Primary Resources

Primary Resources

Australia’s Magna Carta Institute Rule of Law Education supports national and state curriculum requirements in Primary education.

Curriculum links and program ideas

Civics, Citizenship and Laws

Magna Carta and Human Rights

Australian Colonies

Democracy and Australian Governance

Primary Posters

Australian Colonies

On the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, Europeans establish a penal colony on our shores in response to the mass social upheaval that had developed back in the British homeland. It was a means to an end of something the British establishment desperately wanted to go away, a solution to a very large problem. Most convicts were unwilling participants in this experiment, and they became the latest group of migrants to land on the continent. Their existence and struggle helped shaped Australia’s identity to become what it is today.

Read and learn about how a British law called terra nullius brutally impacted the lives of the original indigenous inhabitants during this time, the Australian aboriginals.
The consequences of this law and brutal behaviour of the new colonists caused extensive loss of life and displacement of indigenous populations, ultimately depriving indigenous peoples of retaining ownership of the land they had inhabited for thousands of years, up until 1788.

Click the below images to go to each section:


 An Ancient People European Settlement  Democracy in Action



An Ancient People

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples were residents of Australia long before European settlement in 1788. Their history dates back over 50 000 years ago. They were a culture of many nations, each one with established customs and traditions of their own. Different and unique language groups identified individual indigenous nations across the land.


European Settlement

The First Five Governors of New South Wales

The first five governors of New South Wales were instrumental in the development of Australia since Europeans arrived on the First Fleet in 1788. Governors Arthur Phillip, John Hunter, Philip Gidley-King, William Bligh, and Lachlan Macquarie were given the momentous task of establishing and managing the development of a new British society on the other side of the world. Each one fought for fairness and justice to prevail in a rapidly changing and dangerous environment.

Their challenge was to establish a new colony with the unwanted felons who were rejected by British society.

Click the below images to go to each section:

Arthur Phillip John Hunter Philip Gidley-King William Bligh 
Lachlan Macquarie



Colonial Capers! is a fun way for your students to develop their knowledge and understanding about the contribution of past people, who have shaped the course of Australian history, and learn about the nature of history from key changes that have occurred in the past.

This quiz game can be used as a diagnostic resource to introduce the topic of European settlement, or it can be a useful assessment tool to complement the study of European settlement in Australia
(ACHASS1077, ACHASSK085, HT2-3, HT2-4).

PART 1 – the teacher’s edition. It’s got all the answers!
PART 2Colonial Capers SMARTBOARD Quiz

This resource will enable teachers to play the game with their class. Questions are presented in a way where your students can easily see all components for each question.

Answers can be found by discovering clues presented in the question, or are easily identified by using logic.

Other questions are simply a wonderful learning opportunity to discover new knowledge.
It’s a fun way for students to discover important facts about some of the most influential individuals in Australian history.


Democracy in Action

Eureka Rebellion

Celebrate the Eureka rebellion when gold miners who stood against colonial forces in a field at Eureka, near Ballarat, Victoria on December 3rd 1854.

This event is seen as an important development in Australian democracy, as the miners demanded the attention of the authorities for fair treatment, freedom of speech, and equal rights

Click the below images to go to each section:


Eureka Character Cards Eureka Debate  Eureka Chatterbox