Course Title: Indigenous Land Use (Voc Conf)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Indigenous Land Use (Voc Conf)

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Prof Libby Porter

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3585

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

All places on the continent now called Australia are Indigenous places. This means everyone in Australia is already in a relationship with Indigenous places, sovereignties and land-based knowledge systems, whether recognised or not. This course will help you understand historical and contemporary relationships between Indigenous peoples and place, and the responsibility of non-Indigenous society to that relationship. While the main focus is on Australia, and particularly on south-eastern Australia, the course draws on similar settler-colonial contexts elsewhere including Canada and Aotearoa-New Zealand. You will examine how the structure of settler-colonialism continually disrupts Indigenous relationships to place and the contemporary ways Indigenous peoples continuously assert their land-based sovereignties and practices in the face of that disruption. The course includes a visit to Gunditjmara Country in western Victoria where you will learn from Gunditjmara knowledge holders about their Country and their use of contemporary legal and policy frameworks including Native Title, Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Protected Areas.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of the course you will be able to:

  • Describe and analyse a variety of ways in which non-Indigenous Australians can encounter the beliefs and practices of Indigenous people and communities
  • Critically appreciate settler-colonialism, its impact on Indigenous land sovereignties and practices, and its role in contemporary policy
  • Outline a well-informed perspective on the Indigenous Australian concept of ‘caring for country’ and its implications for contemporary land policy
  • Critically examine strategies for working within existing legislative and policy frameworks to support Indigenous peoples’ place and land sovereignties and practices.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities both face to face and online such as workshops, individual research and fieldtrips.

Overview of Learning Resources

A set of readings will be provided to support your learning and a fieldtrip. You will be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

  • You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include critical essays and reflective pieces. Feedback will be provided to you on all assessment tasks.

    • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
    • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
    • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: