Representation and democracy

15 February 2023

This resource explores the different forms of representation, the principles of democracy and how democracy and representation work in Victoria.

Through the activities provided in this teaching guide, students can explore how different models of representation affect decision-making, as well as comparing and contrasting direct and representative systems of democracy. Each of the activities asks students to reflect on the ways that different models of representation and decision-making may affect people’s perspectives on democracy.

The resource can be adapted for a range of learning levels, with extension activities and questions included throughout.

Additional links to other online resources are also provided, including more detailed information about voting and from the Victorian Electoral Commission, and National Geography’s visual overview of different forms of government around the world.




  • This resource is appropriate for the primary years, Grades 3 to 6, but is also appropriate for middle years and upper secondary levels for consolidating or revisiting concepts of decision-making, representation and democracy, specifically when comparing and contrasting models of government from around the world.

    Grades 3 & 4

    At Grades 3 & 4 the activities in this resource can be used to identify and describe key democratic values in Australia and Victoria (VCCCG001) and identify how and why decisions are made democratically in communities (VCCCG002). Students can extend their knowledge of representation and decision-making by exploring how representation and decision-making relates to how and why people make rules (VCCCL0004).

    Grades 5 & 6

    At Grades 5 & 6 students explore the values, principles and institutions that underpin Australia’s and Victoria’s democratic forms of government (VCCCG008) and identify the key features of the electoral process (VCCCG010). Students identify the roles and responsibilities of electors and representatives (VCCCG011) and explore how different points of view on contemporary issues relating to democracy and citizenship (VCCC015).

    Years 7 to 10

    At Years 7 to 10 students discuss the freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy (VCCCG019) and explore how citizens can participate in Australia’s democracy, including participating in elections, contact with their elected representatives, use of lobby groups, interest groups and direct action (VCCCG020). Students explore how government is formed and their role in the decision-making process about policy (VCCCG028). Furthermore, students can compare and contrast Australia’s system of government with other governments around the world (VCCCCG029).

    VCE Legal Studies, Politics and Sociology

    While models of democracy and representation may not be explicitly relevant to the various VCE study designs, the resource can be used to consolidate students’ understanding of the relationship between these key concepts, and how different decision-making models affects politics, the law-making process and parliament’s ability to respond to social change.