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Unit 4 - On Behalf of the Nation

Lesson plan
Activity - Yes Prime Minister


Prime Ministers of Australia have included some of the most influential and interesting figures in Australian history. Many of Canberra's suburbs have been named after Australian Prime Ministers, including Barton, Deakin, Hughes and Scullin.


Students create an information poster about an Australian Prime Minister.


  • follow instructions and successfully undertake a research project
  • understand the achievements of past Australian Prime Ministers and their contribution
    to furthering Australian democracy
  • actively participate in an informal class presentation


Exhibit title - Prime Ministers of Australia
Location - On Behalf of the Nation, section 10

This activity relates to the Prime Ministers of Australia timeline display (refer to map supplied
in National Capital Exhibition Interpretation Guide).

The National Capital Authority has a comprehensive brochure: The Prime Ministers of Australia and their times; a view of Canberra, which is also included in this education kit.


  • student activity sheet
  • large sheets of paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • colour pencils
  • assorted craft materials


  1. Introduce the topic by setting the scene with the class.
  2. Allow the students to choose a Prime Minister or, alternatively, get each student to draw a name out of a hat. You may not want to include Care Taker Prime Ministers who were in office for a very short amount of time. A full list of Australian Prime Ministers is located in the National Capital Exhibition Interpretation Guide.
  3. Hand out the activity sheet and discuss the key points of investigation with the class.
    Key points include:
    • which party did the Prime Minister represent?
    • describe important achievements
    • provide personal background
    • list period of office and why his term ended
    • do you think he was a good or bad Prime Minister?
    • draw a portrait of the Prime Minister
  4. Encourage students to present their research as a colourful poster.
  5. At the conclusion of the activity, students can present their posters to the class for discussion.
  6. Put all the posters of the Prime Ministers on display for all to see.