The House of Representatives

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

Teachers can use this video to introduce the House of Representatives to their students. It supports the Year 7 Unit of work and the Make a Law: House of Representatives and Make speeches classroom activities.

Duration: 3 min 51 sec

Transcript

Vision

Audio

Opening credits showing animated shapes with the words, Understand, Teach, Book, Connect.

The Parliamentary Education Office logo.

Music.

Animated graphic showing Parliament House, a silhouette of the Queen, the letters GG underlined by a laurel, a red U shape and a green U shape.

Narrator: In Australia, the Parliament is made up of the Monarch, represented by the Governor-General, and two houses of Parliament: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Footage of the House of Representatives. Narrator: This is the House of Representatives.

Footage of people voting at a polling place.

A person puts their ballot papers into the ballot boxes.

Narrator: At election time, the people of Australia vote in their local regions to elect one person to represent them in the House of Representatives.
Animated graphic showing a map of Australia divided into electorates. Narrator: These regions are called electorates, and there is approximately the same number of voters living in each electorate.
Footage of members speaking about local issues.

The Member for Bendigo: In my own electorate of Bendigo...

Narrator: Members can speak in the House about issues and events which are important to the people in their electorate.

The Member for Whitlam: In my electorate, those with a job are concerned if they’re going to keep it.
Footage of the Speaker entering the House of Representatives and of the House of Representatives at work. Narrator: The House of Representatives is arranged in a horseshoe shape with the Speaker sitting at the front. Members sit in the surrounding seats to carry out the business of Parliament and represent the people of Australia.

A picture of Westminster Palace, the home of the UK Parliament.

Footage of members at work in the House of Commons.

A picture of the Mace.
Narrator: The House of Representatives has many traditions which date back to the early British Parliament. One such tradition is the use of green to represent the House and another is the ceremonial use of the Mace.

Footage of the Serjeant-at-Arms leading the Speaker into the House of Representatives.

A picture of the Mace on the table in the House of Representatives.

Serjeant-at-Arms: Honourable members, the Speaker.

Narrator: In the House of Representatives, each day begins with the Speaker entering the chamber preceded by the Serjeant-at-Arms holding the Mace. The Mace is then placed on the central table, pointing to the government side.
Animated graphic of House of Representatives showing the government seats. Narrator: The House of Representatives is where government is formed. The political party or coalition that has the support of the majority of members in the House forms the government. They sit to the right of the Speaker.
Animated graphic of House of Representatives showing the Prime Minister’s seat at the table. Narrator: The leader of the government then becomes the Prime Minister.
Animated graphic of House of Representatives showing the opposition seats. Narrator: The next largest party forms the opposition or 'alternative government'. They sit to the left of the Speaker.
Animated graphic of House of Representatives showing the crossbench seats. Narrator: There are also independent and minor party members, who sit in an area known as the crossbench.
Footage of members at work in the House of Representatives.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts: Thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. I’d like to thank members who’ve contributed to the debate on the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Amendment Bill 2017.

Narrator: Members spend a little over half their time in the House considering ideas for new laws. Most new laws, or changes to old ones, begin in the House of Representatives.

Minister for Industry Science and Technology: I move that this bill now be read a second time.
Footage of Question Time in the House of Representatives.

The Member for O’Connor: My question is to the Minister for Education. Will the Minister please update the House on the government's plans to support Australians’ access to higher education…

Narrator: During Question Time, members question government ministers about their actions and decisions.

The Minister for Education: We want to ensure that all Australians, no matter where they live, get the education that they deserve.
Footage of a House of Representatives committee at work.

Committee Chair: We’ve had some submissions where people have said...

Narrator: In parliamentary committees, they listen to the views of the community and make recommendations for government action.

Witness: ...because you have to make choices, you can’t keep up the same level of expenditure. It’s things like car insurance and private transport.
Footage of the House of Representatives at work. Speaker: The time for members’ statements has concluded.
The Parliamentary Education Office logo. www.peo.gov.au.

Narrator: This is our Australian Parliament. To find out more and how you can get involved, visit the Parliamentary Education Office website: peo.gov.au

Music.