Aboriginal Health: Past to Present

Subject POPH90071 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 3-hour lecture per week.
Total Time Commitment: Students should expect a total time commitment outside the stated contact hours of at least three hours in addition to each hour of contact in this subject.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Mr Paul Stewart, Mr Shaun Ewen


Centre for Health and Society


Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824
Email: sph-gradinfo@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

Following a chronological approach, this subject provides students with a foundational understanding of Aboriginal health from pre-invasion to the present. Along this continuum, Aboriginal health issues are examined in terms of their socio-economic origins, the clash of Aboriginal and settler values, aspirations and outcomes, and comparative demographical trends. Key topics include: colonisation and infectious disease; loss of land/economy & health impacts; war and health; impacts of segregation; cultural oppression, identity and health; inter-generational health effects of family separations; and, institutional racism and health. Students will also consider the development of Aboriginal-led strategies, including Aboriginal leadership and community control of health services. The subject draws on a range of rich archival material in the form of a multimedia role-play, recent research, audio-visual materials as well as contemporary Indigenous community perspectives on Aboriginal health and wellbeing.

  • Explain particular Koori health issues in terms of their historical antecedents;
  • Explain contemporary Koori health issues in terms of key socio-economic and demographic variables and their historical basis.
  • Analyse the potential of public health interventions in relation to Koori history and experiences of health/illness.
  • Critically analyse professional and popular representations of Koori health disadvantage, own standpoint as an informed ethical public health practitioner and implications for own professional practice.
  • Assess current responses to Koori health issues drawing on key social and cultural factors and their historical origins.

Essay of 2000 words due mid-semester (40%). Essay of 3000 words due at end of semester (60%)

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Readings will be available on line via LMS

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • highly developed cognitive, analytic and problem-solving skills;
  • capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • leadership capacity, including a willingness to engage in constructive public discourse, to accept social and civic responsibilities and to speak out against prejudice, injustice and the abuse of power;
  • ability and confidence to participate effectively in collaborative learning as a team-member, while respecting individual differences;
  • a profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship;
Links to further information: http://www.sph.unimelb.edu.au

This subject is a Group 1 elective in the Master of Public Health.

Related Course(s): Master of Environment
Master of Environment
Postgraduate Certificate in Environment
Postgraduate Diploma in Environment
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Public Health
Social Health

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