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 & Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr Martin Mulligan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2725

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will explore landscape management traditions of Indigenous Australians and beliefs and practices in regard to place. You will examine disruptions to such beliefs and practices caused by European settlement of the continent but also some of the continuities and resilience of beliefs and practices that were shared by people and communities spread over a large land mass. In light of the disruptions you will be required to consider why Indigenous Australians use the English word ‘country’ to refer to their feelings and responsibilities in relation to places and landscapes. You will examine laws and policies that have emerged in response to the ongoing determination of Indigenous Australian communities to sustain their connections, responsibilities and cultural practices in ‘caring for country’ and you will be required to critically review ways in which the concept of caring for country has been adopted by non-Indigenous people and agencies.
The course will feature a field trip to western Victoria where you will be taken by a local Indigenous guide into areas that are now covered by Native Title, National Heritage and Indigenous Protected Area status. Here you will encounter stories of disruption and continuity as they are embedded in the landscapes and you will encounter the work of Indigenous organisations and communities.

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
  • Outline a well-informed, critical perspective on the Indigenous Australian concept of ‘caring for country’
  • Articulate strategies for working within existing legislative and policy frameworks to educate non-Indigenous Australians about the ongoing relevance of Indigenous Australian place and land management beliefs 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

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. In addition a prescribed textbook or reading pack will be made available. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

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 essays and a reflective journal with feedback 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: