• Class Number 4850
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Online
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr William Sanders
    • Dr William Sanders
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course explores public policy towards Indigenous Australians both in recent years and historically. 
The idea of competing principles in Indigenous policy and practice is introduced. How the balancing of these might vary, both over time and geographically, is discussed. The roles of specialist knowledge, evidence, ideology and morality in the Indigenous policy arena are also discussed, while introducing a ‘three accounts’ approach to policy and governance. 
The course then examines a number of policy sectors which are central to recent debates in the Indigenous policy arena. These may change over time but could include: income support, alcohol, child protection, health, housing, land and education. Different sectors are used to think about various aspects and patterns of Indigenous policy processes, such as relations between Indigenous–specific and general policy mechanisms, the changing balancing of competing principles and the differential involvement in various sectors of the levels of Australian government.  
Recent experiments in ‘mainstreaming’ and whole-of-government policy will also be explored, both for their strengths and limitations. Finally we look at the ideas of failure and success in Australian Indigenous policy and how they relate to rhetorical registers and generational dynamics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Engage in informed debate about Australian government policy and practice towards Indigenous people;
  2. Analyse other people's writing about Indigenous policy; and
  3. Write critically and analytically about Australian Indigenous affairs policy debates.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional costs in this course.

Required Resources

To complete this course students will need access to a modern computer which can access the ANU website and course WATTLE site.

All required readings will be accessible through the course WATTLE site, with links to the ANU library. Some supplementary readings will also be accessible through the course WATTLE site. Readings are made available to course participants on behalf of the ANU pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968. Further reproduction of them may be the subject of copyright protection.

The CAEPR website has a vast amount of material, beyond that listed in the required and supplementary readings. Go to Publications and navigate from there to the large numbers of Discussion Papers, Working Papers, Monographs and Topical Issues Papers produced for over twenty five years.

Another interesting and relevant website is that of the Cape York Partnership/ Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on the two Essays
  • Discussion Forum comments from other students and staff.
  • A course news forum open to the whole class.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

This course is delivered in a weekly, semester-long mode for both ‘on-campus’ and ‘off-campus’ students. Students should attend the Wednesday afternoon combined lecture and tutorial (either in person or via Adobe Connect in the course WATTLE site). Each week students should also read the required readings on that week’s topic (2-3 hours work). Students should then commit at least another hour to the weekly online discussion forum.

Time: Wednesdays 3.00pm – 6.00pm

Location: Room 2145 Copland Building #24

In weeks 8-10, INDG8005 12 point students will contribute to the lecture program through 20 minute Major Project presentations.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Policy, Competing Principles and Practice in Australian Indigenous affairs Discussion Forum 1
2 History, Idioms and Geography Discussion Forum 2
3 Evidence, Ideology and Morality in Indigenous affairs Discussion Forum 3
4 Income Support and Employment Services Discussion Forum 4
5 Alcohol Policy and the Community Good Discussion Forum 5
6 Child Welfare/ Protection Policy Discussion Forum 6
7 Health Policy: Holism, Intersectoralism and 1990s Mainstreaming Discussion Forum 7
8 Land Rights and Native Title Discussion Forum 8
9 Education Policy: Schooling and After, Reframing Practice and Research Discussion Forum 9
10 Housing Policy: Tenure Change, Need and Geography Discussion Forum 10
11 2000s Mainstreaming and Whole-of-Government Policy Ideas Discussion Forum 11
12 Failure and Success: Rhetorical Registers and Generational Dynamics Discussion Forum 12

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
First Essay 25 % 10/04/2019 26/04/2019 1, 2, 3
Major Essay 50 % 05/06/2019 12/06/2019 1, 2, 3
Twelve Discussion Forums 25 % 05/06/2019 19/06/2019 1, 2

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students should attend the Wednesday afternoon combined lecture and tutorial (either in person or via Adobe Connect in the course WATTLE site) starting at 3pm/ 1500 Canberra time. Note that this will change from Eastern Summer Time to Eastern Standard Time near the middle of the course. 

