The study of Geography draws on students’ curiosity about the diversity of the world’s places and their peoples, cultures and environments. It enables students to appreciate the complexity of our world and the diversity of its environments, economies and cultures. Students can use this knowledge to promote a more sustainable way of life and awareness of social and spatial inequalities.
Geography provides a structured, disciplinary framework to investigate and analyse a range of challenges and associated opportunities facing Australia and the global community. These challenges include rapid change in biophysical environments, the sustainability of places, dealing with environmental risks and the consequences of international integration. It provides a systemic, integrative way of exploring, analysing and applying the concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, sustainability, scale and change.
Through the study of Geography students develop the ability to investigate the arrangement of biophysical and human phenomena across space in order to understand the interconnections between people, places and environments. As a result, it develops students’ ability to identify, evaluate and justify appropriate and sustainable approaches to the future by thinking holistically and spatially when seeking answers to questions. Students are encouraged to investigate geographical issues and phenomena from a range of perspectives including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Geography – Year 11
Unit 1 Natural and Ecological Hazards
This unit focuses on understanding how these hazards and their associated risks are perceived and managed at local, regional and global levels. Natural and ecological hazards represent potential sources of harm to human life, health, income and property, and may affect elements of the biophysical and built up environments. Risk management, in this particular context, refers to prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
Students explore natural hazards: atmospheric, hydrological and geomorphic hazards, for example, storms, cyclones, tornadoes, frosts, droughts, bushfires, flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. They will also explore ecological hazards, for example, environmental diseases/pandemics (toxin-based respiratory ailments, infectious diseases, animal-transmitted diseases and water-borne diseases) and plant and animal invasions.
Unit 2 Global Networks and Interconnections
This unit focuses on the process of international integration (globalisation) and is based on the reality that we live in an increasingly interconnected world. It provides students with an understanding of the economic and cultural transformations taking place in the world today, the spatial outcomes of these processes, and their political and social consequences. This is a world in which advances in transport and telecommunications technologies have not only transformed global patterns of production and consumption but also facilitated the diffusion of ideas and elements of cultures. The unit explains how these advances in transport and communication technology have lessened the friction of distance and have impacted at a range of local, national and global scales. Cultural groups that may have been isolated in the early twentieth century are now linked across an interconnected world in which there is a ‘shrinking’ of time and space. Of particular interest are the ways in which people adapt and respond to these changes
Geography – Year 12
Unit 3 Global Environmental Change
This unit focuses on the changing biophysical cover of the Earth’s surface, the creation of anthropogenic biomes and the resulting impacts on either global climate or biodiversity. Land cover transformations have changed both global climate and biodiversity through their interaction with atmospheric and ecological systems. Conversely, climate change and loss of biodiversity are producing further transformations in land cover. Through applying the concept of sustainability, students are given the opportunity to examine and evaluate a program designed to address the negative effect of land cover change. Aspects of physical, environmental and human geography provide students with an integrated and comprehensive understanding of the processes related to land cover change, their local, regional and global environmental consequences, and possible sustainable solutions.
The Earth’s surface is constantly changing and all environments are, to a greater or lesser extent, being modified by human activity. Students examine the processes causing change in land cover. The scale at which these processes are occurring is so extensive that very few truly ‘natural’ environments still exist and most are now, to some degree, anthropogenic in nature. Human action has altered local and regional climates and hydrology, damaged ecosystem services, contributed to the loss of biodiversity and altered soils.
Unit 4 Planning Sustainable Places
Challenges exist in designing urban places to render them more productive, vibrant and sustainable. How people respond to these challenges, individually and collectively, will influence the sustainability and liveability of places into the future. While all places are subject to changes produced by economic, demographic, social, political and environmental processes, the outcomes of these processes vary depending on local responses, adaptations and planning practices.
Urban planning involves a range of stakeholders who contribute to decision-making and the planning process. Students examine how governments, planners, communities, interest groups and individuals attempt to address these challenges in order to ensure that places are sustainable. They also investigate the ways in which geographical knowledge and skills can be applied to identify and address these challenges. The present and future needs of society are addressed by the allocation and reallocation of land uses, improving infrastructure and transport systems and enhancing amenities to meet the needs of the population as perceived by the different perspectives of the various stakeholders.
The unit begins with a global scale overview of the process of urbanisation and its consequences. Urbanisation not only affects human wellbeing and the rate of world population growth, it has created a range of challenges for urban, rural and remote places, including Indigenous communities. The interconnected challenges faced in places, and other matters related to liveability, are a focus of this unit.