History Teachers' Association of Australia

[ AFSSSE Senior Secondary Case Studies ]  


Challenge To Democracy The Communist Party Dissolution Act 1950

This case study provides teachers and students of senior level Australian history with the opportunity to engage in active and disciplined investigation of a string of significant events in Australian history which highlight the core principles of democracy. It requires students to link international and national events in the context of the Cold War and to examine the operations of Australia’s political and legal systems in relation to the passing of the Communist Party Dissolution Act, the High Court invalidation of the Act and the subsequent referendum which sought to alter the constitution to give the Commonwealth power to legislate with respect to communists and communism.

Australian Identity

The purpose of this unit is to

  • provide links between the resources of the Discovering Democracy materials and key themes in Senior Secondary Australian History courses
  • illustrate a work programme based on the theme – Australian Identity

The key themes are

  • The search for an Australian identity is an intrinsic part of the history of democracy in Australia.
  • The history of democracy in Australia is influenced by the social / cultural experiences of society.
  • Changing and significant economic circumstances have influenced the history of Australian democracy.
  • Key political events, crises and developments provide turning points in the history of democracy in Australia
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© Commonwealth of Australia [2002]
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