• Class Number 3422
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Annick Thomassin
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
    • Cassandra Malouf
    • Shay Taylor
    • Oliver Lilford
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to fundamental aspects of Indigenous relationships to lands, waters and cultural sites in Australia and internationally. It will provide students with an overview of Indigenous perspectives about the natural environment, knowledge systems and practices, as well as the settler state legal and policy frameworks which often obstruct Indigenous opportunities to actively engage in cultural and natural resource management. These areas of contestation and collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous natural resources users are explored through a series of land and water management case studies and an examination of a range of theories on the topic. The course will also provide students with an opportunity to strengthen self-reflexive practices that are essential in engaging with Indigenous knowledge in many natural resource management issues.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Develop an appreciation of Indigenous aspirations, perspectives and knowledge systems in relation to lands, waters, plants, animals, natural resources and cultural heritage, and explain how these may vary from western scientific, legal and managerial perspectives.
  2. Be aware of connections between Indigenous peoples of Australia, Oceania and internationally, as facilitated through Indigenous studies theories of solidarity and relationality.
  3. Engage with Indigenous relational ontological perspectives, sovereignty and resurgence and how these relate to land and natural resource management issues in Australia and other settler state contexts.
  4. Enhance understanding of Indigenous experiences of climate change, its impacts, the challenges it poses as well as the strategies developed by Indigenous peoples to respond.
  5. Develop skills to critically analyse environmental conservation and natural resource management policies and programs and their implications for Indigenous peoples’ perspectives, initiatives, and aspirations. 
  6. Develop a self-reflexive practice that allows for culturally situated and place-specific engagement in environmental management issues.

Research-Led Teaching

This is a collaborative inter-cultural course taught with some of our Indigenous research partners. The course draws on our research as participatory action researchers working with Indigenous peoples. The course introduces the students to concepts and theories central to the field of Indigenous land and sea environmental management and environmental management more broadly.

Field Trips

There is a field trip component to this course. To accommodate high class numbers and enhance students’ experience there will be three one day field trip options to choose from around mid-semester. Details on the activities, date options, and registration will be provided in class on Week 1 and available on Wattle. Confirmation of days and time will be available on Wattle.


This field trip will provide the students with an occasion to have an on the ground experience and direct interactions with First Nations practitioners.


There are multiple opportunities to attend field learning (see details on Wattle). Attendance is strongly recommended but a virtual version will be made available to students who cannot come.


Information gathered on the field trip will need to be augmented with resources provided and the student's own research.

Additional Course Costs

There are additional field trip fees of approximately $50 applicable for the South Coast day trip (payment to ANU Science Shop). 

Examination Material or equipment


Recommended student system requirements 

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: on assignments, and in class and during tutorials.

