Date: 
Monday 15 June 2015

Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson today launched new interactive educational resources to explain the importance of the Magna Carta on its 800th anniversary.

The new resources were unveiled to students and staff at Red Hill Primary School in Canberra this morning. Commissioner Wilson was joined by Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training.

“Magna Carta has had an enduring legacy in shaping and advancing the principles of freedom, justice, the rule of law and government by consent,” Commissioner Wilson said.

“The sealing of the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215 created a snowball effect that led to the modern idea of human rights.”

The resources include a short video, an interactive infographic and teacher resources. All resources have been mapped to the Australian Curriculum for History and Civics and Citizenship for primary students in Years 5 and 6, and secondary students in Years 9 and 10.

The Commission engaged award-winning design company The Explainers to produce the resources. The Explainers recently won the Advertising category for the Good Design Awards, for SOGI’s Story, a LGBTI focused educational resource created for the Commission.

Students at Red Hill Primary School were provided with an opportunity to test out the new resources firsthand.

“It is wonderful to see such strong interest from these students to learn about this historic document and how it has enabled them to live in a society that respects the rule of law, and upholds the principles of freedom and justice for all,” Commissioner Wilson said.

“There is a clear need in Australia to teach students the complete history of human rights, rather than simply focusing on recent advancement in modern history.

“The legacy of Magna Carta fed into the development of Enlightenment thinking about the rights of the individual and the institutions to preserve and protect their rights.

“We must ensure that current and future generations of Australians understand and appreciate the evolution of human rights over the centuries, and the reasons why past generations have fought so hard to advance and defend them.”

For more information or to watch the video visit https://www.humanrights.gov.au/magnacarta/