Engaging all Australians with the history and operation of the Australian Constitution and its contemporary relevance.
The Constitution Education Fund is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to increase public understanding, awareness and appreciation of the constitutional framework of Australia. Operating since 1995, the focus of Constitution Education Fund’s activity is civics and citizenship teaching and learning resources curriculum development and application in schools and other education providers. CEFA is at the forefront of providing Australians with factual knowledge about our processes of government, the Constitution’s history and contemporary relevance.
Successful CEFA programs include:
- The Australian Constitution Centre at the High Court and the accompanying teaching and learning resource website.
- The annual Governor-General Prize Essay Competition for undergraduate students. Each year finalist essays are judged by a Justice from the High Court and the Governor-General awards the prizes.
- CEFA’s Constitutional Forum (CCF) is a research project that explores contemporary and historical constitutional topics and explains them to the general public.
- Parliaments in schools.
- Undergraduate research scholarships.
- Yaba teaching and learning resources including an online educational forum.
These projects are funded through a combination of private philanthropy and government grants.
The importance of the Constitution Education Fund’s work cannot be underestimated because more and more Australians exhibit declining knowledge and attitudes – indeed a cynicism - towards the Australian system of governance and its processes. An alarming few Australians actually understand how our Constitution works, how we have come to enjoy the freedoms we have, and what our rights and responsibilities are as citizens of our Australian parliamentary democracy.
The CEFA report titled: Why national constitutional, civics, citizenship education must be a priority for Australian school students was published March 2019. The research shows trust in the Australian system of government, government institutions and democracy is declining rapidly. A national constitutional, civics and citizenship education program that teaches all Australians, particularly school age children, about how our system of government works, where it came from and its history will empower Australians with factual knowledge to reverse the troubling trend of low trust in government.