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HUS7004 Indigenous Cultural Studies

Semester 1, 2011 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : Centre for Australian Indigenous Knowledges
Version produced : 8 March 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Myra Singh
Moderator: John Williams-Mozley


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have occupied Australia for at least 60 000 years and during this time have developed rich, cultural, diverse and complex families and societies. This course introduces and exposes students to the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and societies through to a contemporary context. By completing this course students will gain a respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within Australia. This appreciation will lead to a greater awareness of the many races, cultures and languages within multi-cultural Australia. The modules of the course, taught in conjunction with the other Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program (IHEPP) courses of HUS7001 - Introduction to Computing Basics, HUS7002 - Nguya Goolpanie? What Did You Say? Study Skills and HUS7003 - Imbala - Hearing to Understand: Thinking to Write will further enhance students' communication skills. This course reinforces the research and communication skills developed through the IHEP Program


Using a process of self-paced instruction and research, the course follows a sequence of topics that focuses on Indigenous culture. A timeline approach, which follows Indigenous Australian lifestyles from creation, through invasion and contemporary issues, is adopted. The teaching strategy will be inclusive of culturally relevant instruction and perspectives. Hence, this enables students to feel more comfortable in addressing Indigenous and non-Indigenous viewpoints and histories.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. recognize and discuss the diversity of Indigenous Australian peoples and to recognize them as being the original occupants of this land;
  2. express their Indigenous Australian identity in a context that reinforces their unique cultural heritage, pride and dignity;
  3. discuss traditional Indigenous Australian societies and families before the invasion of Australia and trace family lineage;
  4. describe outcomes experienced by both Indigenous and non- Indigenous peoples during the invasion/contact period; and
  5. express an insight into the contemporary lifestyles, family structures and issues of Indigenous Australian peoples.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Spirituality and Creation 8.00
2. Aspects of Traditional Aboriginal Society 7.00
3. Aspects of Traditional Torres Strait Islander Society 7.00
4. The Invasion Period 7.00
5. Effects of Government Policies on Indigenous Peoples 7.00
6. Family Histories (including an excursion to John Oxley Library) 7.00
7. Discrimination and Racism 7.00
8. Education and Employment 7.00
9. Health, Housing and Welfare 7.00
10. Media and the Arts 7.00
11. Government Law and Policy Formation 7.00
12. Cultural Heritage and Language Maintenance 7.00
13. Native Title and Land Rights 7.00
14. Reconciliation and Post Millennium 8.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Broome, R 1982, Aboriginal Australians. Black Response to White Dominance, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
  • Finch, N 1997, The Torres Strait Islanders. A portrait of a Unique Group of Australians, Jacaranda Press, Milton, Queensland.
  • Singe, J 1989, The Torres Strait Island. People and History, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
  • Woolminton, J.ed 1988, Aborigines in Colonial Society, 1788 - 1850, University of New England, Armidale.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 30.00
Private Study 90.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 2000 WDS 50 50 10 Jun 2011

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Attendance at the scheduled Residential School is compulsory. This is required in order to meet course objectives. It is the student's responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To successfully complete an individual assessment item, a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. This statement must be read in conjunction with Statement 4 below.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without extenuating circumstances and without prior approval, then a penalty of a maximum of 5% of the assigned mark may apply for each working day late, up to a maximum of 10 working days, at which time a mark of zero can be recorded for that assignment.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade, a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks / grades obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no exam for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Given the details under (6) above, there are no deferred exams for this course. However, if any deferred/makeup work is granted, it would have to be submitted by a date set by the examiner.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. (a) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. (b) Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner. (c) In accordance with University's Assignment Extension Policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances such as documented ill-health. (d) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience. (e) Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements. (f) Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in the course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of the course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete-Makeup). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study. (g) Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or sit for an examination at the scheduled time, may apply to defer an assessment in the course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

Other requirements

  1. To be assured of a passing grade in this course, students will be required to obtain at least 50% for the assignments in aggregate; at lease 50% in the final examination; and an overall mark of at least 50%.

  2. Attendance and participation in residential schools is required to meet all course objectives and assessment.