Lesson Idea

Upholding Society Values; Our Collective Responsibility

Theme: Democratic Values
Relates to WACC: ACHCK050, ACHCK061, ACHCK078, ACHCK090, ACHCK094, VCCCC036, VCCCG019, VCCCG029, VCCCL022, VCCCL034

Laws are passed to ensure that society’s values are upheld. As a visitor to or citizen of a country it is your responsibility to be aware of these laws. In Australia, it is the police that enforce these laws but citizens have an important role to play.

Discuss with students why it is the responsibility of each citizen to help ensure that our laws are upheld.

 Taking action

  • In Australia, it is legal to make a citizen’s arrest as long as any force used is reasonable and not disproportionate to the crime being committed. Anyone making a citizen’s arrest must take the person straight to the police or court of law. This is the law under which security guards operate.

Discuss with students the pro and cons of taking this sort of action.

An alternative to making a citizen’s arrest is to provide Crime Stoppers with information about a crime that has or may occur.

Divide the class into groups of six.  Each group creates a scenario depicting when it is appropriate to tell someone in authority about the poor/bad behaviour of someone. This could be related to the breaking of a school rule or Australian law and should include the benefit to the wider community of taking this action.  Using an app such as Vyond, they create a storyboard and animated version of their scenario.  Complete the activity by sharing each group’s animation.

  • An important value/principle (rule of law) on which the Australian justice system operates is that a person accused of committing an offence is deemed innocent until proven guilty. How does this fundamental value protect:
    • The notion of democracy?
    • A citizen when they are taking civic action?
    • Justice for an accused citizen?

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