Aboriginal Political Histories - 2018

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP2
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP2
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (30%) , Essay 2 (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 820.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,043.00

Examine the way in which Aboriginal persons and organization have dealt with the various practices of racial exclusion in Australian since 1788. Trace the biographies of some activists to compare the aspirations, programs, methods and strategies deployed from sporadic localized activism  to co-operation, to protest and resistance movements and the prevailing ideas and attitudes that formed the parameters of such engagement.

The unit contests historical representations of Indigenous peoples as passive and merely responsive in the face of oppression and exclusion. It examines how individuals and organisations were pro-active, creative, and engaged in seeking participation and inclusion, and contextualizes their engagement with the political environments in which they existed.

At the completion of this unit you will have acquired:

  1. skills in research, study and succinct writing
  2. an understanding of the political and historical contexts of Aboriginal activism
  3. a familiarity with some key Aboriginal thinkers in Australian history
  4. the ability to place political agendas within their cultural contexts.



  • Essay 1 (30%)
  • Essay 2 (40%)
  • Presentation — Powerpoint (30%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Note: Level 2 units normally assume an introductory level of prior knowledge in this area, e.g. from studying related Level 1 units or other relevant experience.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Warriors and Rebels
2Interpreters and Guides
3Petitions and Adjustments: Wyballena 1846, Corranderk 1863, Yirrkala 1963
4Progress and citizenship: FCAATSI 1958, stockmen┬┐s wages in 1963, 1967 referendum
5Workers and Strikers: Torres Strait lugger strike 1936, Pilbara workers strike 1946, Palm Island and Yarrabah strikes 1957, Gurindji walk-off 1966
6Thinkers and Writers
7Social activism: Freedom Ride and Tent Embassy
8Legal battles: Gove Land rights case 1971, Murray Island land claim, Wik Mungkan native title, Torres Strait sea claim
9Reconciliation, participation and national leadership

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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