Civics and Citizenship Education National Forum 2007

The National Civics and Citizenship Education Forum, 'School Education: Civics and Citizenship Education of the Future', was held at the National Museum, Canberra 28–29 May 2007.

The Forum's focal points for 2007 were:

  • addressing the deficiencies identified in the 2004 National Assessment for Civics and Citizenship
  • highlighting and promoting the website resources available on the Civics and Citizenship website
  • exploring the relationship between the National Assessment conducted in 2007 and the National Statements for Learning for Civics and Citizenship
  • providing exemplars of best practice in civics and citizenship education.

Bishop Tom Frame spoke on the discipline of history generally and its purpose in the curriculum, and considered how the way history is taught is essential to what is learnt. On the fortieth anniversary of the 1967 Aboriginal referendum, Dr Bain Attwood of Monash University spoke about the many meanings of the referendum, as well as the misleading associations it has with the granting of citizenship and voting rights to Indigenous Australians, how, historically, these misconceptions came to be, and the purposes they have served.

Introducing another dimension of civics and citizenship education into the discussion, John von Doussa, President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, spoke of the value of Human Rights Education at a time when society in general is grappling with issues such as terrorism, climate change, diversity and refugees. John von Doussa pointed out some of Australia's obligations under the human rights treaties it has ratified, and also highlighted some of the gaps in domestic law with regards to the enforcement of these international conventions.

Following these thought-provoking, academic discussions, the participants were then guided by Di Kerr through the intricacies of the National Statements of Learning for Civics and Citizenship, and then guided by Suzanne Mellor through the report of the National Assessment Program for Civics and Citizenship. These national initiatives will assume a renewed prominence in 2008 when jurisdictions have undertaken to have their curriculums reflect those opportunities to learn outlined in the Statements. See the report of the National Civics and Citizenship Education Forum 2007.

National Civics and Citizenship Education Forum 2006 report