Units: AB Aboriginal Studies

AB100 Aboriginal People
This unit is the foundation unit in Aboriginal Studies. It aims at promoting, from an historical perspective, an understanding of Aboriginal people of Western Australia. It focuses on a broad range of ideas including Aboriginal and European contact and the ensuing disruption of traditional culture, interracial conflict and government legislation. The unit provides an introduction to a number of current issues affecting Aboriginal people, including health, education, law, business, cross-cultural relationships, land rights and Aboriginal self-determination.

AB203 Reading Reconciliation (Pre-requisite: AB100 or completion of 1st Year)
Reading Reconciliation engages with the enduring symbols of reconciliation and their inscription onto the national narrative. This unit explores key symbols such as the Redfern Address, ‘back turning’ at the Melbourne Reconciliation convention in 1996, ‘Sorry’, the Aboriginal Flag, ‘Treaty’, Sea of Hands, Bridge Walks and so on. Each one of these symbols can be ‘read’ (analysed) to tell a story about reconciliation. In this unit we situate symbols in their social, historic, political and cultural contexts to explore the representation of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations at the end of the 20 th century. It investigates the power of these symbols as sites of political mobilisation and resistance. It further asks what additional readings can be brought to bear in this ‘post-reconciliation’ era. This unit will explore post-colonial and anti-colonial theoretical frameworks and ask students what these symbols teach us about our relationships and our visions for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal co-existence.

AB304 Aboriginal People and the Media (Pre-requisite: AB100 or completion of 1st Year)
This unit has, as its goal to develop an appreciation of how issues, currently the focus of intense scrutiny and debate located within the discourse of Aboriginal Australia, are represented in the media. To achieve this aim the unit commences with a study of the historical role played by the media in shaping colonial attitudes towards indigenous Australians before moving on to examine the nature and depth of current television and newspaper coverage of Aboriginal affairs. The unit then explores theories and practices relating to the nature of the media before concluding with an examination of recent Aboriginal media initiatives in both the print and electronic mediums.

AB331 Aboriginal People and the Legal System
This unit will focus on certain aspects of Aboriginal law in communities, leading into an understanding of the legal implications of European settlement on the Aboriginal population. The content will then move into an exploration of the contemporary issues faced by Aboriginal people under current domestic and international law.

AB346 Australian Indigenous Languages: Specific (Broome Campus only)
The unit is based on materials produced for the Australian Indigenous Languages Framework, target languages component. There are two major areas of focus: the study of languages from across the Kimberley or Pilbara regions, and the learning of a specific (target) language. The proportion of time spent on each of these two areas will change according to local circumstances, i.e. availability of speakers of the target language. In acknowledgement that each Aboriginal language is recognised as belonging to a group of people, the details of this unit, such as choice of target language to be studied will be determined through consultation with Aboriginal people from the Kimberley or Pilbara. Topics included are: writing systems in use, development and role of pidgins and creoles, place names drawn from local languages, organisations involved in language maintenance. There is a field component especially for the study of a target language.

AB445 Australian Indigenous Languages: General (Broome Campus only)
The unit is based on materials produced for the Australian Indigenous Languages Framework, Australian languages component. The unit introduces students to the study of Aboriginal languages from across Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. Examples are drawn from specific languages with emphasis on those of the Kimberley and Pilbara. Languages will be looked at in historic, geographic and social contexts. The tools of descriptive linguistics are used for analysis and description. Topics covered will include language maintenance, the nature of language contact, creoles, and development of writing systems.

AB446 Australian Indigenous Languages: Specific (Broome Campus only)
The unit is based on materials produced for the Australian Indigenous Languages Framework, target languages component. There are two major areas of focus: the study of languages from across the Kimberley or Pilbara regions, and the learning of a specific (target) language. The proportion of time spent on each of these two areas will change according to local circumstances, i.e. availability of speakers of the target language. In acknowledgement that each Aboriginal language is recognised as belonging to a group of people, the details of this unit, such as choice of target language to be studied will be determined through consultation with Aboriginal people from the Kimberley or Pilbara. Topics included are: writing systems in use, development and role of pidgins and creoles, place names drawn from local languages, organisations involved in language maintenance. There is a field component especially for the study of a target language.

AB503 Aboriginal People in Contemporary Australian Society
This unit has been developed for students whose future careers require an in-depth understanding of the complex, multi-layered field of contemporary inter-cultural relationships. In particular it aims to develop in students an appreciation of this relationship within the socio-political context of conflicting values and beliefs, government policies and service delivery. To achieve this objective the unit commences with an examination of the nature and diversity of Aboriginal knowledge and experience as an introduction to the fundamental issues underlying contemporary debate over land, native title and regional agreements. The basic interconnections between federalism, bureaucracy and service delivery are then analysed at the macro level, through an examination of our current political/funding structures. The issues of relationships of power, community governance and the employment of non-Aboriginal expertise within the Aboriginal domain are dealt with in the context of local studies situated within WA. An exploration of Indigenous aspirations for future community development will be undertaken, considering the diverse perspectives of a number of prominent contemporary Indigenous leaders. The final module utilises case studies as a means of developing an understanding of what is happening “on the ground”.

AB531 Aboriginal People and the Legal System
This unit will focus on certain aspects of Aboriginal law in communities, leading into an understanding of the legal implications of European settlement on the Aboriginal population. The content will then move into an exploration of the contemporary issues faced by Aboriginal people under current domestic and international law.