Skip to main content

History: Rights and Freedoms



Creating a digital mind map or a mind map sketch

Using the Here Now / There Then approach to explore racial discrimination

Australian eResources

Book excerpts from Arthur Calwell (1945): How Many Australians Tomorrow? (.pdf 329 kB)

Political Photographs: Mr A A Calwell at a meeting of State Premiers and Immigration Ministers.

Displaced Persons: Flinders Ranges Research


Race, colonialism, immigration and travel

Records about Indigenous Australians | National Archives of Australia

Date range: 19th-20th Centuries
Geographical focus: Australia
The National Archives hold a lot of relevant material for Indigenous Australia, particularly administrative records. Not all records provide access to the full item.

The Koori History Website

Date range: 20th Century
Geographical focus: Australia
"information on Black Australia's 240 year struggle for justice". Primary sources relating to Indigenous history in Australia, including film clips, newspaper cuttings and images.

Collaborating for Indigenous Rights 1957–1973 | National Museum Australia

Date range: 1930-1979
Geographical focus: Australia
Primary sources and historical material relating to movements for Indigenous civil and land rights in Australia. Includes photographs, Government documents and documents created by rights activists.


Date range: 20th Century
Geographical focus: Australia
"The Reason in Revolt project aims to bring together primary source documents of Australian radicalism as an accessible digitised resource"

The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth Century Australia

Date range: 20th Century
Geographical focus: Australia
A reference source relating to women in leadership positions in Australia with profiles of women. Also links through to oral history and other online resources where they exist.

Jessie Street National Women's Library

Date range: 20th Century
Geographical focus: Australia
The Jessie Street National Women's Library holds books, serials, posters and archival material. Primary source documents are not available online, but can be accessed in the library.

Women's Rights in Australia


ANU eBook

Historical Documents


Migration experiences: Post-War to the 1970s

Changing immigration policies

Why people migrate:

Booklet ‘Migration and the Refugee’, by the Australian Army Education Service, 12 March, 1945

What is the difference between migrants and refugees? from the Refugee Council of Australia

Migrant stories at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Timeline of migration on the Global Words website

There’s a welcome “down under” for you’poster

Australia: land of tomorrow’poster

Australia: A Full Healthy Life poster

Australia The Lucky Country’ and other posters

The Australian skilled migration and recruitment' site, Konnecting

Timeline 1940s: after the war Museum Victoria

1950s - a million post-war immigrants: Image 7– Assisted passage migrants arriving; Image 8–Poster: Promoting 10 pound assisted passage; Image 4–Certificate of Identity, John Neamonitis, Egypt

1960s - the end of White Australia looms: Poster: Image 7: Promoting Australia's climate to migrants 1963; Image 8– Immigration Minister Hubert Oppermann signs migration agreement with Germany 1965; Image 9–Chinese New Year Melbourne 1965

Video clip Our Century: through new eyes

Culture in Development: What is Cultural Heritage?

Text on ‘intermarriage of cultures as a measure of social cohesion

Text and inquiry questions on the contribution of migrants — Post war to 1973, based on statistical analysis from the Australian government

Excerpt from the documentary Admission Impossible

Video, Immigration Nation Part 1 White Australia Policy

Dismantling the White Australia policy

Timeline with historical examples to provide the overview of the decade

Credo for a Nation (1974) Museum Victoria

Booklet — A J Grassby, ‘Australia’s Multicultural Society’ (1975)

Australia’s obligations under the 1966 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

the Guide to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975

Timeline: Vietnamese immigration to Australia (Pre 1975-2011) ABC

Short history of Vietnamese immigration to Australia  (.pdf 132 kB) from the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Source: 1970 — refugees from our region, (Image 9: Vietnamese boat people Darwin 1977, Image 11 Indo-Chinese families arriving by plane 1979)

Source: Vietnamese boat people, Darwin, November 1977 (National Library of Australia, 15 images)

Source: Once upon a time migration timeline from SBS

Step Inside: Perceive, Know about, Care about approach to explore images in sources

Case study: Extract about KG4435 from The Vietnamese Boat People, 1954 and 1975–1992 by Nghia M Vo

