'Must do' history - Compulsory lessons needed, says minister (Australia)

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AUSTRALIAN history should be a compulsory, stand-alone subject at some stage during high schooling, Education Minister Julie Bishop said last night.

Opening Australia's History summit, Ms Bishop said she hoped the meeting would help to define the body of historical knowledge that should be taught to all Australian students.

''Yes, there will be controversy but I would hope we can find agreement on the main currents and big themes in our national story,'' she said.

''I believe that students should be given a good grounding in key dates, facts and events of Australian history.

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