliament. This fact sheet explains how regulations, standards and other types of delegated law are made and overruled.

  125. Senate

    This fact sheet explores the Senate, one of the two chambers of the Australian Parliament. It includes information about the role, appearance and history of the Senate.

  126. Amendments

    Amendments are a change to a bill—a proposed law. They are an important part of the law-making process of the Australian Parliament. This fact sheet outlines the amendment process.

  127. Mace

    Investigate the Mace—a symbol of the House of the Representatives—with this fact sheet. It includes information about the function, design and history of the Mace.

  128. Despatch Boxes

    Learn about the function, design and history of the Despatch Boxes—the 2 wooden chests that sit on the central table in the House of Representatives—with this fact sheet.

  129. Black Rod

    The Black Rod is a ceremonial object carried by the Usher of the Black Rod while doing Senate work. Learn about the design, function and history of the Black Rod with this fact sheet.

  130. The roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government

    In Australia the three levels of government work together to provide us with the services we need. This in-depth paper explores the roles and responsibilities of each level, how they raise money and how they work together. Case studies show how the powers of the Australian Parliament have expanded.

  131. A new Parliament

    There are many steps in the process of opening a new parliament. Find out the timings, traditions and requirements of establishing a new Australian Parliament with this in-depth video.

  132. National symbols

    This fact sheet explains Australia's key national symbols, including the Coat of Arms, our flags, the national anthem, the floral emblem and our national colours. It explains the history and significance of each symbol.

  133. Our products

    The Parliamentary Education Office’s printed learning resources provide students, teachers and lifelong learners with engaging entry points into parliamentary education. These resources are great for anybody with an interest in the Australian Parliament and our system of government.

  134. Parliamentary committees

    Explore how committees in the Australian Parliament are formed, their function and how they support the work of the Senate and House of Representatives with this explanatory video.

  135. The Senate

    Discover the role and work of the Australian Senate with this introductory video.

  136. Petitions

    Petitions ask the Australian Parliament to take action on a particular issue. This fact sheet explains the rules petitions must follow, how petitions are presented to the Parliament and the history of petitions to the Australian Parliament.

  137. Three levels of government: governing Australia

    This fact sheet introduces the three levels of government in Australia: the federal—Australian—Parliament, state and territory parliaments, and local councils. It includes the roles and responsibilities of each level.

  138. Standing orders

    Investigate the function, use and history of standing orders—the rules used to manage the work of the House of Representatives and the Senate—with this fact sheet.

  139. The federation of Australia

    Australia's federation came about through a process of deliberation, consultation and debate. This in-depth paper explores the reasons for federation, the federation conventions and the referendums in which the Australian people decided to join together as a nation.

  140. Passing a bill

    Follow a bill from its introduction in the House of Representatives to its signing into law by the Governor-General with this in-depth video about the law-making process of the Australian Parliament.

  141. Making a law

    Get an introduction to the law-making process of the Australian Parliament with this short video. It includes all the law-making steps in the Senate and House of Representatives.

  142. Make a law: House of Representatives

    Discover how bills—proposed laws—are introduced, debated and voted on in the House of Representatives by turning your class into a Parliament and doing it yourselves!

  143. Make a law: Senate

    Discover how bills—proposed laws—are introduced, debated and voted on in the Senate by turning your class into a Parliament and doing it yourselves!

  144. Australia's federation

    In 1901 the 6 British colonies united to become a new nation—the Commonwealth of Australia. This fact sheet examines the path to federation, the creation of the territories, the opening of the Australian Parliament and Australia's federal system of government.

  145. Types of law

    This fact sheet introduces the different types of law that govern Australia—statute law made by parliament, delegated law made by government and common law made by courts.

  146. The Australian Constitution in focus

    The Australian Constitution is the legal framework for how Australia is governed. This paper explores in detail the history of the Constitution, its key features and the High Court’s role in interpreting it.

  147. Run Question Time

    Discover how members of Parliament use Question Time to closely examine the work of the government in this classroom activity. Use this activity to further your study of civics and citizenship.

  148. Australian Parliament

    This fact sheet explores the structure and key functions of the Australian Parliament. It covers Parliament’s roles of law-making, representing Australians, the formation of government, and checking the work of the government.

  149. Australian Constitution

    The Australian Constitution is the set of rules by which Australia is run. It came into effect on 1 January 1901. This fact sheet summarises the key features of the Constitution and how it can be changed.

  150. What is Parliament?

    Discover the structure and key functions of the Australian Parliament with this short video. It introduces the Parliament’s roles of law-making, representing Australians, the formation of government, and checking the work of the government.

  151. Hold a referendum

    Explore how the Constitution can be changed through a referendum in this classroom activity. Investigate the role of Australia’s Head of State and decide, as a nation, whether or not to change it.

  152. Separation of powers: Parliament, Executive and Judiciary

    The principle of the separation of powers distributes the power to govern between the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. This fact sheet examines the role of each group and the related principle of responsible government.

  153. Frontbenchers and backbenchers

    This fact sheet investigates the work of frontbenchers (members of parliament who sit on the front seats of either the Senate or House of Representatives) and backbenchers (members of parliament who sit in the rows of seats behind the frontbench).

  154. The opening of the 46th Parliament

    The 46th Parliament opened on 2 July with 45 newly-elected members, including 27 in the House of Representatives and 18 new senators. 

  155. Usher of the Black Rod’s step count

    The Usher of the Black Rod—a Senate parliamentary officer—has several busy roles in the official opening ceremonies for the 46th Parliament.

