Course Title: Indigenous Studies

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Indigenous Studies

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Emily Poelina-Hunter

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1011

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The course explores the impacts of colonial and postcolonial events and relations on Indigenous Communities, both globally and in Australia. These issues will be considered in historical, cultural, political and practice-based contexts. Drawing on international comparisons, the content will be informed by human rights and social justice frameworks. You will be exposed to a range of issues associated with colonialism, policy development and socio-economic indicators, and will study contemporary issues including reconciliation, land rights and the stolen generations. Drawing upon a range of literature across a number of disciplines, you will explore theoretical and practice-based perspectives that assist in understanding the nature of Indigenous struggles today. You will be required to interrogate the place of non-Indigenous people in policy debates, advocacy and professional practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

By the completion of the course, you will be expected to have demonstrated:

  • An understanding of the impact of colonisation on indigenous peoples in Australia (and other ‘fourth world’ countries, such as Canada, New Zealand and the United States);
  • A broad appreciation of Indigenous culture, needs and aspirations and achievements in Australia;
  • An overview of stages of policy development in Australia and other countries;
  • Capacity for reflective knowledge and practical experience on the role of non-indigenous people in confronting racism and advancing indigenous interests in partnership with Indigenous peoples;
  • Insight into the complexities of human services practice in collaboration with Indigenous communities.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course has been designed to include the following learning experiences: formal lectures, experiential exercises, selected reading and practical work on the progressive development of a group project during the weekly workshops.

  • Tutorial/workshop sessions where students will engage with relevant literature, theory, public debates, and reflect on and discuss reading and lecture material.
  • Viewing of films/videos exploring specific topics;
  • Community engagement
  • You will attend events and cultural activities that will further inform their knowledge

Overview of Learning Resources


You will be given access to a wide range of resources through a course reader or core textbook, and will also be able to access to a wide range of online learning tools and content for your course from myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. These resources may include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on the above learning outcomes. Assessment tasks may include, but are not limited to, reflective journals, short pieces of critical analysis, short in class quizzes and essays.