Course Title: Environment and Culture:Ecological and Aboriginal understandings of Country

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environment and Culture:Ecological and Aboriginal understandings of Country

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Bruce Partland, Angela Foley & Mik Edwards are the teachers for this course.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


155T Vocational Health and Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Dinah van Ruyven/Trish Newstead

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4287 / 9925 4686

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

You will explore the cultural and ecological underpinnings of Aboriginal knowledge and land use.

In the course.

  • You will be immersed in the iconic Aboriginal ‘cultural landscape’ of Lake Mungo in south western New South Wales or Lake Condah in Western Victoria.
  • You will examine the environmental and social perspectives relating to the interaction between a local Aboriginal group and a unique Australian landscape over millennia.
  • You will conduct field research to examine the relationship between environment and seasonal availability of resources. Emphasis is placed on the Aboriginal group’s historical manipulation of resource availability.
  • You will explore examples of conflict, and co-operation, between Aboriginal and European people in the management of heritage and natural resources.

NOTE: There are material fees associated with this course to cover the cost of the major field trip.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

You will develop the following capabilities:

  • Environmental and cross cultural awareness
  • Use and respect of cultural protocols
  • Appreciation for Aboriginal technological manipulation of the environment
  • Ability to analyse and evaluate information to complete a range of activities
  • Ability to transmit knowledge, skills and ideas to others
  • Ability to write a reflective journal for academic purposes

The objectives of the course are to: 

  • Develop field research investigation skills and capabilities in making and recording accurate observations.
  • Develop knowledge and awareness of the relationship between environment and culture.
  • Identify key stakeholders in Aboriginal land management and develop awareness of culturally appropriate protocols
  • Develop the ability to apply knowledge of fundamental properties of the environment to local and broader environmental science issues.
  • Conduct and report on a field investigation
  • Recognise the impact on the environment by successive land managers contributing to the modern day cultural landscape
  • Develop reflective writing skills

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will run as an intensive and consist of the following:

  • Preparatory seminars and workshops
  • Extended field trip
  • Post immersion reflections and presentations

Overview of Learning Resources

  • Information and course materials will be available through Canvas.
  • Additional resources will be made available as required during the course.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is predicated upon participation in all Learning Activities

Assessment may include a combination of written reports, case studies, reflective journal and presentations.