On Country Learning: Indigenous Studies

Subject POLS30028 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Contact Hours: Thirty contact hours taught intensively in the field from Sunday 2 February - Friday 7 February 2014.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 120 hours


The completion of 25 points at Level 1 in Politics and International Studies or Indigenous Studies, and 37.5 points at Level 2 in Politics and International Studies or Indigenous Studies.

Students must obtain enrolment permission via an application process. Application forms are available online from the School of Social and Political Sciences website during the course planning period.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies or Indigenous Studies at Levels 1 & 2

Non Allowed Subjects: None
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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr. Wayne Atkinson waynera@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject provides an in depth study of the historic Indigenous political struggle for racial equality, land justice, heritage control, and for self determination, by focusing on the Yorta Yorta as a case study. It embraces a number of relevant Indigenous political and historic themes. These will focus on pre- and post-contact history, colonisation, government policies and administration, land/heritage management, and the Yorta Yorta politico-legal struggle for their inherent rights to land, heritage, water and self determination.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • understand the antiquity and the holistic nature of Indigenous occupation and connections with country and the relationship between land, culture and identity;
  • articulate the concept of change, adaption and continuity in the Yorta Yorta context;
  • demonstrate from the 'On Country Learning' experience, knowledge of the key historic, social economic and political issues confronting Indigenous groups in regional Australia;
  • critically assess the extent to which Indigenous Australians have been able to gain rights under Australian politico-legal systems.

A journal of 1500 words (40%) due in early March, and a research essay of 2500 words (60%) due in the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Fieldtrip attendance and regular participation including a short individual or group presentation on last day is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. 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 list of readings will be available via LMS prior to commencement of subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge ideologically and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision;
  • be able to participate in team work through small group discussions.

2014 Field Trip: Sunday 2 February - Friday 7 February.

A quota of 32 students applies to this subject. Students must obtain enrolment permission via an application process.

Additional Cost applies to this subject to cover travel, accommodation etc.

POLS30028 On Country Learning: Indigenous Studies is not available as a Breadth subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Political Science Major
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies

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