Cross-curriculum priorities

The Australian Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students by delivering a relevant, contemporary and engaging curriculum that builds on the educational goals of the Melbourne Declaration. The Melbourne Declaration identified three key areas that need to be addressed for the benefit of individuals and Australia as a whole. In the Australian Curriculum these have become priorities that provide students with the tools and language to engage with and better understand their world at a range of levels. The priorities provide dimensions which will enrich the curriculum through development of considered and focused content that fits naturally within learning areas. They enable the delivery of learning area content at the same time as developing knowledge, understanding and skills relating to:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability.

Cross-curriculum priorities are addressed through learning areas and are identified wherever they are developed or applied in content descriptions. They are also identified where they offer opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning in content elaborations. They will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to the learning area.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Across the Australian Curriculum, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures priority provides opportunities for all learners to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. Students will understand that contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are strong, resilient, rich and diverse. The knowledge and understanding gained through this priority will enhance the ability of all young people to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.

The Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and perspectives.

In Economics and Business the priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures provides engaging and diverse learning contexts for students to value and appreciate the past and present enterprising behaviours of the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. In Economics and Business, students explore how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples apply a range of traditional, contemporary and emerging economic practices to purposefully build and/or maintain cultural, community and economic capacity. The curriculum enables students to identify, explore, understand and analyse the interconnectedness between People, Culture and Country/Place and past and present economic activities.

Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

Across the Australian Curriculum, this priority will ensure that students learn about and recognise the diversity within and between the countries of the Asia region. They will develop knowledge and understanding of Asian societies, cultures, beliefs and environments, and the connections between the peoples of Asia, Australia, and the rest of the world. Asia literacy provides students with the skills to communicate and engage with the peoples of Asia so they can effectively live, work and learn in the region.

In the Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business, the Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia priority provides relevant, contemporary content and contexts for developing an understanding of business activities and employment in the Asia region.

The priority is addressed through investigation of the interdependence between the Australian economy and economies in the Asia region, as well as current and future trade relationships. It also considers the significant role that Australia plays in economic development in the Asia region and the contribution of Asian economies to economic and business activity in Australia.


Across the Australian Curriculum, the Sustainability priority allows young Australians to develop the knowledge, skills, values and worldviews necessary for them to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living. Education for sustainability enables individuals and communities to reflect on ways of interpreting and engaging with the world. The Sustainability priority is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action. Actions that support more sustainable patterns of living require consideration of environmental, social, cultural and economic systems and their interdependence.

The Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business provides content that supports the development of students’ worldviews, particularly in relation to judgments about access to and sustainable use of the Earth’s resources, local and global equity and fairness across generations for the long-term wellbeing of our world.

The curriculum prepares students to be informed consumers, to act in enterprising and innovative ways and to perceive business opportunities in changing local, regional and global economic environments. Students have opportunities to appreciate the need for balancing economic development, environmental sustainability, and society’s obligation to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

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