History: Australian History Units 3 and 4


In VCE Australian History, you will study five distinct and fascinating episodes in a timeframe stretching from 1834 to 2002.

Unit 3 encompasses an investigation of Aboriginal lifestyles prior to the arrival of the British; the beginnings of European settlement and its consequences; and the endlessly interesting gold rush period. You will then turn your attention to the pre and post federation era and World War One, ‘the war to end all wars’.

In Unit 4, you will learn about the desperation and sadness of the Great Depression; the Vietnam War conflict and the dramatic changes to the way we live; and finally, coming full circle, you will look closely at the measures taken by Aborigines to secure land rights.

Who is it for?

Australian history is a subject that will appeal to all. It will allow you to make sense of how we as a nation and a people emerged; it could advance a career path; or you may choose it simply for the sheer pleasure of reading history.

What do you do?

You will be expected to read about 25 pages and respond to, on average, eight to ten questions each week. While the nature of the tasks will vary, considerable emphasis is placed on text and image analysis, short answer responses and extended commentary, the type of questions 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 to your advantage.

What skills do you develop?

The skills you will develop in Australian History are transferable – research skills, the evaluation of evidence, critical reading and viewing, writing, and historical thinking. These analytical and communication skills are highly useful in other academic pursuits, and in almost any career you choose.




You require internet access to proceed with this course.
Although not compulsory, you will find the following texts helpful:

  • Imagining Australia, Australian History VCE Units 3&4. Mirams, Sarah et al, Thomson, Victoria, 2006
  • Australian History, Study and Exam Guide Revised
    Carrodus, Geraldine, HTAV publishing, 2018

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, you will find that early reading of the initial chapters useful, whether they are the VSV course notes or the texts nominated above.
Most importantly, you should create a realistic and workable timetable, one that will allow you to meet the demands of the subject on time.

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.