Contesting Australia

Subject AUST10001 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

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

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour lecture per week. and a 1-hour tutorial for 11 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

8 hours per week: total time commitment 96 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Graham Willett


Dr Graham Willett

Subject Overview:

What kind of place is Australia? And what kind of place should it be? This introductory subject, taught by a team of experts, examines the issues that make the Australian nation a contested place. The subject challenges students to engage with some of the key debates that have shaped the nation, and equips students with the skills to examine, research and thus understand these issues in depth. Key issues and topics covered may include such matters as immigration and multiculturalism, Indigenous and race-based issues, gender and sexuality, class and social status, the environment and war.


Students who successfully complete this subject will have:

  • an understanding of the key issues in Australian public life today
  • an ability to work with a variety of disciplines to develop an understanding these key issues
  • a comprehension of how and why contested understandings of Australian issues arise and play out in public debates.

Tutorial exercises; 20%; due weekly. Textual analysis exercise, 1000 words; 20%; due mid semester. Take home exam, 3000 words; 60%; due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Have developed critical thinking and analysis skills through reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion
  • Have learned to think in theoretical terms through engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences
  • Have gained knowledge of the role of social, ethical and cultural context in the construction of knowledge
  • Have developed critical self-awareness and openness to new ideas and possibilities
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Studies
Australian Studies
Australian Studies
Australian Studies Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Australia and the World
Australia: People and Places
Australia in Writing
Australia: Indigenous and Settler Contexts

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