Traditional Aboriginal Societies

Assessment Task: Long Essay
Word limit: 2500 words
This exercise is an in-depth historical study of a focussed topic and period,
demonstrating research, writing and analytical skills. It is based on Weeks 1-9.
Questions (Choose ONE):

  1. How did traditional Aboriginal societies manage their material resources and with what consequences for their economic and social life?
  2. ‘I split the rock;/ I felled the tree:/The nation was-/Because of me!’ How well does
    the poet Mary Gilmore’s description capture convicts’ economic contribution to
    Australia’s economy?
  3. Did the Australian economy ride on the sheep’s back in the nineteenth century?
  4. How did gold influence Australian economic development up to 1870?
  5. What can the depressions of the 1840s, 1890s and 1930s tell us about change and
    stability in the Australian economy?
  6. ‘The half-century 1890-1940 was, materially, a disappointment.’ (Geoffrey Blainey,
    The Story of Australia’s People: The Rise and Rise of a New Australia, p. 286). Discuss.
  7. How did the experience of world war (1914-18 and 1939-45) affect Australia’s
  8. What were the major economic characteristics of Australia’s version of the postWorld War 2 ‘affluent society’?
  9. How the mining boom change Australia’s economy in the 1960s and 1970s?
  10. How effectively did Australian policy-makers grapple with the end of the long boom
    between 1973 and 1982?
  11. What drove economic reform during the Hawke era (1983-91)?
    Assessment Criteria
    • How relevant, coherent and persuasive is the argument?
    • How effectively have you used evidence?
    • Is your research broad and appropriate to the question?
    • How well have you used primary sources/statistics?
    • Is the essay factually accurate?
    • Is there an appropriate introduction?
    • Is there an appropriate conclusion?
    • Is the structure of your essay logical and coherent?
    • Have you used correct paragraphing, syntax, punctuation, grammar and
    • Is your referencing consistent, accurate and informative?
    • Is your bibliography consistent, accurate and informative?
    • How well is your assignment presented overall?
    Note also:
    Bibliography. List all references cited in footnotes as well as other sources that provided
    you with useful information or significantly influenced your thinking in writing your essay.
    The style of the bibliography should be similar to that used for footnotes but with items
    listed in alphabetical order according to the surname of the author. It is not necessary to
    specify in the bibliography which pages or chapters of an authored or co-authored book
    you actually used, but journal articles and chapters in edited books should include the full
    date-range of the piece concerned.
    Referencing requirements
    In line with the conventions of historical research, this course requires that you use
    footnotes in your assignment work. All quotations must have footnotes. You should also
    provide a footnote to indicate the source of statistical data and other information, as well
    as any major ideas you have drawn on. Please do not use in-text/Harvard-style
    referencing. References should follow Chicago style.
    Guidance in Chicago style referencing is widely available online. See, for