Course Outline

SCS130 Introduction to Indigenous Australia

Course Coordinator:Peter Mitchell ( School:School of Law and Society

2024Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Caboolture

UniSC Fraser Coast

UniSC Gympie

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


The course explores significant cultural and historical factors that shaped Australian Indigenous lives since colonial settlement and examines their effects in contemporary Indigenous communities and families.

Local examples and contexts are used to enhance understanding of national issues and policies. with particular attention to Indigenous responses to government policies and practices, and their ongoing impact. The course will enable you to engage directly with Indigenous sources and to critically analyse the main implications of Indigenous perspectives for the knowledge and professional practices in your chosen field.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Content required for workshop discussion and assessment preparation 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Tutorials 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Learning materials – Content required for workshop discussion and assessment preparation 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Zoom tutorial. 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Introduction to Indigenous Australia

Rebutting the Myths

Current Policies and Issues

Frontier Violence, Dispossession and Denigration

Reserves and Missions

Living Under the ACT

Stolen Generations

Assimilation and its Critics


Indigenous Health

Indigenous Education

Art and Indigenous Identity

Reconciliation and Unfinished Business

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of historical, political and social influences on the histories of Australian Indigenous peoples and their position in mainstream society by critiquing government policy. Knowledgeable
2 Critically analyse popular and academic representations of Indigenous peoples and issues. Creative and critical thinker
3 Demonstrate a coherent personal and professional approach by reflecting upon their own professional practices and critiquing Indigenous peoples and Australia's shared historical events and contemporary issues. Creative and critical thinker
4 Investigate and reflect on the significance of the effects of the histories of Australian Indigenous peoples for themselves as citizens and as graduates. Empowered
5 Communicate effectively, appropriately and persuasively. Knowledgeable

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Timely and detailed feedback is provided for each assessment. Feedback is provided both within text and general comments to build scholarly skills. Students are able to seek feedback through face-to-face discussion with the course coordinator. Tutorials will include extended discussion and review of the assessment task requirements and scope.	

Present an Essay Plan in Week 4 in your tutorial to gain early feedback. Details of Essay Plan to be discussed in Week 1. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Essay Individual 30%
1500 words
Week 6 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Oral and Written Piece Individual and Group 30%
500 words
Refer to Format Online Submission
All 3 Essay Individual 40%
1500 words
Week 12 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Short Essay
To critically apply your knowledge to develop an argument in relation to a specific topic
Product: Essay
This assessment item is due in Week 6. Specific details of this task, including the essay topic, will be provided via Canvas in Week 1.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Content: The content must be relevant, detailed and critical, demonstrating a critical understanding of the relevant sociological theories to explain the social issues investigated.
1 3
Argument: The argument should be evident in the introduction and needs to be logically consistent and adequately supported through discussion and use of referenced evidence from scholarly sources.
Originality: The essay should exhibit originality and independence of thought.
2 3
Structure: The essay should be logically ordered, with an effective introduction, discussion and conclusion. There should be evidence of careful reading of your answers in the planning, preparation and writing.
1 5
Expression: The essay must exhibit clear expression, correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and referencing.
1 2 5
All - Assessment Task 2:Individual Tutorial Paper and Group Presentation
To apply your knowledge of a topic to develop a paper for the basis for class analysis and discussion whilst creating an environment of critical engagement and collaborative learning through tutorial engagement and participation in discussion.
Product: Oral and Written Piece
In the second tutorial, you are required to form a group, and select content from Weeks 3 to 12 (inclusive) from which each group member will devise, write and present a question with a referenced commentary derived from and linked to the readings set for that nominated week. The
purpose of the questions and commentaries is to guide and stimulate tutorial discussions in
exploring, analysing and understanding the specific tutorial topic for that week. Each group member is to submit the group's 500 word summary of the proposed discussion and presentation to Turnitin on Canvas prior to the Tutorial you are presenting in. Presentations are to occur in weeks 7-10, as negotiated with your tutor.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Content: Within a nominated group you are required to explain what elements of the weekly topic you are exploring and key aspect being highlighted.
1 2
Structure: Clarity of analytical, not simply descriptive, exploration of the material from the chosen reading.
1 2 5
Expression: A clear group tutorial presentation with delivery showing equitable input from team members.
2 3
Presentation: A group tutorial presentation that enables discussion through questions, dilemma etc and engages class members.
3 4
Participation Contribution: Written overview that provides a succinct (500 word) group reflection as to analysis of the presentation and intended tutorial discussion.
3 4
All - Assessment Task 3:Personal Reflective Essay
To demonstrate and critically apply emerging discipline knowledge through critical reflection
Product: Essay
This is an individual assessment. The evidence documents will be provided in a format of an essay addressing the relevant criteria. More information will be provided in class and on the course Canvas site
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critical reflection in relation to key issue of nominated reading.
1 3 4
Critical reflection in relation to key issue from Course films and documentaries.
1 3 4
Critical reflection in relation to key issue from Content theme covered in class.
1 3 4
Critical reflection on your personal position in relation to content of Course and own professional future. Discuss what has changed or not changed.
1 2 3 4
Use of professional presentation style, appropriate explanations and referencing.
3 5

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Recommended Ruth Hegarty 2003 Is That You, Ruthie? n/a Univ. of Queensland Press

Specific requirements

You are reminded that under no circumstances as a student enrolled in this course should you request information from or intrude upon Indigenous individuals and community organisations.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUniSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUniSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUniSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

Student Charter

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
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    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • UniSC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890