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Aboriginal Studies

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Aboriginal Studies

Aboriginal Studies is designed to foster intellectual, social and moral development by enabling students to think critically about the historical and contemporary experiences of Aboriginal peoples. Through this study students will develop a heightened understanding and appreciation of the concepts of social justice and shared histories, and will critically examine their role as active and informed citizens.

Aboriginal history and culture are fundamental to the development of Australian identity. Aboriginal Studies acknowledges the contribution of Aboriginal cultures and communities to Australian society. Aboriginal Studies seeks to provide a body of knowledge that is both accurate and unbiased. The course will provide students with ways of detecting and analysing bias in representations of Aboriginal peoples.

Aboriginal Studies is a unique experience for both Aboriginal students and non-Aboriginal students. Aboriginal students are provided with an opportunity for cultural affirmation and positive educational experiences while non-Aboriginal students are able to ‘learn together’ with Aboriginal peoples and communities. All students are encouraged to take an active role in the process of reconciliation. For all students, Aboriginal Studies provides a flexible structure to prepare for further education, training and employment.

 

Preliminary Course Pre-contact to 1960s

Part I – Aboriginality and the Land

Aboriginal peoples’ relationship to Country

  • Dispossession and dislocation of Aboriginal peoples from Country
  • Impact of British colonisation on Country.

 

Part II – Heritage and Identity

  • The Dreaming and cultural ownership
  • Diversity of Aboriginal cultural and social life
  • Impact of colonisation on Aboriginal cultures and families
  • Impact of racism and stereotyping.

 

Part III – International Indigenous Community: Comparative Study

  • Location, environment and features of an international Indigenous community
  • Comparison of the key experiences of the international Indigenous and an Australian Aboriginal community in relation to:

– Aboriginality and the Land

– Heritage and Identity.

 

Part IV – Research and Inquiry Methods:  Local Community Case Study

An aspect of the local community from pre-contact to the present

Methods and skills relating to:

  • Community consultation
  • Planning research
  • Acquiring information
  • Processing information
  • Communicating information.

 

HSC Course

 

1960s onwards (120 indicative hours)

 Part I – Social Justice and Human Rights Issues

 

A – Global Perspective

Global understanding of human rights and social justice

 

AND B – Comparative Study

A comparative case study on an Aboriginal and international Indigenous community, in relation to TWO of the following topics: 1. Health 2. Education 3. Housing 4. Employment 5. Criminal Justice 6. Economic Independence.

 

Different communities may be studied for each topic

 

Part II

A case study of an Aboriginal community for each topic

 

A. Aboriginality and the Land

 

  • The Land Rights movement and the recognition of native title
  • Government policies and legislation
  • Non-Aboriginal responses

 

OR B. Heritage and Identity

 

  • Contemporary aspects of Aboriginal heritage and identity
  • Government policies and legislation
  • Non-Aboriginal responses.

 

Part III – Research and Inquiry Methods – Major Project

 

A student’s Major Research project on an aspect of the HSC course

Methods and skills relating to:

 

• Community consultation

• Planning research

• Acquiring information

• Processing information

• Communicating information