Victorian Commercial Teachers Association Conference

Held in Melbourne on 20th and 21st November


Are you a teacher in Victoria who is keen to use the story of the Kables, a convict couple on the First Fleet who sued the captain of the ship for damages for their lost parcel and won!! 

This books is perfect to explain civics concepts such as equality before the law and rule of law.  The offer is only available for teachers in Victoria….  

The Rule of Law Education Centre is grateful for the support of MaiTri Foundation and the 11 Australians who generously donated to provide free copies of the Lost Parcel to all attendees at Commview 23.


Why is the story of the first civil case in NSW as retold in the ‘Lost Parcel’ relevant to Commercial Teachers at Commview 23?

Underlying business, legal studies and economics are the beliefs and values that shape our economy and system of government including the rule of law, equality and fairness and property rights.

The true story of a convict couple, Henry and Susannah Kable and the disappearance of their parcel of belongings on their journey on the First Fleet culminates in the first civil case in New South Wales (Cable v Sinclair [1788] NSW KR 7, Court of Civil Jurisdiction), where the poor convict couple sued the mighty ship’s captain for their lost parcel and won!

This story provides a concrete example to help illustrate:

– the impact of equality before the law where the legal system protected the rights of a person irrespective of their wealth or ability to read or write;

– the importance of property rights (and the enforcement of property rights) to drive economic growth; and

 – the positive foundations and beliefs that came with Western civilisation and the rule of law in the early colony of New South Wales


Where in the Curriculum can I use this resource?

A suggested 3-4 period lesson plan for years 6-9 has been developed. Printouts and resoures can be found here.

Victoria Legal Studies
Unit Area of Study Outcome
1 1

Outcome 1 (the principles of justice: fairness, equity and access)

1 3

Outcome 3

2 2 Outcome 2 (the principles of justice: fairness, equity and access, institutions that resolve civil disputes, the purposes and types of remedies)
2 3

Outcome 3 (the ways in which rights are protected in Australia – common law, one Australian case that has had an impact on the protection of rights in Australia (as a historical example)

Victoria Economics
Unit Areas of Study Outcome
2 1

Outcome 1 (the factors that may affect aggregate demand/ supply and the level of economic activity, the potential benefits/ costs of growth)

3 1 Outcome 1 (non-price factors likely to affect demand, the role of free and competitive markets in promoting an efficient allocation of resources and improved living standards)
3 3 Outcome 2 (the difference between material and non-material living standards and factors that may affect living standards, the meaning and importance of aggregate demand/ aggregate supply and the factors that may affect levels of AD/ AS)
Victoria Humanities F-10 Civics and Citizenship
Yr Substrand/ Code/ Outcome Descriptor
7/8 Laws and Citizens (VCCCL022) Explain how Australia’s legal system aims to provide justice, including through the rule of law, presumption of innocence, burden of proof, right to a fair trial and right to legal representation
9/10 Laws and Citizens (VCCCL034) Discuss the key principles of Australia’s justice system, including equality before the law, independent judiciary, and right of appeal
Victoria Humanities F-10 History

Year/ Level

Substrand/ Code/ Outcome



Historical sources as evidence (VCHHC083)

Identify the origin, content features and the purpose of historical sources and describe the context of these sources when explaining daily life in colonial Australia, reasons for migration and causes and effects of Federation


Historical sources as evidence (VCHHC084)

Describe perspectives and identify ideas, beliefs and values of people and groups in the past


Cause and effect (VCHHC087)

Explain the significance of an event and an individual or group that influenced change in the Australian colonies and in Australian society since Federation


The Australian Colonies (VCHHK092)

The role that a significant individual or group played in shaping and changing a colony


What does the rule of law have to do with Economics?

Clearly defined property rights, secured by the rule of law reduce risk and drive investment. 

Check out this short video explain how the rule of law promotes prosperity from PolicyEd.


What free posters are being given out at Commview23?

Anyone who is a member or signs up to become a member of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia can come see us at our Trade Exhibition at Commview 23 for a free set of posters.  This year’s free poster are: