If you ask 5 different people attending the same event why they’re there, it’s likely that you’ll receive 5 different answers. People always have different motivations and reasons for doing and believing the things they do. I go to the gym because I enjoy exercising and I want to keep fit and healthy, my friend goes to the gym because she’s training to complete a triathlon. We both do similar exercises and attend similar classes, but are going for different reasons.
Same with the Vegan festival I went to last month- I went because I have a vegan friend and I want to be able to cook and bake for her and so needed to find out more and buy more vegan products! There were other people there who were attending because they’re super passionate about limiting animal cruelty, and some people there because of the health benefits of veganism. Everyone has a different background and a different reason for their behaviour.
It’s the same with political views and beliefs on social issues. While people may vote for the same party or believe in the same policy, they may have very different reasons for doing so. These reasons often stem from their personal values and the values which Australian society as a whole holds to be important. Politicians also base their policies on these values- both personal and public- so it’s important to know what values you hold dear and who shares these values, and which may influence the way you vote.
Today, you’ll identify some of the values which you hold yourself and some values which Australian society holds to be vital to the Australian way of life.
You will then be directed to look at the policies of the recent Melbourne City Council elections HERE and identify which values the candidates listed in the article appear to hold, based on their policies.
Finally, you will be asked to write a short statement of belief, and some policies, as if you were standing for a position on your local council. There is a template to help you design and draft this speech attached to this blog post. (note: you could also use this template to help you write an SRC speech in the future, for example).
It’s important to have reflected upon what it is you value- not just because it may help you know to decide how to vote, but fundamentally because such reflection will help explain how you behave, what you stand for, and what you stand against. We hope you find this activity helpful and that your vote remains informed, important and something that you truly value.
Key Knowledge and Skills Met
Civics and Citizenship
Level 5 and 6 Content Descriptors
Identify who can be an Australian citizen and describe the rights, responsibilities and shared values of Australian citizenship and explore ways citizens can participate in society (VCCCC014)
Level 7 and 8 Content Descriptors
Identify how values can promote cohesion within Australian society, including the values of freedom, respect, inclusion, civility, responsibility, compassion, equality and a ‘fair go’ (VCCCC025)
Analyse how citizens’ political choices are shaped, including the influence of the media (VCCCG030)
Civics and Citizenship Skills (sourced from Australian Curriculum)
Reflect on their role as a citizen in Australia’s democracy (ACHCS060)
Critically evaluate information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS084)