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Students should refer to the Wattle site for current delivery information for the course this semester.
*Note that the order of weekly topic is subject to change based on specialised guest lecturers’ availabilities. See Wattle for most recent updates. Introduction
Overview of the course content, purpose, assessments, and processes. Introduction to key concepts and theories.
ReadingsBorrows - F. Dussart and S. Poirier, eds., Entangled Ontologies: Interpretations of Relations to Land in Australian and Canadian Neo-settler States (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017)
Corntassel, J. (2012). Re-envisioning resurgence: Indigenous pathways to decolonization and sustainable self-determination. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1).
2 Power devolution and environmental management: co-management and Indigenous protected areas
ReadingsCaruso, E. (2011). Co-Management Redux: Anti-Politics and Transformation in the Ashaninka Communal Reserve, Peru. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 17(6), 608-628. 
Complete learning journal entry
3 Entangled territorialities and unceded sovereignty
ReadingsBehrendt, Larissa. 2012. “Aboriginal Sovereignty: A Practical Roadmap.” In Sovereignty Stories: Frontiers of Possibility, edited by Julie Evans, Ann Genovese, Alexander Reilly, and Patrick Wolfe, 163–177. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Barker, J. (2017). Introduction. In Critically Sovereign: Indigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, (pp.1-44), edited by J. Barker. Duke University Press. Altman, J. C., Buchanan, G. J., & Larsen, L. (2007). The environmental significance of the Indigenous estate: Natural resource management as economic development in remote Australia. CAEPR Discussion Paper No. 286.  
Complete learning journal entry
4 International perspectives: convention on biodiversity & green new deals
UN Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peopleshttps://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/un-declaration-rights-indigenous-peoples-1The Nagoya Protocolhttps://www.cbd.int/abs/text/The Akwé: Kon Guidelines https://www.cbd.int/doc/publications/akwe-brochure-en.pdfThe Red Nation (2020). The Red Deal: Indigenous Action to Save our Earth. Common Notions and + Red Media. Brooklyn. 
Complete learning journal entry
5 The renewable energy transition
ReadingsRiley, B. (2021). Scaling Up: Renewable Energy on Aboriginal Lands in Northwest Australia. Nulungu Research Papers, 6. http://doi.org/10.32613/nrp/2021.6  Fabienne what do you want them to read?
Complete learning journal entry
6 Social construction of nature and the politics of TEK
ReadingsLangton, M., & Rhea, Z. M. (2005). Traditional Indigenous Biodiversity-Related Knowledge. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 36(2), 45-69. Whap, G. (2001). A Torres Strait Islander Perspective on the Concept of Indigenous Knowledge. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 29(2), 22-29. Nadasdy, P. (2005). The Anti-Politics of TEK: The Institutionalization of Co-Management Discourse and Practice [Traditional Ecological Knowledge]. Anthropologica, 47(2), 215.
Complete learning journal entry & essay proposal
7 Living with climate change today
ReadingsNursey-Bray, M., Palmer, R., Stuart, A., Arbon, V., & Rigney, L. (2020). Scale, colonisation and adapting to climate change: Insights from the Arabana people, South Australia. Geoforum, 114, 138-150.Whyte, K. P. (2016). Is it Colonial DéJà Vu? Indigenous Peoples and Climate Injustice. In Adamson, J., Davis, M. & Huang, H. (eds.) Humanities for the Environment: Integrating Knowledges, Forging New Constellations of Practice: pp. 88-104. New York: Earthscan.  
Complete learning journal entry
8 FIELD TRIPCultural burning and environmental stewardship in urban/peri-urban context or cultural tour on Black Mountain
ReadingsWilliamson, B 2021, Cultural Burning in New South Wales: Challenges and Opportunities for Policy Makers and Aboriginal Peoples, Working Paper No. 139/2021, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University. https://doi.org/10.25911/Q1PY-8E04Borrows, J. J. (2003). Stewardship and the First Nations Governance Act. Queen's Law Journal, 29(1), 103-132. 
Complete learning journal entry
9 Indigenous people in context of Hazard and Disaster Management
ReadingsHowitt, R., Havnen, O., & Veland, S. (2012). Natural and Unnatural Disasters: Responding with Respect for Indigenous Rights and Knowledges. Geographical Research, 50(1), 47-59.  Thomassin, A., Neale, T., & Weir, J. K. (2018). The Natural Hazard Sector's Engagement with Indigenous Peoples: A Critical Review of Canzus Countries. Geographical Research, 57(2): 164-177. doi:doi:10.1111/1745-5871.12314Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements (2020). Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements Report. Commonwealth of Australia. 
Complete learning journal entry & Field trip report
10 (Counter)mapping entangled territories
ReadingsPotter, S., Doran, B.and Mathews, D. (2016). Modelling collective Yawuru values along the foreshoreof Roebuck Bay, Western Australia using fuzzy logic. Applied Geography,77, pp.8-19.Yates, A. M. (2021).Transforming geographies: Performing Indigenous Maori ontologies and ethics ofmore than human care in an era of ecological emergency. New ZealandGeographer, 77, 101-113.
Complete learning journal entry
11 On sustainability
Readings:Krushil Watene & Mandy Yap (2015) Culture and sustainable development: indigenous contributions, Journal of Global Ethics, 11:1, 51-55, DOI: 10.1080/17449626.2015.1010099
Complete learning journal entry & Final essay
12 Wrap upThis session provides an occasion for all of us to come together and reflect on the themes, concepts and issues, opportunities and challenges presented over the last 11 weeks. We would like you to come prepared to share what you have learnt from your journey. Before coming to the workshop, we would like you to go back to your learning journals and notice how your perspectives on the questions of natural resource management and the role of First Nations peoples play in this space may have changed along the way. As part of this workshop, we will also discuss how the various elements discussed in the course may inform your engagement with Country, in both your every day and your professional life. ReadingReview your learning journal entries*Reo N.J., Whyte K.P., McGregor D., Smith M. (Peggy), Jenkins J.F. Factors that support Indigenous involvement in multi-actor environmental stewardship. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples. 2017;13(2):58-68

