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IDK2203 Indigenous Environmental Perspectives and Knowledge

Semester 2, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 18 May 2022


An understanding of Indigenous environmental perspectives and knowledge is crucial for more inclusive and effective natural resource management. This understanding is also necessary for the development of cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity for practitioners. The course is of value to environmental scientists, engineers, field biologists, natural resource managers, conservation biologists, wildlife managers, water scientists, and professional ecologists.

This course will explore Indigenous relationships with country and how these knowledges and perspectives can be incorporated into resource management. This course introduces students to perspectives on Indigenous relationships to biodiversity, lands, waters, and cultural sites. It will explore Indigenous philosophies, knowledges, systems, and processes as they apply to country, land, and the natural environment more generally. The meaning and role of the concept of Country and its importance to Indigenous health and wellbeing will be explored. Students will critically review the historic and contemporary contexts for Indigenous natural resource management and its contribution to broader conservation and sustainability of Australia's natural ecosystems. The course will also provide students with knowledge and skills to engage and collaborate successfully with Indigenous peoples in many land or natural resource management issues. Students will develop an understanding of intercultural awareness by critically reviewing their own values, beliefs, and worldviews.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. examine Indigenous perspectives and knowledge systems in relation to biodiversity and land, water and natural resources, and explain how these may differ from western scientific perspectives;
  2. describe the significant role of Country in the maintenance of Indigenous Australian health and well-being;
  3. describe how knowledge of Indigenous Australian cultures, histories and contemporary contexts, facilitate or challenge current models of environmental management in Australia;
  4. critically evaluate key considerations in approaching engagement with Indigenous people in natural resource management and environmental contexts; and,
  5. engage effectively in cross-cultural environmental and resource management within a cultural safety framework.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to cultural landscapes 12.00
2. AIATSIS Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research 8.00
3. Overview of Indigenous knowledges and processes and the significance of ‘Country’ 10.00
4. Indigenous environmental knowledge 20.00
5. Biodiversity and cultural diversity: the role of cultural heritage within current biodiversity conservation initiatives and legislation 20.00
6. The Indigenous estate and opportunities for Indigenous people to engage in land, sea and natural resource management 20.00
7. Approaches to engaging Indigenous people in land, sea and natural resource management 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Case Study No 45 1,2,3,4,5
Assignments Written Reflection (personal/clinical) No 25 1,2,3
Assignments Oral Presentation (ind, grp, mltmd) No 30 1,2,3,4,5
Date printed 18 May 2022