On Country Learning: Indigenous Studies

Subject POLS30028 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 01-Feb-2015 to 06-Feb-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 30-Jan-2015
Census Date 06-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Field Trip - Intensive

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Contact Hours: Thirty contact hours taught intensively in the field from Sunday 15 February - Friday 20 February 2015.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 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


Dr Wayne Atkinson


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:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the antiquity and the holistic nature of Indigenous occupation and connections with country and the relationship between land, culture and identity;
  • Develop the capacity to articulate a detailed knowledge of the concepts of change, adaption and continuity in the Yorta Yorta context;
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the key historic, social economic and political issues confronting Indigenous groups in regional Australia;
  • Demonstrate a detailed and critical understanding of the extent to which Indigenous Australians have been able to gain rights under Australian politico-legal systems;
  • Recognise the importance of ethical standards of conduct in research and analysis, particularly in indigenous contexts;
  • Demonstrate advanced level skills in critical analysis and evaluation;
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate different sources of research in the development of an argument;
  • Work productively and collaboratively in a group in the field-visit setting.


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

2015 Field Trip: Sunday 15 February - Friday 20 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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