Civics and citizenship

The civics and citizenship curriculum develops students’ knowledge of political and legal institutions and explores the nature of citizenship in a liberal democracy.

A focus on contemporary issues, such as debates over changes in law and Australian government responses to international events, provides a means of developing students’ thinking and critical capacities. These issues provide ways that citizens can actively participate, question and improve democracy.

Students will develop general skills and capabilities such as an appreciation of diverse perspectives, empathy, collaboration, negotiation, self-awareness and intercultural understanding.

Curriculum design

Through Civics and Citizenship, students explore and develop their understanding and viewpoints on:

  • civic identity
  • roles in the community
  • rights and responsibilities of citizens
  • developing their connections to the school and community
  • values which underpin democratic communities such as freedom, equality, responsibility, accountability, respect, tolerance and inclusion
  • skills and knowledge in making judgments, forming conclusions and making plans for action
  • their sense of school, community and civic engagement and participation.

Courage to Care

Courage to Care (C2C) is a program that aims to build understanding of racism and inspire participants to be ‘upstanders’, challenging participants to consider the impact of their own actions and attitudes. 

C2C offers mobile exhibitions and education programs using the Holocaust as a vehicle to explore racism, discrimination and bullying. C2C programs are available to all Victorian schools.

C2C is funded by the Department of Education and Training. Find out more about Courage to Care.

Premier’s Spirit of Democracy

The Premier's Spirit of Democracy Study Tour (PSoD) provides students the opportunity to explore the origins of democracy and understand the influence democracy has on contemporary Victorian and Australian society. PSoD is open annually, for application by competitive process to all Victorian school students enrolled in Years 9, 10 and 11. The study tour will take place during the Term 1 school holidays the following year.

PSoD is funded by the Department of Education and Training. Find out more about the Premier’s Spirit of Democracy.

View the successful and runner-up entries from the inaugural Premier's Spirit of Democracy 2020-21 program Competition Essay Compilation (pdf - 6.89mb). Please note in 2020 only written submissions were accepted.

View the successful and runner-up entries from the Premier's Spirit of Democracy 2021-22 program Competition Entry Compilation (pdf - 6.89mb) . Please note, in 2021, essays, short stories, audio and video presentations, musical compositions and artworks were accepted. Students who submitted non-essay entries were required to also submit a Statement of Intent up to 200 words.

Victorian Students’ Parliamentary Program

The Victorian Students’ Parliamentary Program (VSPP) provides students with opportunities to learn about Australia's constitution and system of government through participation in informed, parliamentary style debates on a range of topics affecting Australia's democracy.

VSPP offers student constitutional conventions held at local schools and the Parliament of Victoria and supports students to attend national conventions at Parliament House, Canberra.

VSPP is funded by the Department and delivered by National Curriculum Services. To find out more, contact National Curriculum Services.

Elections and voting

Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) - provides online resources about electoral and democratic processes, and will visit secondary schools to provide a free session about the Victorian electoral system.

VEC Passport to Democracy Program - aims to facilitate young people's understanding of electoral matters, by investigating issues in their communities and learning how to take action on those issues.

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)- provides free educational resources and programs for teachers and students.

AEC Get Voting - Get Voting is everything you need to run a free and fair election for your class or school. 


Department resources

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA)

Courage to Care (C2C)

Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC)

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)

Find out more

For further information, contact: