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1967 Referendum unit of work


Title: Will you put it in the Australian 'Human Rights Hall of Fame'?
Topic: History, Civics and Citizenship, Society and Environment, Indigenous Studies, English, Media Studies
Type: Curriculum materials + interactive
Years: 8-12

Key curriculum links: Time, Continuity and Change; Culture; Natural and Social Systems; Investigation, Communication and Participation, Thinking Processes and Communication

Purpose and content

In April 2008 the National Museum of Australia released a substantial website, Collaborating for Indigenous Rights. The previous year, May 2007, the part of the website focusing on the 1967 Referendum was released as a preview to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the referendum. This teachers resource was developed as part of the Museum's 1967 Referendum activities.

This unit of work helps students to interrogate the website and, in doing so, come to a better understanding of this important event. In completing the unit, the students will decide whether the 1967 Referendum was a major turning point in the achievement of Indigenous citizenship rights in Australia.

In order to come to a judgement about this important historical event, students interrogate a wide range of primary source materials including petitions, Hansard speeches, Cabinet documents, newspaper articles, posters and museum exhibition displays that are available on Collaborating for Indigenous Rights.

Unit downloads

These downloads are in PDF file format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get free Acrobat Reader (link opens in new window).

Close up of Faith Bandler.

Activity 1
Making rules in my classroom - Understanding the concept of citizenship rights

Download '67 Referendum activity 1 [PDF 2.1mb]

Detail of the upper left-hand corner of a letter. The words are: Dear Sir, Please will you ... Pension to be p... in Kalgoorlie.

Activity 2
What citizenship rights existed in Australia by 1967?

Download '67 Referendum activity 2 [PDF 1.7mb]

A detail of the Commonwealth crest, showing the kangaroo on the left and the emu on the right.

Activity 3
Your petitioners humbly pray - What attempts were made to change the Constitution by petitions?

Download '67 Referendum activity 3 [PDF 3.9mb]

Detail of a document. The words showing are: Confidenti... For Cabinet... tional Amendment : Ab...

Activity 4
Changing the law - What was the role of Commonwealth Cabinet and Parliament?

Download '67 Referendum activity 4 [PDF 1.6mb]

Detail of a poster with the words: Australia's Catholic bishops say ...

Activity 5
Changing the Constitution - What was the role of people, groups and ideas in the referendum campaign?

Download '67 Referendum activity 5 [PDF 1.0mb]

An outline map of Australia showing the state boundaries, both western and eastern ends are cropped.

Activity 6
What was the result of the Referendum vote?

Download '67 Referendum activity 6 [PDF 54kb]

Graphic with yellow background and slogans from the 1967 Referendum campaign: Towards an Australia free and equal; Vote yes; Vote 'Yes' for Aborigines; Let's be counted - vote yes; Vote 'yes' for equality

Activity 7
What have been the impacts of this result?

Download '67 Referendum activity 7 [PDF 875kb]

Image of an old ballot box in a perspex case. It appears to be double locked and has the number '8262' on the front.

Activity 8
How has the National Museum of Australia represented this event in its display?

Download '67 Referendum activity 8 [PDF 507kb]

1967 Referendum interactive

The Museum and Ryebuck Media have also produced an interactive to help students investigate the significance of the 1967 Referendum. The interactive presents students with a range of evidence to help them decide whether the 1967 Referendum should be included in an 'Australian Human Rights Hall of Fame'.

Go to the Australian History Mysteries website and select the 'Interactive' link which is next to 'Freedom Ride and 1967 Referendum - What do they tell us about Australian attitudes?'

Contact us for help

If you are unable to download the above resources, please contact the Education section at education@nma.gov.au

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