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 10/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 26/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

First Essay

Choose three related readings and analyse the way they engage with the dominant principle of equality in Australian Indigenous policy. Also analyse whether they engage with the ideas of diversity and difference, or choice and guardianship as competing principles in Indigenous policy.

This essay should reference the three articles discussed in Harvard style.

Assessment Rubrics

  • showing a clear understanding of each reading selected, and
  • demonstrating an ability to make comparisons and contrasts across readings.
  • This assessment task addresses Learning Outcome 2.

Word limit: 1,500 words

Value: 25%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 05/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Major Essay

Write a 3,000 word essay on one of the following six topics:

  1. Choose a policy sector and analyse how debates in that sector involve specialist expert knowledge and evidence. Also analyse how generalist ideologies feed into debates and the extent to which there is moral commitment involved in policy debates. To what extent do you think evidence and ideology can be separated in this policy sector?
  2. Choose a policy sector and analyse the way in which it has in the past and currently combines Indigenous-specific and general policy mechanisms. Do debates in this policy sector identify strengths and weaknesses of past and current combinations of Indigenous-specific and general policy mechanisms? What is your assessment of the relationship between Indigenous-specific and general policy mechanisms in this policy sector? (eg Do Indigenous-specific policy mechanisms allow Indigenous voice and appropriate adaptation to Indigenous circumstances? Or do they encourage the disengagement of general policy mechanisms?)
  3. Analyse the way in which geography has been used as a policy differentiation mechanism in one or more sectors of Indigenous policy. Has this geographic differentiation changed over time, or does it seem relatively stable? Do you think geographic differentiation is a useful way to respond to a diversity of Indigenous circumstances?
  4. Are inter-sectoral and holistic policy ideas useful in Australian Indigenous affairs? What are the prospects of Australia achieving whole-of-government Indigenous policy?
  5. Analyse the ways in which ideas of failure and success have recently been used in Australian Indigenous policy. Can these be related to the roles of ideology, evidence, moral commitment or competing principles in Australian Indigenous policy?
  6. You are a policy officer in a government department or NGO. Write a briefing paper for your superior officers on an issue of concern that is arising from current practice. Identify how the issue is being handled (or not) in current practice and why this is being seen as a problem that requires policy attention. Who are the stakeholders, either within or outside your organisation, who are seeing this issue as a problem? What are the terms used to describe or construct that problem? What knowledge/evidence is being put forward to support that problem construction? Are there alternative constructions that you would propose and argue for? What options do you see for policy action? Are there options that you support more than others?  Why? Give considered recommendations for policy action.

Assessment Rubrics

  • producing a logical argument flow through your essay and
  • supporting that flow of argument by reference to other people’s ideas and material.
  • This assessment task addresses Learning Outcome 3.

Word limit: 3,000 words

Value: 50%

Presentation requirements: This essay should include referencing in Harvard style of all materials substantially used in constructing your argument.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 05/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 19/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Twelve Discussion Forums

Each week students are expected to make short initiating comments and replies of 100-150 words engaging with that week’s readings and related discussion questions.

Assessment Rubrics

  • the regularity and considered nature of posted comments, and
  • demonstrating attention to the arguments and other contents of the required readings.
  • This assessment task addresses Learning Outcomes 1&2

Word limit: 1,500 words in total over semester

Value: 25%

Presentation requirements: Weekly

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

A mark and comment on Essays will be entered in the course WATTLE site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Students will not normally be allowed to resubmit assignments. If there are substantial reasons why you wish to resubmit an assignment you should speak with the course lecturers about this as soon as possible.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr William Sanders

Research Interests

Will Sanders: income support, housing and intergovernmental relations in Indigenous affairs. Indigenous people in remote areas local government. Indigenous participation in elections

Dr William Sanders

Monday 10:00 18:00
Tuesday 10:00 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 18:00
Thursday 10:00 18:00
Friday 10:00 18:00
Dr William Sanders

Research Interests

Dr William Sanders

Monday 10:00 18:00
Tuesday 10:00 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 18:00
Thursday 10:00 18:00
Friday 10:00 18:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions