Subject details

At the completion of this subject 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'.
    • Introduction to the unit - the Northern Territory National Emergency Response and the study of Indigenous politics
    • Early Aboriginal-British interactions
    • 'Managing' Aboriginal peoples: early settler policies and the rise of an Indigenous political consciousness
    • Further developments in policy
    • Land rights, Native Title and politcial compromise
    • Indigenous representation at the Federal level
    • The Reconciliation Decade
    • Resource access in 'remote' Western Australia
    • Diversity and ambiguity in Aboriginal politics
    • Constitutional recognition
    • Aboriginality and Australian national identity
    • Confounding the ideological divide
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Print materials

      • Book of readings
    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials


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

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject 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.

  • Essay (35%)
  • 2 online review quizzes (30%)
  • Reading comprehension (15%)
  • Drafting exercise (20%)

Textbooks are not required.

Textbook information is pending.

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