• Class Number 6737
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Mary Spiers Williams
    • Dr Ben Silverstein
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course allows students to further develop insight into First Peoples' perspectives, knowledge, experiences and ways of being and to reflect on the impacts of colonisation broadly. It creates a learning experience for students that requires self-reflective practices, consistent engagement and ethical engagement with content important to First Peoples.

In this course we create opportunities for students to develop insight into First Nations and other Indigenous peoples' diverse perspectives on experiences since the British commenced colonisation of this continent, its islands, seas and peoples. Students will learn more about shared histories, and explore the systems and structures that have developed and their impacts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, other Indigenous peoples, and reflect on how colonisation affects contemporary Australian society.

We focus on selected significant events, reflect on the resilience and agency of First Peoples until now, and learn more about the context of resurgence. While focussing on the more recent shared past, this course creates an opportunity for students to develop insight in the deep past of this continent and its continuities, and reflect on the implications of that for contemporary issues over time, including the relations of First Peoples and settlers in the Australian state. 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. This course complements and interleaves with the other foundational course in Australian Indigenous Studies, INDG1001. These courses are designed to be taken in either order.

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 Australia in the context of diverse Aboriginal and Islander histories, perspectives, and continuing cultures and traditions;
  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 in the context of the global movement for Indigenous rights;
  4. demonstrate knowledge of and insight into key concepts, themes and perspectives taught in the course; and
  5. demonstrate knowledge of and insight into key methodologies taught in this course, including respectful research practices and ongoing self-reflective practice.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

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. This course gives students some insight into the resilience and continuities of Indigenous peoples' ways of being in the context of a history of astounding adversities and the many ways in which First Peoples continue to advocate for themselves.

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.

In 2023, we will spend more time than usual on Indigenous perspectives on the Australian Constitution and explore how Constitutional power and state laws can affect First Peoples lives.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Resilience, rights and resurgence - for what are First Peoples fighting? Weekly tasks: pre-class annotated bibliography entry, participation in class, post class reflection.
2 Early encounters and their contemporary representations
3 Australian colonialism in the Pacific
4 Atomic colonialism
5 Truth, knowledge and representation: critiquing research about First Peoples Week 6: Take-home examination
6 Continuities of colonialism: 'protection' and assimilation
7 Race and racialisation in the settler constitution
8 Law, power and racial discrimination
9 Self-determination and Indigenous governance
10 International perspectives on Indigenous inclusion in Constitutions
11 Diverse perspectives on 'The Voice'
12 Reflecting on Constitutional recognition from basic precepts Week 12: Take-home examination

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% 10 % 2, 3
Annotated Bibliography 15% 15 % 1, 4
Portfolio of weekly reflections 15% 15 % 1, 2, 4, 5
First take-home examination 30 % 1, 2, 3, 4
Second take-home examination 30 % 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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 10%

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. The convener will discuss in class our expecatations of you completing this task. This will include that we expect you to comply with basic protocols in Indigenous Studies.

Due: weekly. Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4

Annotated Bibliography 15%

This is a pre-workshop task. This task is designed to encourage students to develop good research habits, thorough knowledge of course readings, develop ongoing insights, and prepares the student well for workshop engagement. Sustained engagement with readings by steadily adding to an annotated bibliography supports 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 15%

This is a post-workshop task. 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. Reflexive skills are fundamental for develop insight into perspectives other than one's own. One initial responses to new experiences and new ideas are often the most creative moments and unique opportunities to learn more about the way that we learn. This ongoing task support students not only intellectually, but support students in engaging constructively with material in this course that can be uncomfortable and distressing.

Due: weekly. Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

First take-home examination

This task allows students an opportunity to deepen knowledge of a selected topic, develop analytical skills through writing, and draw together important themes throughout the course. 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 5.

Examination held: week 5. Late submission is not permitted.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
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 6 to 12.

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

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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).

Mary Spiers Williams

Research Interests

Mary Spiers Williams

By Appointment
Dr Ben Silverstein

Research Interests

Dr Ben Silverstein

By Appointment

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