Course Outline

SWK708 Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Course Coordinator:Vinathe Sharma-Brymer ( School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

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

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

What is this course about?


Professionals in many fields (social work, counselling, planning, teaching, environmental management, health) are expected to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities.  This course provides relevant multidisciplinary knowledge to critically reflect on current ways of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and develop specific strategies to effectively engage to deliver culturally inclusive practices.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online learning materials 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Face-to-face tutorials 2hrs Week 1 11 times

Course Topics

Colonisation and decolonising social work

Knowing, doing and being

Human rights

Racism and anti-racism

Theorietical and practice frameworks

Contemporary challenges (e.g. health, mental health, intergenerational trauma)

Effective engagement, consultation and collaboration practices

Valuing and embedding Indigenous knowledges

Community development

Practice framework


What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

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 Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Australian Association of Social Workers
1 Understand historical and contemporary social and political issues that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Knowledgeable
2 Identify personal and professional values in social work practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Ethical
1, 1.1, 2
3 Demonstrate knowledge and skills of culturally responsive social work practices with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
3, 3.2

* Competencies by Professional Body

Australian Association of Social Workers
1 Values and ethics
1.1 Practise in accordance with the AASW Code of Ethics
2 Professionalism
3 Culturally responsive and inclusive practice
3.2 Respect and strive to understand and promote the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their cultures

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

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


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

Early feedback will be provided in weekly tutorial activities and discussions and with feedback on reflective journal entries. 

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 Activity Participation Individual 10%
11 tutorials
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) In Class
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Oral Individual 20%
10-12 minute recorded video presentation
Week 7 Online Submission
All 3 Journal Individual 30%
2000 words
Week 11 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 4 Case Study Individual 40%
3000 words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Tutorial Attendance and Participation
AASW external accreditation requires mandatory attendance for skills based tutorials. Students must attend weekly tutorials and actively participate in all tutorial activities.
Product: Activity Participation
Tutorial attendance will be recorded to meet external AASW accreditation requirements. Student participation and engagement in tutorial activities assessed based upon attendance and participation across 11 tutorials.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Attendance and engagement in activities
All - Assessment Task 2:Video Recorded Poster Presentation
Present a poster presentation that demonstrates an aspect of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander history and its relevance for social work practice
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Oral
Recorded Video Powerpoint presentation
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Content: Demonstrate and applying social and political issues that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to a specific case study.
1 3
Communicate effectively and demonstrate high quality presentation skills.
Discusses the IAHA capability and apply it to a case study
Critically analyse policies, strategies and practice that seek to effectively address
Aboriginal disadvantage and empower Aboriginal communities
1 3
All - Assessment Task 3:Reflective Journal
To critically reflect on weekly content to demonstrate you understand key concepts.
Product: Journal
Your reflective piece will require you to analyse and critically reflect on the course content and the
themes presented throughout the course.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Relevant and critical reflection on course content and related study themes
1 2
Use of personal reflections and use of referenced evidence to demonstrate a clear understanding of course concepts.
1 2 3
Quality communication through effective writing, evidence referenced and documented through correct use of citations,
quotations and bibliography.
Apply critical reflection and critique of personal ethics and values for social work in relation to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
All - Assessment Task 4:Case Study Application
To critically apply your knowledge and skills to demonstrate your understanding of being culturally responsive.
Product: Case Study
This case study requires you to develop relevant multidisciplinary knowledge to critical analyse current ways of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals or communities and develop specific strategies to engage and provide culturally inclusive services.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Critically reflect on the application of  the historical and contemporary social and political issues that have impacted on the case study.
Identify and critically reflect on how your person and professional values in social work practice impact the case study.
Effectively demonstrate your knowledge and skills of as a culturally responsive social work practitioner in your ability to assess and provide an intervention.
Communicate effectively as a skilled culturally responsive social worker in your written work and support your writing using APA 7th referencing at the graduate level.

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. Directed study hours may vary by location. 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
Required Bindi Bennett,Sue Green 2019 Our Voices 2nd Red Globe Press

Specific requirements

On-line students are not required to attend campus. Students need a PC ( and access to the Internet to complete this course.

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

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

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.


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The SafeUSC 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
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

USC is committed to excellence in teaching, research and engagement in an environment that is inclusive, inspiring, safe and respectful. The Student Charter sets out what students can expect from the University, and what in turn is expected of students, to achieve these outcomes.

General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • USC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • USC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • USC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
    • USC Gympie - Student Central, 71 Cartwright Road, Gympie
    • USC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
    • USC Caboolture - Student Central, Level 1 Building J, Cnr Manley and Tallon Street, Caboolture
  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890