Popular culture 1945 – present

Continuity and change in Australian society


This section of the program seeks to tie up the depth study with a reflection on the changes in popular culture and the impact they have had on Australian life.

Inquiry question How was Australian society affected by significant global events and changes in this period?
Content focus Continuity and change in beliefs and values that have influenced the Australian way of life.
  • Use chronological sequencing to demonstrate the relationship between events and developments in different periods and places
  • Identify and select different kinds of questions about the past to inform historical inquiry
  • Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in a historical argument
  • Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources
  • Develop texts, particularly descriptions and discussions that use evidence from a range of sources that are referenced.


  • Using the Oral history guide (PDF. 117 KB), plan an interview with older Australians to find out more about continuities and changes in popular culture.
  • Create a poster that shows the changing role of women in Australian popular culture.
  • National identity: how has 'being Australian' been depicted across time? Collect a series of words and images from Australian popular culture since World War II that shows how we have tried to depict 'an Australian'. A discussion on who is usually missing from these depictions of an 'Australian' could form the basis of an organised classroom debate on how effectively and inclusively popular culture has expressed an Australian identity.
  • Year by year: each member of the class should be allocated a year from post-war Australia to design and construct a birthday card/CD/DVD of the year that reflects popular culture in that specific year. The results can be exhibited to create a visual reference point to study continuities and changes across the period studied.