Founding the ALP

[Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

Rowley and Tom Müller visit Mr Merry when he is convening a meeting of the newly formed Labor Party. They are discussing the development of a new brickworks and are concerned with protecting the rights, health and safety of workers. Rowley and his mother discuss Rowley's father and his employment at the brickworks.


The Australian curriculum: English

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The Australian Curriculum: English aims to ensure that students:

  • learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • appreciate, enjoy and use the English language in all its variations and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, convey information, form ideas, facilitate interaction with others, entertain, persuade and argue
  • understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning
  • develop interest and skills in inquiring into the aesthetic aspects of texts, and develop an informed appreciation of literature.

English activities [1]

Activity 1: The Australian Labor Party (ALP)
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Subtheme(s): Culture; Currency; Politics
  • Ask students to reflect on what they found out about the formation of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from viewing the clip. They should respond to the following questions:
  1. What historical information was presented?
  2. How did the filmmaker present this information to the audience?
  • Ask students to reflect on what they saw and heard in the clip, particularly the way the characters interact, and discuss pertinent issues.

  • As a class, discuss what point of view (POV) the clip presents regarding the actions of the ALP to support workers' rights.
  • Ask students to pretend they are either a worker or an employer in 1898. Have them design and create a half-page flyer that advocates for or against workers' rights. They should use text and images to explain their POV. The episode stills could be useful for this activity.


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