• Class Number 6910
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ben Silverstein
    • Dr Ben Silverstein
    • Trish Tupou
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course focuses on First Peoples' perspectives on experiences since the British commenced colonisation of this place. Students develop understanding and insights into some of the diverse perspectives, ways of knowing and being, and experiences of First Peoples since colonisation across this continent, its islands and seas. In this course, we will focus on selected significant events, reflect on the resilience and agency of First Peoples until now, and learn more about the contemporary context of First Peoples' resurgence. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the lived reality of First Peoples' rights in Australia, and reflect upon this in a global content. This is an introductory course in Australian Indigenous Studies that centre First Peoples' diverse perspectives and that critically engages with scholarly and popular narratives about key events.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate an informed understanding of First Peoples' experiences since colonisation commenced in the context of Australian Aboriginal and Islander history, perspectives, and continuing cultures and traditions that are taught in the course;
  2. analyse the ways in which history, culture, policy and discourse affect First Peoples' experiences and rights in Australia;
  3. analyse Australian First Peoples' experiences and rights in the context of the global movement for Indigenous rights;
  4. demonstrate knowledge of and insight into key concepts, themes and perspectives that are taught in the course; and
  5. demonstrate knowledge of and insight into key methodologies that are taught in this course, including research practices and ongoing self-reflective practice.

Field Trips

While the Covid19 pandemic persists, there will be no curricular field trips or excursions. We encourage students to engage with local events in the Country you are in, and will let you know about some online experiences that become possible.

Examination Material or equipment

Students must have good access to the internet and a reliable computer to complete assessment tasks, including any take-home examination.

Required Resources

Students must be able to access the internet and have use of a computer to join access class materials, join classes and complete assessment tasks. Students must have a working camera turned on during workshops - this is basic protocol. All readings and materials will be accessible via links from the wattle site to library resources, including written, audio and visual materials.

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments,
  • verbal comments, and
  • feedback to whole class.

There may also be feedback given to students in groups, individuals, focus groups.

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 one of two courses that introduce students to Indigenous Studies. A key purpose of this course is to create an opportunity to learn more about key issues that concern Aboriginal and ZK Islander people in Australia, and to develop insight into First Peoples' perspectives on social injustices many experience and how these have arisen. 

In this course we will move through topics that have been designed to inform you about some of the issues that concern Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We will move through time and across place, to examine themes and develop insight into the experiences and perspectives of First Peoples in different parts of Australia. It is impossible to be comprehensive. Our purpose is to broaden your skills and insights, that will enable you to see what might otherwise have remained invisible to you. This course is a basis from which you can develop skills, advance knowledge and deepen insights beyond this course.

Throughout the course we centre and authorise the knowledge-sharing of Aboriginal and Islander people - whether that be through scholarly articles, documentaries, artwork or other forms of expression. From time to time we will be joined by guests we've invited to speak about social justice issues in which they are involved. We hope that this will bring to our course different perspectives that will alert you to the range and complexity of issues with which we are faced - but also some fundamentally simple messages that seem to be consistent across the continent. 

We hope that by the end of this course you will have more information, different perspectives and greater insight about some of the adversities that confront many communities and Peoples in Australia, learn to disambiguate from that the resilience, agency and strength of First Peoples, Country and culture.

Note that the topics list is indicative and may changed depending on availability of guests and other challenges that can arise in delivering a complex course, such as this.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Parallel realities in Australia: counter-narratives of resilience and resurgence Each week: reflection due, annotated bibliography entry due, and participation in classes.
2 Activism and contesting sovereignties
3 Colonialism and its continuities
4 Peaceful settlement? Cattle, Country and agency
5 Truth, 'history' and atomic colonialism
6 'Black birding', 'stealing wages' and other euphemisms Take-home examination - the first one
7 After appropriating the past: moving towards relationality
8 Sacred sites
9 From Milliripum to Mabo to the 'Ten Point Plan'
10 Inquiries into settler-state intervention into Indigenous people's lives.
11 The colonising state, legal pluralism and the recognition of First Law
12 Current issues Take-home examination - the second one

Tutorial Registration

Registration for workshops is via the Course wattle site.. Registration opens one week before the commencement of the semester. Workshops start in week 1 and are compulsory.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Course Participation 10 % 2, 3
Annotated Bibliography 15 % 1, 4
Portfolio of weekly reflections 15 % 1, 2, 4, 5
First take-home examination 25 % 1, 2, 3, 4
Second take-home examination 25 % 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Class Facilitation 10 % 2, 3

* 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Course Participation

Students participate in the course by engaging with the live weekly lecture, preparing for each class, and joining and participating in the weekly workshop, and then reflecting on the course and your experience each week. When participating in the course, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your preparation and knowledge of course materials. Completion of this task requires participation (in person and/or online) in all workshops.

Students are expected to engage with all aspects of the course, including live classes. Where classes on online, student must have their camera turned on and engage in other protocols.

We create an alternative workshop task (AWT), which is a flexible adjustment that acknowledges that students unforeseen misadventure or illness can arise that mean that you cannot join the live classes and fully engage. The AWT is not a substitute for participation in live classes throughout the semester.

More details about the task will be released on wattle and expecatations will be discussed in class, including compliance with basic protocols.

Due: weekly. Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4

Annotated Bibliography

This task is designed to encourage students to develop good research habits, thorough knowledge of course readings, develop ongoing insights, and support the students in the completion of the take home examination.

Due: weekly.Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5

Portfolio of weekly reflections

The weekly reflections provide students with an opportunity to develop skills in reflective writing and written expression. These tasks create a disciplined framework for regular review of class materials, to recognise the role of emotion and perspective in our learning experiences, and to facilitate students’ preparation for the other assessment tasks. This ongoing task support students, particularly as some material in this course can be uncomfortable and may be distressing.

Due: weekly. Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

First take-home examination

This task allows students an opportunity to deepen knowledge of a selected topic, develop analystical skills through writing and undertake relevant research. Students must engage with content and perspectives taught in this course. This task is an examination of the course's content in weeks 1 to 6.

Examination held: week 6. Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 25 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Second take-home examination

This task allows students an opportunity to deepen knowledge of a selected topic, develop analytical skills through writing, and undertaken relevant research. Students must engage with content and perspectives taught in this course. This task is an examination of the course's content in weeks 7 to 12.

Examination held: week 12. Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Class Facilitation

Students will be allocated a workshop. They and their peers will facilitate the workshop, leading discussion regarding the preparation materials.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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) 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

Individual assessment tasks may not be submitted late.

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

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

Assessment tasks are returned within three weeks of submission. The exception to this is the final assessment task which is returned with the final grade.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

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 Ben Silverstein

Research Interests

Dr Ben Silverstein

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Ben Silverstein

Research Interests

Dr Ben Silverstein

By Appointment
By Appointment
Trish Tupou

Research Interests

Trish Tupou

By Appointment

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