An earthquake measuring Australia is no stranger to ‘natural disasters’ which include bushfires, floods, severe storms, earthquakes, landslides and cyclones. These ‘disasters’ result in hardship for both individuals and communities, sometimes even loss of lives. Given that the Australian government introduced a ‘one off’ Flood levy to raise revenue to assist in the rebuilding of infrastructure and other necessities in Queensland, is it reasonable to suggest a review of our international financial obligations as a member of the United Nations? Or could a percentage of the $25 billion spent in defence be diverted nationally rather than internationally, it is worth considering. Some would agree with the expression that charity begins at home whilst others would disagree stating that a reduction in our international financial commitments may have a negative effect on our status as a global citizen. Paragraph 3 in the Rationale of the History syllabus (http://wwwboardofstudies.nsw.edu/syllabus_sc/pdf_doc/history_7-10_syl.pdf pg10) states the following,
“The study of history provides the intellectual skills to enable students to critically analyse and interpret sources of evidence in order to construct reasoned explanations, hypotheses about the past and a rational and informed argument. The cognitive skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis underpin the study of history and equip students with the ability to understand and evaluate the political, cultural and social events and issues that have shaped the world around them.”
The UN is the only international forum in which all nations are entitled to membership and representation, and all nations are able to participate in addressing international issues. Currently there are around 190 member states.
To date, Australia has faced devastating natural disasters in at least four states that have resulted in enormous financial pressure on our State and Federal governments. Rather than applying additional taxes on the Australian people, does it not make more sense to use funds that are already allocated overseas? For instance, the Queensland floods will cost approximately $30billion and to put that figure into perspective, in today’s prices, that’s twice the cost of building the Snowy Mountain Hydro-Electric Scheme. The implications of such natural disasters have impacts upon social, economic and political arenas. The implications affect every area of Australian life therefore, by examining the impact of international events and relationships on Australian history we can determine whether or not our current international obligations represent valuable connections and benefits to our present day needs. The reality is that all Australian tax-payers will have to bear a share of these costs, not just the Australian government.
The History syllabus for Stages 4 to 6 is structured to develop student ‘knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes essential for all students to succeed in and...