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18 Apr 2024

Civil Discourse: Post-Referendum for schools

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia has developed a classroom resource titled Civil Discourse: Post Referendum as part of its pilot Seriously Social initiative. Seriously Social is intended to provide high-quality educational materials that undergo rigorous fact-checking and expert review.  

Designed for students and teachers in Years 7 to 10, the Civil Discourse: Post Referendum resource comprises two booklets containing educational videos, reading materials, classroom displays, learning experiences, student reflections and assessment checklists.    

These resources have been peer-reviewed and fact-checked by Fellows of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, who are recognised experts in their respective fields. Additionally, reputable organisations and educators including Education Services Australia (ESA), Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and our review team at Reconciliation Australia, have also contributed this work.  

For democracies to work, people need to be able to express their opinions, particularly on issues of national importance. It is crucial that these conversations are respectful, approached factually, do not use stereotypes or denigrating language and, importantly, do not cause harm.  

Education in civil discourse provides students with the essential knowledge to foster mutual understanding. The goal is to sustain an Australian society where individuals with diverse perspectives can collaborate effectively, ensuring all members feel included and valued.  

Building on this knowledge is particularly crucial when addressing issues that can impact upon specific individuals or communities. This was evident during the 2023 Voice to Parliament referendum. 

Teachers can access the resources using the following links: 

For more information about Seriously Social, visit To connect with the team at the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, email [email protected]. Educators are invited to subscribe to the Seriously Social mailing list to keep informed of developments in the academy’s school program.