Using Primary Sources from the National Archives

Using primary sources from the National Archives of Australia

2017 is the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. How important and effective was this referendum in creating a better world for Australia’s indigenous people?

In the National Archives of Australia special category, students from Years 7 to 12 have two options to explore this year’s theme.

Option 1

Develop and produce a film (5 minutes maximum) of a chronologically correct primary source trail that explores the 1967 referendum and the greater twentieth century struggle for Indigenous rights. Did the referendum make for a better world? How did this referendum further the recognition of Indigenous people? Are indigenous rights recognised today? You must present each piece of evidence and make clear how it relates to the theme. You need to include at least 10 pieces of evidence, including at least five from the National Archives of Australia’s records.

Option 2

Write an essay exploring ‘Making a Better World?’ through the use of primary sources (archival records) from the National Archives’ collection. Explore your chosen individual or group’s contribution to the betterment of Australian society through the National Archives’ digital collection as well as using other collections of primary and secondary sources. Be sure your essay is evaluative.


A few topics might include:

The Snowy Hydro Scheme

The role of the Constitution in laying the foundation for a just society

Australian government’s healthcare initiatives

Scientific endeavours in our nation’s history

Our role in the United Nations

Women’s contribution


Get started: 

National History Challenge at the National Archives

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