Indigenous Australia and the Nation - 2018

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Essay (35%) , Exercises - Drafting exercise (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 820.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,070.00

This unit explores several contemporary political issues in the realm of Indigenous affairs. It asks why it is that, after self-determination, land rights, reconciliation and other important movements of recent decades, an ‘intervention’ into Aboriginal disadvantage was considered necessary as recently as 2007. It attempts to answer this central question by exploring how competing versions of recent Australian history have fostered a division between left- and right-wing politics that continues to confound more subtle, progressive responses to Indigenous inequity.

At the completion of this unit you should:

  1. be able to describe a number of important historical events in indigenous/non-indigenous relations in this country, as well as both salient government policies concerning indigenous peoples, and indigenous responses to these;
  2. be able to describe some of the central arguments posited by both indigenous and non-indigenous intellectuals, activists and authors, surrounding indigenous/non-indigenous socio-political issues, government policy and indigenous political demands;
  3. be able to critically analyse the complex - and sometimes contradictory - nature of these arguments, both in light of the legacies of Australia's colonial history and in terms of debates over what makes us a 'nation'.
  • Essay (35%)
  • Exercises — Drafting exercise (20%)
  • Quizzes — 2 online review quizzes (30%)
  • Reading — Reading comprehension (15%)

Students must have completed 18 credit points (6 OUA units) at Level 1 before enrolling in this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to the unit - the Northern Territory National Emergency Response and the study of Indigenous politics
2Early Aboriginal-British interactions
3'Managing' Aboriginal peoples: early settler policies and the rise of an Indigenous political consciousness
4Further developments in policy
5Land rights, Native Title and politcial compromise
6Indigenous representation at the Federal level
7The Reconciliation Decade
8Resource access in 'remote' Western Australia
9Diversity and ambiguity in Aboriginal politics
10Constitutional recognition
11Aboriginality and Australian national identity
12Confounding the ideological divide

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Book of Readings

This unit is a core requirement 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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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