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IA2013 - Ecology and Australian Indigenous Cultures

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: School of Indigenous Australian Studies

Available to undergraduate degree students.

This subject engages with the ecological, social and spiritual interrelationship at the core of Indigenous Australian cultures. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander diversity of beliefs and the significance of identity, family, sovereignty and land and sea rights will be explored along with the impact of European colonisation. Students examine traditional and contemporary relations with the environment paying particular attention to the relationships between Indigenous Australian people's knowledge, customary laws and social organisation and the Western science of ecology, in approaches to natural resource management and conservation. Students will be introduced to issues through online learning including the discussion board and email, digital medium and reading materials. Therefore it is essential that students have access to the World Wide Web to complete this subject.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spirituality, kinship and connectedness with the environment;
  • Examine the impact of European colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders belief systems and ways of life;
  • Analyse cross-cultural perspectives on resource management and property rights;
  • Explore Indigenous Australian people's aspirations for healthy country, economies and families;
  • Critically evaluate different cultural perspectives on a range of contemporary issues and present research outcomes in a written format.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to define and to solve problems in at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to deploy critically evaluated information to practical ends;
  • The ability to read complex and demanding texts accurately, critically and insightfully;
  • The ability to work with people of different gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion and political persuasion.


Cairns, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 23-Aug-2012
Coordinator: Mrs Val Wallace
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 13 hours tutorials
Assessment: presentations (25%); literature review (40%); research briefing report (35%).

Cairns, Study Period 2, External
Census Date 23-Aug-2012
Coordinator: Mrs Val Wallace
Method of Delivery: WWW - LearnJCUandPrinted materials
Assessment: multidraft literature review (40%); assignments (25%); research briefing paper (35%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.