SBS Report Lam Tac Tam recount

Creating newspapers in the classroom — support

Newspaper templates — support

Google newspaper templates— support

Design a web page with Tools 4U Microsoft Word 2007 — support

Case study: Migration experience of Mai Ho Museum Victoria

Case study: Profile of Hieu Van Le and inquiry questions

Hieu Van Le: Thoughts on cultural heritage

Hieu Van Le: First experiences of Australia

Hieu Van Le: Recognising government support

Hieu Van Le: Short-term challenges

The full speech (.pdf 56 kB) by Hieu Van Le

Leaving Cambodia stories of Pol Pot survivors

Ming Tam Nguyen’s life as a refugee to Australia linked to his favorite musical instrument: the object and his story (National Museum of Australia)

Submission ‘Australia as a Multicultural Society’ (.pdf 438 kB) to the Australian Population and Immigration Council

Indigenous Rights

Published on Feb 24, 2016 This is first systematic account of frontier violence in Queensland, Australia. Following in the tracks of the pastoralists as they moved into 'new' lands across the colony in the 19th Century, Dr Timothy Bottoms identifies massacres, poisonings and other incidents, including many that no-one has documented before.

'On Her Shoulders' - International Women's Day Documentary

Australian National Committee for UN Women. UN Women Australia commissioned a short documentary to be made to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day. 'On Her Shoulders' follows the history of International Women's Day and the struggles women have faced. In addition, it looks at what still needs to be achieved to ensure that gender equality can be fully realised.

Equality of Women 1965 - 2000 (Australia)

Australian Human Rights Commission. Publication - Sex Discrimination

EBSCO Database articles : available through Student Portal

The Women's Movement and Government.
  • Getting Pragmatic.
  • Women's Liberation was a Movement, Not an Organisation.


The following video may be accessed through Clickview:

The Evolution of Child Rights

RightsEd: Australia as a nation – race, rights and immigration

RightsEd: Australia as a nation – race, rights and immigration

Australia as a nation – race, rights and immigration is a unit of work that explores Australia’s development as a nation throughout the 20th Century with a particular focus on the changing experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. In this unit, students have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the impacts of racism and discrimination, investigate the racist and anti-racist...

Download pdf of "RightsEd: Australia as a nation – race, rights and immigration " (4.94 MB)

Promoting immigration, multiculturalism and anti-racism

Source: The ‘Bring out a Briton’ scheme (Museum Victoria)

Source: ‘£10 Pom Scheme’ (Powerwhouse Museum)

Source: The pull factors of the Australian the nation (Museum Victoria)

The poster as an historical source(information)

Poster: Same Make Different Model, Harmony Day, Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, circa 1998–1999.

Poster: Harmony Day Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, circa 1998-1999

Poster: Australia: Live, Work and Play in Natural Harmony, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, circa 1990s

Poster: Australia: Look Towards a New Business Future, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, circa 1990s

Poster: Racism. It stops with me (.pdf 101 KB)

Poster: Adam Goodes (.pdf 184 kB) campaign information pack (.pdf 1.1MB)

Posters: Anti-Discrimination Board (NSW)

1980 Multiculturalism takes effect — Image 8: Chilean immigrants welcomed by their local community 

1990s One in four born overseas Image 9: Dispelling the myths of immigration

Cambodian and Laotian immigration to Australia: The civil war in Cambodia in the late 1970s led to the deaths of about one million Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge regime. Thousands fled their homeland and sort refuge in other parts of Asia and Australia. Refugees from conflicts in Laos

1986 Jupp Report (.pdf 329 kB). Review of Migrant and Multicultural Programs and Services, Committee for Stage 1, Don’t settle for less — report of the committee: summary, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra

1988 Fitzgerald Report (.pdf 291 kB) Committee to Advise on Australia’s Immigration Policies, Immigration

1989 The Tiananmen Incident. The Australian response to the pro-democracy protests and the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989 for Chinese students in Australia is another example of a crisis which influenced immigration policy: Children of the Revolution: Sydney Morning Herald —story traced from the immediate reaction by the Hawke government and the positive long term impact on the students and Australia.