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Weekly Learning Journal 30 % * 1,2,3,5,6
Essay Proposal 10 % 29/03/2024 1,2,3,5,6
Field trip assessment 20 % 03/05/2024 1,2,3,4,5,6
Research Essay 40 % 17/05/2024 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.


Students are expected to actively participate and contribute to discussions. If you are unable to fulfil this requirement you will need to discuss this with a Course Convener and produce appropriate documentation (e.g. a medical certificate).



Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,6

Weekly Learning Journal

Students will maintain a reflective learning journal over the course of the semester, providing students with an opportunity to develop skills in reflective writing and written expression.


Each reflection, typically written in prose, will be a response to an experience, information or something else that arose during the class that same week. This task is intended to create an opportunity for students to critically reflect on the ideas and information presented in the readings, lectures, field trip, and discussions in tutorials. In order to do the weekly reflection, you will need to attend the tutorial that same week. This assessment task requires that you complete and submit a reflection on time each week. This task creates a disciplined framework for regular review of class materials, to recognise the role of emotion and perspective in our learning experiences, and to facilitate your preparation for the other assessment tasks.


The learning journal entries can take various forms.


Audio or video entries:

Between 1 and 2 minutes per weekly entries


Written entries:

The minimum word length for each week's entry is 100 words. The maximum word length is 200.


Students will receive one mark for each entry that responds to the above guidance and is submitted at the end of each week on time. Late submission is not possible unless you have an approved extension. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 29/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,6

Essay Proposal

Due: Friday 11.59pm, 29 March 2024 (end of week 6)

Guidelines: To prepare for the major assessment in this course, students will put together a essay proposal by the end of week 6. This will assist in ensuring that your topic is in line with the learning outcomes for this course and that your preliminary ideas and research will yield good results for your final essay due in week 11.


This assessment task is exploratory and foundational. Meaning that there is opportunity for you to change your topic and approach for the final essay. Particularly after you receive your feedback.


Guiding question: See Wattle page


Your research proposal should include the following:

  1. Project title
  2. Introduction / abstract about your intended project
  3. Essay question/s
  4. Essay plan
  5. Definition of key terms
  6. Bibliography of at least 3 key texts (these should incorporate texts that centre Indigenous perspectives / approaches to NRM)


 Word length: 750-1,000 words

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 03/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6

Field trip assessment

Due: Friday 11.59pm, 3 May 2024 (end of week 9)

Please see Wattle for further information.


Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 17/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Research Essay

Due: Friday 11.59pm, 17 May 2024 (end of week 11)


Guidelines: Building on from the proposal, students will write a research essay that answers the guiding question using an example of their choice. The essay is designed to assist students in developing critical thinking skills by drawing on examples from lectures, readings, tutorials, and workshops to present an academic argument of their own.


Guiding question: See wattle page


Length and format: 1,700 – 2,000 words (+/- 10%), APA referencing system, 1.5 spaced, size 12 font, with page numbers.


Rubric: Please refer to the Wattle site

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

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

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.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Assignments cannot be resubmitted after the submission 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).

Annick Thomassin

Research Interests

Political ecology; Indigenous Land and sea management; conservation and biodiversity; environmental justice; community-based management, fisheries and maritime anthropology

Annick Thomassin

By Appointment
Cassandra Malouf

Research Interests

Cassandra Malouf

By Appointment
Shay Taylor

Research Interests

Political ecology; Indigenous Land and sea management; conservation and biodiversity; environmental justice; community-based management, fisheries and maritime anthropology

Shay Taylor

By Appointment
Oliver Lilford

Research Interests

Political ecology; Indigenous Land and sea management; conservation and biodiversity; environmental justice; community-based management, fisheries and maritime anthropology

Oliver Lilford

By Appointment

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