Indigenous Health and History

Subject POPH90071 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

March, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 04-Mar-2015 to 06-May-2015
Assessment Period End 03-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 16-Mar-2015
Census Date 27-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 01-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 5 full day sessions from Week 1 to Week 9 of semester one.
Total Time Commitment:

170 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 Jonathan Kingsley, Mr Alister Thorpe



Academic Programs Office
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Tel: +61 3 8344 9339
Fax: +61 3 8344 0824

Subject Overview:

This subject provides students with specific foundational knowledge for understanding the ‘Gap’ in Indigenous health. Following a chronological approach, this subject provides students with an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health from pre-invasion to the present. Along this continuum, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues are examined in terms of their socio-economic origins, the clash of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and settler values, aspirations and outcomes, and comparative demographical trends. Key topics include: colonisation and infectious disease; loss of land/economy & health impacts; conflict 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 and Torres Strait Islander-led strategies, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and community control of health services. The subject draws on a range of rich archival material, recent research, audiovisual materials as well as contemporary Indigenous community perspectives on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Explain particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues in terms of their historical antecedents;
  • Explain contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and experiences of health/illness.
  • Critically analyse professional and popular representations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health disadvantage, own standpoint as an informed ethical public health practitioner and implications for own professional practice.
  • Assess current responses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues drawing on key social and cultural factors and their historical origins.
  • Reflective Journal (2,500 words) due at the end of semester (50%) {hurdle requirement}
  • Research Paper (2,500 words) due mid semester (50%) {hurdle requirement}
  • Intensive Attendance (minumum of 80% attendance is required) {hurdle requirement} (pass/fail)
Prescribed Texts:

A book of readings will be made available to the students.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Upon completion of this subject students will have developed skills in:

  • Critical thinking and analysis,
  • Problem-solving,
  • Leadership,
  • Initiative, autonomy and organisation,
  • Working with others and in teams.
Links to further information:

Online readings; interactive forums; email support; one-to-one Skype support; teleconferences

Related Course(s): Master of Public Health
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Indigenous Health
Public Health
Public Health
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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