This week (27/5-3/06) is National Reconciliation Week (NRW) and NAIDOC Week is in early July. There are special events all over the country to celebrate our country’s Indigenous history and heritage, and to move towards a better future which acknowledges the wrongs of the past and aims to learn from them. This year the theme of NRW is “Don’t Keep History a Mystery”, while the theme of NAIDOC Week is “Because of her, we can”, celebrating Indigenous women and their achievements. The Victorian Electoral Commission is passionate about closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in every way- but especially in the area of electoral engagement. Historically, Indigenous Australians have either been denied the right to vote or, often, actively misled or at best not engaged and supported to vote. It’s important that this past be acknowledged and actively redressed in the present.
Today, the VEC aims to increase Indigenous voter turnout by explicitly supporting Indigenous communities, sending mobile voting centres out to regional and rural communities, and by explaining to mixed audiences the history of the Indigenous vote in Australia. We also cover Indigenous inclusion in our Passport to Democracy sessions, ensuring that young Australians are aware of the need to make voting as equitable as possible for all Australians and to build an understanding of our past that is not based on ignorance or myth.
As part of this goal, the blog posts and activities for this week (that could be used now and right through into July- or any time) are focused on developing students’ understanding regarding the history of Indigenous voting rights in Australia, as well as improving their research skills and abilities. The activities can be reinforced using the resources in the Research tab of our website which helps students in both the process of finding good sources as well as reading them with a critical lens.
The activity attached in this post is more focused on primary students, while our next post will be aimed at secondary learners. Depending on your students’ needs, feel free to use these activities in whichever way you please!
The activity also details which Victorian Curriculum Content Descriptors are covered by the content.