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 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Rachel Goff

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2328

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 10

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will introduce you to the history of colonisation and its impacts on First Nations Australians, explore what it means to live on First Nations land and what responsibilities arise as a result.

Two contemporary frameworks, Knowing, Being and Doing and Bundyi Girri inform the course structure, teaching and assessment. The first framework: Knowing, Being and Doing (Martin and Mirraboopa,2003) consists of three interwoven concepts:

  • Knowing aims at developing an awareness of Indigenous history and the impacts of colonisation
  • Being maps the importance of self-awareness, critical self-reflection and relationality
  • Doing highlights the actions and practices that are the expressions of Knowing and Being

The overall goal of the Knowing, Being and Doing framework is to develop an awareness of an Indigenous epistemological framework (knowledge as doing) as different to an otherwise Western approach.

The second framework: Bundyi Girri, is an RMIT initiative designed to support non-Indigenous people in “restarting” their relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Bundyi Girri focuses on the continued existence of First Nations sovereignty and explores the position of non-Indigenous Australians in relation to it, both historically and in the present. Critical self-reflection is a crucial component of understanding and developing this relationship.

Drawing upon a range of resources across a number of disciplines, you will use these frameworks to assist you in locating yourself within the First Nations lands of Australia.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Participate robustly in contemporary and changing ideological and political debates impacting on society, in an informed, flexible and grounded manner to evaluate policy and/or engage in policy debates  
  • Apply a body of interdisciplinary knowledge, values and skills in working with and for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised individuals, families, groups and communities  
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on issues of social disadvantage, marginalisation and oppression in both local and international contexts, and proactively work to promote social justice and human rights.  
  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and practical reasoning when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts 
  • Work with others in a range of roles and contexts, demonstrating cultural, environmental and social awareness while promoting respectful, ethical and reflective practice 

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically engage with the history of colonisation and its enduring impacts on Indigenous Australians
  2. Understand the importance of critical reflection in relation to self and key concepts including power, knowledge, privilege, race and sovereignty
  3. Build an understanding and appreciation for Indigenous culture, values and perspectives, and the ongoing contributions of Indigenous people to Australian society
  4. Reflect on our individual and collective responsibility in relation to Indigenous Australia, in everyday life and professional practice

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities may include class activities of critical reflection to review lectures/resource content/location of self, site visits of Cultural Significance, peer learning, tutorial presentations, critical reflection, engaging the micro and essay writing and self-exploration of course resources and student research. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

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 Tasks

Assessment Task 1:Presentation, 20%, CLOs 1, 3 and 4

Assessment Task 2: Reflection and completion of contemporary First Nations frameworks, 35% CLOs 1-4, 2000 words

Assessment Task 3: Cultural Site of Significance exploration, 45% CLOs 1,2 and 3, Powerpoint slides accompanied by audio/video

Feedback will be given 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 Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.