Course Title: Indigenous Australia: Art, Policy and Global Markets

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Indigenous Australia: Art, Policy and Global Markets

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

Course Coordinator: Emma Barrow

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9689

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.31

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description


In this course you will explore the diverse arts practice of the First Peoples of Australia. The focus will be on the current policy framework that seeks to promote and protect the Intellectual Property and copyright of contemporary artists in an increasingly dynamic global art market.

Art will be considered in the broadest sense of, popular culture, media, film, painting, performance and photography, printmaking and installation practices. Drawing upon a range of literature across a number of disciplines, you will explore theoretical and conceptual perspectives that inform the scope of creative practices made by Indigenous people. You will consider this knowledge in the light of shaping public and academic discussions about Australian national identity, histories and international relations.

Drawing on a range of perspectives advocated by leading practitioners, the content of this course is informed by ethical frameworks that continue to challenge the impact of contemporary (post) colonial systems. You will be exposed to a range of arts practices, organisations and curatorial collaborations to learn how the visual culture of art provides insight into history, contemporary society and current social justice debates.  

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is a university-wide student elective.  It is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students regardless of the primary course of study. This course is one of a suite of Indigenous-themed elective courses, which is designed to embed Australian Indigenous issues into existing programs of study. The elective courses provide you with an understanding of the cultural, historical and contemporary frameworks that have shaped the lives of Indigenous peoples in Australia and globally.


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse the diversification of creative practices and mile stone achievements in Indigenous Australia;
  • Recognise international patterns of visual culture, art and museum gallery curatorial collaborations, and art markets.
  • Identify and apply policy and protocols to Indigenous peoples art markets
  • Critically evaluate the role of Indigenous Intellectual property, copyright, moral rights and ethics of practice in Australia
  • Review and analyse an Indigenous-led creative industry project that takes place in a mainstream organisational event    

Overview of Learning Activities


As a key component of this course you will be required to develop a critical understanding of your individual subject position in respect to the Indigenous issues being investigated.  This self-reflective/self-reflexive element of the course is considered critical to gaining a deeper understanding of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations in Australia. You will be encouraged to engage with relevant literature and public debates, and reflect on and discuss topics addressed. All learning activities are framed within international standards of best practice and will include;

  • Guest Lectures, tutorials and workshops 
  • Visiting Art Galleries, Museums and organisations
  • Viewing films, media reports, documentaries that explore specific topics as relevant to your interests and contemporary events
  • Where possible, engaging with the community by attending events and cultural activities 

Overview of Learning Resources


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

The course contents have been significantly informed by the writing and practice of Indigenous scholars, authors, and artists. References are made to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Indigenous Australians. Art will be considered in historical, cultural, political, economic and practice-based contexts    

Overview of Assessment


Assessment will include:

Undergraduate Assessment

1) Annotated bibliography (10 sources) 20% (LO 1,2,3)

2) Case study or review of topical film or exhibition 40% (LO 1 - 5)

3) Reflective journal or presentation 40% (LO 1 - 5)

Postgraduate Assessment

1) Annotated bibliography (12 sources) 20% (LO 1,2,3)

2) Case study or review of topical film or exhibition addressing a self-devised research question 40% (LO 1 - 5)

3) Research Presentation 40% (LO 1 - 5)

You will have a wide range of choices regarding how you present your learning in the third assessment task. You may choose to present work in written, oral presentation or video/media/journalistic commentary.

Online submission and Turnitin

All assignments must be submitted online through the course Blackboard site on MyRMIT. This course uses Turnitin, an online text-matching service which is used to support academic integrity and reduce plagiarism. You will be able to review your originality report before confirming the submission of your work.

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:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca