Glossary of testable section

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original inhabitants of the land in Australia. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia make up approximately three per cent of the Australian population.

Australian Human Rights Commission

an independent Commission which investigates complaints about discrimination and human rights breaches. Incidents of racism can be reported to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Australian Public Service

government departments and people employed by them. Paul got a job in the Australian Public Service as an employee of Services Australia.

civil unrest

demonstrations and riots by large numbers of people, usually protesting against a government decision or policy. There was civil unrest when the government passed the unpopular laws.


the joining of two or more political parties, usually to form a government or opposition. After the election, there was no party with a majority in the House of Representatives, so two parties with similar ideas joined to form a coalition.


a group of people with an official responsibility. An independent commission organises the elections.


the supreme law of Australia by which the government must abide. The Constitution sets out the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

constitutional monarchy

a country in which a king or queen is the head of state, whose powers are limited by the Constitution. Our Constitution established the Commonwealth of Australia as a constitutional monarchy, with the King or Queen of the United Kingdom as our Head of State.


a place where legal cases are heard by a judge or magistrate. When people break the law, they may go to court.

criminal trial

a hearing of facts by a court to decide if a person is guilty or not guilty of a crime. After the criminal trial, the bank robber was sent to jail.

cyber abuse

behaviour that uses technology to threaten, intimidate, harass or humiliate someone with the intent to hurt them. Many types of cyber abuse are against the law in Australia and should be reported to the police and the online service, such as social media platform, that it occurred on.


government by the people through elected representatives. Grace was happy to live in a democracy where she could vote for her representative in parliament

domestic and family violence

Behaviour or threats that aim to control a partner by causing fear or threatening their safety. Domestic and family violence is not accepted and is against the law.

Domestic and family violence is against the law in Australia and should be reported to the police.

drug trafficking

carrying or buying drugs to sell illegally. Jess was sent to jail for drug trafficking


a process through which citizens choose people to represent them in Parliament. Australian citizens aged 18 years or over must vote in an election.

electoral roll

the list of people registered to vote in an election or referendum. When Jan arrived at the voting centre, the official looked for her name on the electoral roll.


districts made up of voters who vote to elect politicians in the House of Representatives. Electorates are called electoral districts, divisions, or seats.

enforce the law

to make sure that people follow the law. Police enforce the law and keep the peace.


the same in status. Australians believe in the equality of all people.

executive power

the power and authority to administer the laws, one of the three powers under the Australian Constitution. Australian Government ministers and the Governor-General have executive power to administer the laws made by the Australian Parliament.

fair go

everyone, regardless of their background, is given an equal opportunity to achieve success in life. In Australia, we believe everyone deserves a ‘fair go’.


the union of colonies into one nation with the colonies retaining certain powers. In 1901, the colonies were united into a federation called the Commonwealth of Australia.

First Fleet

the group of 11 ships that set out from Britain under Captain Arthur Phillip to establish a convict settlement in New South Wales

The First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.

floral emblem

national flower. Australia’s floral emblem is the golden wattle.

forced marriage

a marriage where one or both of the couple did not have a free choice. She was never happy about her forced marriage and always wanted to leave it.

from this time forward

from now and in the future. At the citizenship ceremony, you promise to be loyal to Australia from this time forward.


a well-known image. The Opera House is a famous Sydney icon.


The Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. Indigenous Australians are the First Peoples of this country.


the process of adaptation by migrants so that they can participate in and contribute to their new, evolving society. Over time, migrants benefit from their integration into Australia and the local community.

judicial power

the power and authority to interpret and apply the laws, one of the three powers under the Australian Constitution. The courts in Australia have judicial power.

legislative power

the power and authority to make and change the laws, one of the three powers under the Australian Constitution. Under the Constitution, Parliament has legislative power.

liberties (liberty)

personal freedom and independence. In our democratic society, people have freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of association. We value these liberties.


a judge of a lower court. The magistrate found the thief guilty and sent him to jail.


helping and receiving help from others, especially in difficult times. When my car broke down, the other drivers helped to push it in the spirit of mateship.

national anthem

national song. Australia’s national anthem is ‘Advance Australia Fair’.

parliamentary democracy

a system of government based on the regular election of representatives to parliament by the citizens. In a parliamentary democracy, the people vote for their representatives.

political party

a group of people who share similar ideas about how a country should be governed and usually seek to be elected. Members of a political party meet regularly, for example, to discuss improvements to public transport.


prejudice, discrimination, harassment or hatred directed at someone because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin.

Racism is against the law in Australia and should be reported to the police. Complaints can also be made to the Australian Human Rights Commission.


a vote by all voters on a proposed change to the Australian Constitution. In a 1967 referendum, the people voted to count Aboriginal peoples in the census.


a person who acts or speaks for others. My local council representative liked my idea and presented it at the council meeting.


show consideration for someone as a person, or a decision they have made. Emily was glad her family were able to respect her decision to become a Buddhist.

Rule of Law

all people, including citizens and the government, are bound by the law. Everyone in Australia, including the Prime Minister, are bound by all Australian laws under the Rule of Law.

Services Australia

an Australian Government agency that delivers a range of health, social and welfare payments and services through Medicare, Centrelink, and Child Support

Services Australia delivers support payments through Centrelink and other services.

secret ballot

a system of voting where people vote privately, so no one can influence or pressure them to vote in a certain way. In a secret ballot, no one watches while you write your vote.


separate from religion. In a secular society, there is no official religion.


able to provide for your own needs, without the help of other people. Having a job meant that he was able to buy his own food and pay his own rent. He was self-sufficient.

set up

to build, establish, start. Governor Phillip set up the first colony in New South Wales.


a local government area. The roads in my shire are very safe.

social security

government pensions or benefits to help unemployed people, disabled people, elderly people and others in need. When Trang lost her job, she applied for social security benefits.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

an Australian Government agency that manages the tax and superannuation systems that support and fund services for Australians. Every year most Australians submit a tax return to the Australian Taxation Office.


the principles that help a person decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations. Australia has a shared set of values, which we call Australian values.


a person who gives their time to a person or organisation without expecting payment. Raza is a volunteer who teaches people English in their homes.

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Part 1 - Australia and its people

» Australia's states and territories
» Important days for Australians
» Australia's flags and symbols

Part 2 - Australia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties

» Our democratic beliefs
» Our freedoms
» Our equalities
» Responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship
» Participating in Australian society

Part 3 - Government and the law in Australia

» How do I have my say?
» How did we establish our system of government?
» How is the power of government controlled?
» Who is Australia's Head of State?
» Who are some of Australia's leaders?
» How is Australia Governed?
» What do the three levels of government do?
» What role do political parties play in the way Australia is governed?
» How is the Australian Government formed?
» How are laws made?
» How are laws enforced?
» Criminal offences in Australia

Part 4 - Australian values

» Our values
» Our community

Glossary of testable section