1992 Migration Reform Bill: Changes to Migration Act for refugees

One Nation (1996): Immigration policy and multiculturalism were once again under public discussion when the leader of the One Nation Party, Pauline Hanson, expressed concern about levels of migration from Asia. Focus: The One nation policies and racism; reactions to Hanson's policies in the late 1990s. Review, critically analyse and discuss selected sections of the following documents: In 80 days which changed our lives: Pauline Hanson forms One Nation; A review of Hansonism and the late 1990s.  A comprehensive summary of key issues and events by Parliament. Be aware that the blogs which follow video clips on Hansonism have very problematic comments and confronting language.

1997 The Hong Kong Handover to China. As the British prepared to hand back Hong Kong to China some Hong Kong residents sought citizenship elsewhere, away from a life in what would become a communist province: BBC, Hong Kong handover to China; Wikipedia entry, Waves of migration from Hong Kong; ABC Lateline program 2007, Reverse migration 

1999–2014The Harmony Day legacy: Briefly review the nature of the work today

Asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and human rights since 2000

Fact Sheet from Racism. No Way!

Asylum seekers and refugees guide

Background information on refugees and asylum seekers (Refuggee Week website)

Migration program outcomes since 1985

Humanitarian program 2008–2013 information and inquiry questions as a guide.

Fact Sheet 60 ‘Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program’

Refugees in Australia

Graph comparing Australia and other countries for irregular arrivals by sea

Planned migrant numbers and actual numbers for 1996–2011 

Asylum statistics Australia — March quarter 2013: key statistics including graphs showing trends  

Australia and Refugee Trends 2002–12 Guardian newspaper

Australian Migration Program Report 2012–2013 (.pdf 484 kB) Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection

The definition of mandatory detention

Key human rights obligations

ABC Fact Check — Children in detention (April 4 2014)

Inside Detention ABC Behind the News video

Circle of Viewpoints approach (Teaching strategy)

Source: 80 days that changed our lives — The Tampa: Includes an ABC television report

Source: A student’s view of the Tampa incident Year 8 student Katharine Gentry

Source: What was the Tampa Crisis and its aftermath? Justice Project)

What is in a name? list of Immigration Department titles since 1945

Worksheet: The Border Protection Bill 2012 in your words(.pdf 158 kB) | Word version (103 kB)

History and key features of the Border Protection Bill (Parliament Papers)

Graph of arrivals of people in Australia without visas

BBC News report on the Asylum seekers boat wreck at Christmas Island

Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers (2012) (.pdf 360 kB)

Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) analysis of the report (.pdf 305 kB)

Migration legislation amendment Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Human rights implications Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and other Measures) Bill 2012 (Castan Centre for Human Rights Law)

Counter People Smuggling Communication Australian Customs

The Cronulla Riots 2005 — conflict in society

Overviewfrom Lines in the sand

Worksheet: Cronulla Riots investigation worksheet (.pdf 95 kB) | Word version (.docx 101 kB)

Strike Force Neil Report (.pdf 20.4 MB) (pages referenced for source material in this part of Sequence 4: 9, 38,–44, 50–56)

Reporting Notebook approach(Teaching strategy)

Source: Reaction to ‘Life-savers’ incident

Source: Racialisation of immigrant youth

Source: Role of the media 1

Source: Role of the media 2

Source: Newspaper article: ‘Let’s take back our beaches’, December 10, 2005

Redfern riot or Macquarie Field riot comparison with Cronulla

Source: Newspaper article ‘Mob violence envelops Cronulla’ December 11, 200

Video: ABC Four Corners Riot and revenge (Note that this video contains course language and some violent scenes)

Newspaper survey — What caused the Cronulla riot?

Newspaper article ‘Making sense of a black day’, The Age, December 13 2005

Newspaper article ‘A Nation’s line in the sand Sydney Morning Herald 21 January, 2014

On the Same Wave program

80 days that Changed Our Lives Communities clash violently at Cronulla

Newspapaer article ‘Cronulla Five Years on’ The Monthly, December 2010

Human Rights