Activity 3: Consumers & Producers

Teacher and Learning Activities

Students become aware of themselves as global consumers and explore their global connections with international producers and manufacturers through the supply chains which relate to their consumer items. Australia is examined as an importer, consumer, producer and exporter by looking at Australia's trading relationships.

ACTIVITY 3a: CONSUMER CONNECTIONS: WHERE DOES MY STUFF COME FROM?

Discuss with the class how they think they are connected to other countries in the world. Suggest that they are, perhaps without realising it, connected to many countries through the things that they own (their consumer items) and the supply chains that supplied them.

Distribute Student Materials Activity Sheet 3 (3 pages). Ask the class to investigate these connections by examining their clothes labels, items in their bags, lunch boxes and classroom. Students should complete the table: Consumer Connections: Where does my stuff come from? (3a).

KEY QUESTIONS

  • How do your consumer items get to you?
  • What modes of transport might be used to carry your things between these places?
  • Choose one item from the table. How many different modes of transport might have been used to deliver it to you?

Read through the Definitions with the class and ensure understanding of the terms.

Discuss how students may be even further connected with other countries than their table shows. Consider:

  • Are the raw materials (commodities) needed to make a product always sourced from the country where the product is manufactured?
  • Are the companies who own the manufacturing factories always based in the countries where the factories are located?
  • Are the companies that provide transport services always owned in the country of manufacture?
  • Are products always made in one factory or could they have component parts that are made elsewhere?

ACTIVITY 3b: AUSTRALIA'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE: AUSTRALIA'S TRADING FACTS

Ask students to examine Australia's Trading Facts (3b). Using an atlas, locate and colour Australia's main export and import destinations on the Outline World Map. Discuss with students how they might show efficiently those countries that are both import and export partners? (E.g. Export: yellow, Import: blue, Both: green) Students should produce a key to explain their map.

KEY QUESTIONS

  • Why do you think Australia has the trading partners it has?
    (Local geographical vicinity or strong domestic market for Australia's commodities.)
  • What raw materials does Australia produce?
    (Coal, iron ore, gold, petroleum, aluminium ores.)
  • Based on the figures, what is Australia's major manufacturing industry for export?
    (Passenger motor vehicles.)
  • Based on the figures, what is Australia's major raw material for export? (Coal.)

Examine and interpret Victorian Goods Trading Facts with the class.

KEY QUESTIONS

  • What commodities does Victoria produce for export? (e.g. Aluminum, milk, meat.)
  • What do these figures suggest is Victoria's main primary production industry? (Milk, cream.)
  • How much did Victoria earn from beef production in 2007-8? ($620million)
  • What do the figures suggest is Victoria's primary manufacturing industry? (Passenger motor vehicles.)
  • Why might Victoria need to import vehicle parts and accessories? (For the manufacture of passenger motor vehicles and/or to service the imported vehicles.)
  • What does this information suggest about Victoria's geographic and demographic nature? (Victoria has a high quantity of dairy cattle farms due to appropriate climate and has a well established manufacturing base.)

Examine and interpret Victorian Service Trading Facts with the class.

KEY QUESTIONS

  • What does the term 'transportation' mean in the context of a service?
    (Companies selling the service of moving freight.)
  • Why might transportation be a major import and export service?
    (Victoria produces a high volume of manufactured goods, fresh produce and natural resources for export. Victoria is the gateway to distribute imported manufactured goods and commodities throughout south eastern Australia.)

Student Materials

3a CONSUMER CONNECTIONS: WHERE DOES MY STUFF COME FROM?

Definitions
  • A consumer is someone who purchases and enjoys the use of commodities (items, including manufactured goods) and services.
  • A producer is a worker or country which makes goods and services for other people to use and consume. Productions may be in agriculture (primary producers), or mining, or making and assembling products (manufacturers), or providing a service such as transportation (service providers).

3b AUSTRALIA'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE: AUSTRALIA'S TRADING FACTS
Australia's trade and investment relationships. Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/aust.pdf

QUESTIONS

  • Why do you think Australia has the trading partners it has?
  • What raw materials does Australia produce?
  • Based on the figures, what is Australia's major manufacturing industry for export?
  • Based on the figures, what is Australia's major raw material for export?
Victoria's Goods Trading Facts
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Jan 09 www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/vic.pdf

QUESTIONS

  • What commodities does Victoria produce for export?
  • What do these figures suggest is Victoria's main primary production industry?
  • How much did Victoria earn from beef production in 2007-8?
  • What do the figures suggest is Victoria's primary manufacturing industry?
  • Why might Victoria need to import vehicle parts and accessories?
  • What does this information suggest about Victoria's geographic and demographic nature?
Victoria's Service Trading Facts
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Jan 09 www.dfat.gov.au/geo/fs/vic.pdf

QUESTIONS

  • What does the term 'transportation' mean in the context of a service?
  • Why might transportation be a major import and export service?
Outline World Map