Stage 1 | Subject outline | Version control

Geography Stage 1
Subject outline

Version 4.0 - For teaching in 2024.
Accredited in May 2016 for teaching at Stage 1 from 2017.

Stage 1 | Subject outline | Content | Themes and topics | theme-3-contemporary-issues

Theme 3: Contemporary Issues

This theme enables students to examine a current local or global geographical issue being faced by populations and/or environments. Through making informed decisions, and evaluating and making recommendations for sustainable outcomes, students extend their social and ethical understanding, and critical and creative thinking skills.

Consideration of the contemporary issue should explore the following:

  • geographical context of the issue, including where it is, and the nature of the issue
  • analysis of the issue, including the causes and impacts of, and perspectives on, the issue
  • identification of preferred sustainable outcomes, with reference to social, economic, and environmental perspectives.

Topic 6: Local issues

In the study of issues in the local area, students develop their skills in fieldwork and spatial technologies, and in using, interpreting, and presenting geographical data and information.

At the local scale, students might investigate, for example:

  • catchment management of a local river
  • water usage in agriculture
  • impact of tourism on a local community or environment
  • traffic management issues in urban places
  • impact of urban sprawl on city suburbs
  • preservation and conservation of a wetland
  • environmental management along a coastline
  • contribution to a revegetation or conservation project
  • a current local news item
  • nuclear waste storage in remote areas.

Topic 7: Global issues

This topic lends itself to an in-depth study of a current issue facing global environments and/or communities. The chosen area for investigation must have a spatial context, and students must interpret and present geographical data.

At the global scale, students might investigate, for example:

  • global conflicts about resource allocations such as water
  • impacts of global consumerism
  • global waste-management issues, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
  • global inequalities, for example, in access to education or vaccinations
  • energy options, such as coal-seam gas, nuclear, solar, tidal, or wind
  • refugee movements for environmental, social, and other reasons.