  156. Mother and daughter bow to tradition

    The new Member for Lilley, Ms Anika Wells MP, took her daughter into the House of Representatives and was photographed bowing to the Speaker, with her daughter following her example.

  157. Role-play the Parliament: Senate

    This video demonstrates a Senate parliamentary role-play, where students can learn how new laws are made in the Australian Parliament. It outlines lesson content and what preparation is required to use this immersive learning strategy in a classroom.

  158. Role-play the Parliament: House of Representatives

    This video demonstrates a House of Representatives parliamentary role-play, where students can learn how new laws are made in the Australian Parliament. It outlines lesson content and what preparation is required to use this immersive learning strategy in a classroom.

  159. Role-play the Parliament: Committee

    This video demonstrates a committee role-play, where students can learn how the Australian Parliament investigates bills and issues. It outlines lesson content and what preparation is required to use this immersive learning strategy in a classroom.

  160. Political parties

    Many political parties have members elected to the Australian Parliament. In this fact sheet, learn more about how they are organised, coalitions of parties, party meetings and the history of political parties in Australia.

  161. President of the Senate

    Learn about the Senate's Presiding Officer with this fact sheet. Explore how the President is chosen, their role in the Senate and in the department, their chair and the history of the position.

  162. Clerks

    The Clerks are parliamentary officers in the Senate and House of Representatives. Learn about their role and the history of their positions with this fact sheet.

  163. Party Whip

    The party whip is a member of parliament who is chosen by their team to be the team manager. This fact sheet explores their role within the party and in the Senate and House of Representatives, and how they got their name.

  164. Leader of the Opposition

    Get to know the role of the Leader of the Opposition with this fact sheet. Learn how the Leader of the Opposition is chosen and their responsibilities.

  165. Hansard

    The official written record of what is said in the Australian Parliament is called Hansard. This fact sheet explores the role of Hansard, how it is produced and its history.

  166. Budget

    The Budget is the Australian Government’s annual statement of how it plans to collect and spend money. This fact sheet explores the function and operation of the Budget.

  167. Preparing for a new Parliament

    The process of opening a new parliament has many stages. Investigate the process of closing a parliament, the transition between parliaments and the opening of a new parliament in Australia with this fact sheet.

  168. Crossing the floor

    When a member of a parliamentary party votes against their party this is called ‘crossing the floor’. This fact sheet explores the frequency and potential outcomes of crossing the floor.

  169. Independents

    An independent is a member of the Australian Parliament who does not belong to a political party. This fact sheet explores their role, how they can vote in the chambers and where they sit.

  170. A short history of Parliament

    Compared to some other parliaments around the world, Australia's Parliament is quite young but it is based on practices and ideals from much older parliaments. This in-depth paper explores the development of the Westminster system in Britain and parliamentary democracy in Australia.

  171. Magna Carta

    This fact sheet examines the Magna Carta—the 'Great Charter'. The Magna Carta was important in the development of democracy and has influenced many other documents including the Australian Constitution. Learn about the 1215 edition, the 1297 Inspeximus edition, and the legacy of the Magna Carta.

  172. Federal elections

    This fact sheet explores how federal elections are run to select people to represent Australians in the Australian Parliament. It includes information about the process of electing senators and members of the House of Representatives.

  173. Senate estimates

    Several times a year senators investigate how the government is spending taxpayers' money in Senate estimates hearings. Examine the purpose, function, timing, significance and process of Senate estimates with this fact sheet.

  174. Committees

    Parliamentary committees investigate issues and proposed laws in detail so members of parliament are well-informed before making decisions. This fact sheet explores the membership, responsibilities and types of committees in the Australian Parliament.

  175. Question Time in the Australian Parliament

    This fact sheet explores Question Time which allows the opposition to examine the work of the government by asking questions. It occurs each sitting day in the House of Representatives and Senate.

  176. Referendums and plebiscites

    A referendum is a vote of the Australian people to change the Australian Constitution. This fact sheet explores the process of referendums and plebiscites—national polls—in Australia.

  177. Social security bill returns for debate

    The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Ending the Poverty Trap) Bill 2018 has been restored to the Notice Paper for debate in the Senate. The bill was originally introduced in September 2018.

  178. Year 6

    This unit of work is aligned with the Year 6 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. It includes informal and formal assessment items with differentiated options to suit student capabilities. It also contains background information for teachers, a list of resources and student worksheets. 

  179. Double dissolution

    A double dissolution occurs when both the Senate and the House of Representatives are dissolved—shut down—in order for a federal election to take place. This fact sheet explores how double dissolutions are used in the Australian Parliament and explains joint sittings.

  180. Records of the Parliament

    Official records are kept of everything that is said and done in the Australian Parliament. These records include Hansard, Journals of the Senate, and Votes and Proceedings. This fact sheet explores the function and history of these official records of Parliament.

  181. Puttin’ on the writs!

    The Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has announced that an election will be held on 18 May 2019.

  182. Relief for farmers

    Changes will be made to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) to offer further support to farmers, under a bill passed by the Parliament.

  183. Largest ever e-petition presented to Parliament

    A petition is a request by a group of citizens for Parliament to take action to solve a particular problem. The largest ever e-petition, with over 400 000 signatures, has been presented to the House of Representatives.

  184. In history November 2019

    November in Australian parliamentary history.

  185. Acknowledging veterans and their families

    The Parliament has passed a bill to recognise and give thanks to military veterans and their families for their service to the nation. 

  186. Australia's Parliament House

    This in-depth look at Australia's Parliament House investigates why Canberra was chosen to be the nation's capital and why we needed a 'new' Parliament House. It includes the design, site and symbolism of the building.

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