USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

HIS2000 Contemporary Australia

Semester 2, 2014 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication

Contents on this page


Examiner: Libby Connors
Moderator: Catherine Dewhirst


Pre-requisite: One unit of History or INR1000 or INR1001

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


This course is valuable for students wanting a foundation for understanding contemporary Australian society. It is particularly useful for students majoring in Journalism, International Relations and Social Justice, as well as History. It further develops skills of interpretation first introduced in HIS1001 Introduction to Australian history and completes the narrative of that course by covering the major events that shaped Australia from war in the Pacific to the Kevin Rudd years.


This course explores the social, economic, political and cultural history of Australia from World War II to the present. Its themes include the persistence of racial beliefs and their impact on Australia's response to world affairs, Australia's new relations with Britain and the United States, consumerism and its effect on social order, the challenge of the social movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the impact of globalisation and the Culture Wars of the Howard Government. There will be further development of critical and interpretative skills through the analysis of primary and secondary sources. NOTE: Students who have already passed the old unit 95501 will not be permitted to enrol in this course.


On successful completion of this course students will demonstrate:

  1. a knowledge and understanding of developments in post-war Australian society;
  2. academic and professional literacy skills through the ability to distinguish primary and secondary sources and to evaluate them critically;
  3. intermediate academic and professional literacy skills through the ability to synthesize material from diverse sources and to construct an argument.
  4. competence in written and oral communication skills by defending particular historical interpretations in both class discussion (ONC) and assignment work.
  5. management, planning and organisation skills by using feedback from the first tutorial presentation to improve their performance in the second.
  6. ethical research and enquiry skills by finding appropriate sources and adhering to norms of academic integrity.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Total war, gender and the return to domesticity 10.00
2. The legacy of the depression and post-war idealism 10.00
3. White Australia policy and post-war immigration 10.00
4. ANZUS, the Commonwealth and British nuclear tests 10.00
5. The Cold War and Australian political and cultural conservatism - spies, censorship and religious sectarianism 10.00
6. Vietnam and the challenge of the social movements 10.00
7. Whitlam and his dismissal 10.00
8. Reassessments of the Fraser years in the light of economic rationalism 10.00
9. Social movements and their impact on Australian society and culture 10.00
10. Economic rationalism and the demise of the Australian Settlement 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Bolton, G 1996, The Oxford history of Australia: the middle way, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
    (Vol 5.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Elder, C 2007, Being Australian: narratives of national identity, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 65.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 93.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
2500 WORD MAJOR ESSAY 30 30 25 Aug 2014
EXAMINATION 2 HOURS 45 45 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Exam dates will be advised when the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.