History: Australian History Units 3 and 4
VCE Australian History students study five distinct episodes in a timeframe stretching from 1834 to 2004.
In Unit 3, we investigate the concept of change with our study of traditional Aboriginal practices, European settlement and the gold rush. This is followed by an exploration of Federation and World War I.
In Unit 4, our focus is on the Great Depression, the Vietnam War and Aboriginal land rights.
Who is it for?
Australian History is a subject that will appeal to many. Some see it as advancing a career path, some to make sense of how we as a nation and a people emerged, and others for the sheer pleasure of reading history.
What do you do?
Students are expected to read around 25 pages per week and respond to, on average, 10 questions. While the nature of the tasks will vary – graphic organiser, quiz, table, mnemonic, historiography, self-correction or collaborative task, for instance – we place considerable emphasis on text and image analysis, short answer responses and extended commentary, the type encountered in the final examination.
What skills do you need?
There are no prerequisites, but a preparedness to read regularly and respond clearly and effectively will be an advantage.
What skills do you develop?
The skills you develop in Australian History are transferable – research skills, the evaluation of evidence, writing, critical reading and viewing, and historical thinking. These analytical and communication skills are highly useful in other academic pursuits, and in almost any career you choose.
It is recommended that students purchase the following text: Imagining Australia Australian History VCE Units 3 & 4. Mirams, Sarah et al. Thomson, Victoria, 2006
Things to think about
There is only one examination in the course. It takes place at the end of the year and is worth 50% of your overall mark. It is marked externally. The other 50% is assessed internally and takes the form of five School-assessed Coursework tasks. These are: Analysis of primary sources, Essay, Analysis of historical interpretations and Historical inquiry.
Things you can do now
In preparation for a successful year, students will find the relevant chapters of the recommended text, Imagining Australia, particularly useful. Beyond that, conducting internet searches, pursuing oral history opportunities and watching documentaries or fact-based movies should prove beneficial.
Most importantly, all students should create a realistic, workable timetable, one that will allow them to meet the demands of the subject.
Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.
Things to have a look at
A continent for a nation-
A short video on the Federation story.
From Port Phillip to the Vietnam War
A short photo story of Australian history.
Port Phillip District
A short podcast of the Port Phillip District.