- Code REGN8019
- Unit Value 3 units
- Offered by School of Regulation and Global Governance
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject RegNet
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Australian Studies, Indigenous Australian Studies, Law, Policy Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Dr Virginia Marshall
- Mode of delivery In Person
Summer Session 2022
See Future Offerings
Indigenous peoples of Australia are the oldest living (surviving) culture in the world. In Australia, the Indigenous call for a ‘Voice’, Treaty and Truth-telling requires us to re-frame and reconstruct institutionalised governance systems, and to re-assert the legitimacy of Indigenous peoples' self-governance. Governance systems have often applied westernised models of ‘good governance’ to Indigenous communities in Australia, and globally. This course investigates the models and effectiveness of Indigenous-led governance systems, or in the Wiradjuri language, Biyam-burru-wa-la-nha: 'the rules of governing'. This course examines how these intersect with non-indigenous governance systems in Australia and in comparative jurisdictions such as Canada and Aotearoa-New Zealand. Looking at case-studies that include first contacts between First Peoples and colonial powers, and contemporary settings such as the Kimberley region, Western Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin in NSW, the course asks how do governance arrangements in particular settings facilitate Indigenous normative practices and community autonomy? How responsive are Indigenous and non-Indigenous governance systems to international norms, principles and laws?
This interdisciplinary Indigenous-led course draws on Indigenous standpoints, Indigenous ontology and epistemology, critical Indigenous theory, Indigenous rule of laws, comparative law, public policy, law, regulation, domestic and international law. It provides students with practical skills and intellectual insight to understand and develop Indigenous-centred methodologies to: evaluate the relevance and purpose of Indigenous-led governance systems and to facilitate respectful, effective relationships with Indigenous Australia.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand concepts related to Indigenous governance systems in Australia and other Commonwealth jurisdictions
- Compare and contrast types of governance systems and critically engage with a range of models of Indigenous governance and with the perspectives on governance from within Indigenous communities
- Demonstrate ability to synthesise and apply knowledge of indigenous governance from diverse sources
- Evaluate Indigenous-led strategies that progress community autonomy and critically assess the potential and pathways for implementing such approaches within other Indigenous communities
- Active class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Governance Solutions Hack (group work and oral presentations on cutting through existing governance barriers and problems) (10) [LO 1,2,3]
- Policy Brief (max 1000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Comparative Case Study (max 2000 words) (40) [LO 2,3,4]
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Approximately 60 hours comprising seminars as well as associated preparation, independent study, and assessment time.
Actual time required may vary with individual students.
Marshall, Virginia, Overturning Aqua Nullius: Securing Aboriginal Water Rights (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2017)
Marshall, V. ‘Indigenous ontologies in ‘Caring for Country’: Examining Indigenous Australia’s traditional and revitalised sustainable customs, practices and laws’ in James Spee, Adela J McMurray & Mark D McMillan (eds), The Handbook of Clan and Tribal Perspectives on Social, Economic and Environmental Sustainability (Emerald, forthcoming 2020).
Te Maire Tau. ‘Matauranga Maori as an epistemology’ in Andrew Sharp & Paul McHugh (eds), Histories, Power & Loss: Uses of the Past – A New Zealand Commentary (BWB, 2001).
John Burrows, ‘Nawayi’ii: The Centre, Respect: Residential Schools, Responsibilities for Past Harms’ in Law’s Indigenous Ethics (University of Toronto Press, 2019).
Moreton-Robinson, A. (ed) Critical Indigenous studies: Engagements in first world locations (University of Arizona Press, 2016).
Corntassel, J. ‘Toward Sustainable Self-Determination: Rethinking the Contemporary Indigenous-Rights Discourse’ (2008) 33 Alternatives pp.105-132.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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