Release type: Media Release


Ministers agree to deliver national arts and geography curriculum


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Education
Minister for Workplace Relations

At a meeting of all Education Ministers via TelePresence today, the first national Arts curriculum for Foundation to Year 10 (F-10) and the first national Geography curriculum for senior secondary were endorsed.

The endorsement follows an extensive consultation process conducted by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in relation to both Arts and Geography.

ACARA also provided an update to Ministers on the senior secondary integration and implementation work for phase one subjects – English, mathematics, science and history.

The Labor Government commenced the development and introduction of the nation’s first national curriculum as promised following its election in 2007.

The process of introducing a world-class national curriculum has been led by the Chair of ACARA Board Professor Barry McGaw AO and Deputy Chair Mr Tony Mackay.

With phase one learning areas of English, mathematics, science and history now being taught in many classrooms across Australia, it is time to harness the momentum for phase two subjects geography and the arts.

The Australian Curriculum: Arts F-10 provides the opportunity for every Australian student to engage with quality learning experiences in five Arts subjects – Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts - in the primary years. In secondary school students will study one or more subjects in greater depth.

Students will gain the confidence and the tools to understand and critique the Arts in everyday life and learn that the Arts connect many creative and mainstream industries to the development of a vibrant, modern and inclusive Australian society.

The Arts curriculum values the significant contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to Australia’s arts heritage and contemporary arts practices through their distinctive ways of representing and communicating knowledge, traditions and experience.

ACARA undertook extensive consultation to develop the senior secondary Australian Curriculum: Geography. The draft Foundation to Year 12 (F-12) curriculum was open for national consultation from 19 October 2011 to 29 February 2012.

The endorsement follows extensive consultations and bilateral discussions with each state and territory and representatives of the Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA), especially over the last six months. Ministers previously endorsed the Geography curriculum for F-10.

Under the Better Schools Plan, implementation of the senior secondary Australian Curriculum is required by 2018.

For more information please visit