• Offered by Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Indigenous Studies
  • Areas of interest Australian Indigenous Studies, Policy Studies, Population Studies, Applied Economics, Health
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
Understanding Indigenous Wellbeing: Demographic and Socioeconomic Change (INDG8003)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines wellbeing as a 'state of health or sufficiency in all aspects of life.' While a person's socioeconomic status (income, employment and education) is likely to be a component of their wellbeing, a person's interaction with the natural, man-made and social environment as well as their physical, mental and emotional health are also vital components. Because of unique cultural and historical factors, Indigenous notions of wellbeing can be somewhat different to those of the rest of the Australian population. Language and cultural maintenance in the face of pressures from the dominant culture are important aspects of wellbeing for many Indigenous Australians. Kinship obligations and attachment to country also tend to be much stronger. Ultimately, an Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian with given levels of material and socioeconomic status may report quite different levels of wellbeing.

The aim of this course is to summarise and discuss the existing research on the economic, social and political determinants of Indigenous wellbeing, as well as the demographic context of the population. Students will be exposed to a range of theoretical frameworks within the social sciences that touch on or have insight for Indigenous wellbeing and Indigenous population change. Students will also be guided through a critical discussion of the quantitative and qualitative evidence that has formed our current understanding of wellbeing and the Indigenous population. Finally, students will discuss and evaluate the current policy framework for Indigenous affairs in Australia.

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. Discuss the main frameworks for analysing wellbeing in general, as well as Indigenous wellbeing in Australia;
  2. Critique the available evidence on Indigenous wellbeing and Indigenous demographic and socioeconomic change;
  3. Identify research gaps and possible strategies to fill these gaps;
  4. Examine the main determinants of Indigenous wellbeing and Indigenous population change;
  5. Evaluate current policy frameworks with regards to how they do or do not deal with wellbeing in an evidence-based way; and
  6. Write and debate effectively on Indigenous issues.

Indicative Assessment

Literature based essay proposal, 1000 words (20%) Learning Outcome 1
Major essay, 3000 words (40%) Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 6
Final take-home exam, 3 x 600-800 word essays (30%) Learning Outcome 5
Class participation and online discussion (10%) Learning Outcome 6

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks (including 6 hours of compulsory tutorial discussion).
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ANTH8057.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3570
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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