Workers' rights

[Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

Rowley tells his mother that he went to see the manager of the brickworks about getting his father a job. His mother eventually tells Rowley what caused Rowley's father to leave home. Rowley learns of his father's involvement in sticking up for the workers and his eventual sacking.


The Australian curriculum: History

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The Australian Curriculum: History aims to ensure that students develop: 

  • interest in, and enjoyment of, historical study for lifelong learning and work, including their capacity and willingness to be informed and active citizens 
  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the past and the forces that shape societies, including Australian society 
  • understanding and use of historical concepts, such as evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability 
  • capacity to undertake historical inquiry, including skills in the analysis and use of sources, and in explanation and communication.

History activities [1]

Activity 1: Family values
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Subtheme(s): Politics; Social order and education

A woman's role in the late 1800s was restricted. It was expected that she maintain the home and family while the husband/father went out to work. However, in many poor families the woman had to work to earn money, especially when men lost their jobs.

  • Research and discuss women's roles in Australian history. Ask students to utilise the following websites to locate stories and pictures of women of the era:
  1. National Library of Australia, 'Picture Australia: Picture Trails: Society',
  2. ABC, 'Australian Suffragettes',

  • Students can create an imaginary 'historyface' profile (based on something similar to a Facebook page) for a female suffragette from the 1800s. Information can include a profile picture, status update, education, family background, likes and dislikes and groups she may be linked with. Student Activity Sheet H12.6 contains a 'historyface' template that can be used for this activity. Make sure that students answer the questions:
  1. Who is she?
  2. What groups and causes does she stand for?
  3. What is her status?


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