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This subject begins by considering the role of stories and relationships as a cultural medium for storing and communicating the knowledge and values of a society. We will raise questions such as: What is a natural environment or 'nature'? How do humans relate to nature? How do we socially and ethically position animals, plants or landforms? In asking these questions, this subject draws on the legal concept of lawful relations to support each student to think through their relationship with place as a fundamental part of their student praxis. Students will have the opportunity, as either a guest on, or custodian of, the Kulin nations, to articulate the intellectual importance of these relationships to the places themselves and to the Victorian Aboriginal peoples, upon whose land the various campuses of the University of Melbourne are based. In doing so, students will engage with Elders and community members, consider the long and ongoing history of activism spearheaded by Victorian Aboriginal people in the fight for land rights and have the opportunity to visit various cultural institutions. In engaging with places and people beyond the university, students will be asked to complicate what knowledge is produced and valued within different contexts. Students will also consider what place means to contemporary Aboriginal people. Through this engagement and these questions, binaries such as ‘remote’/‘urban’ will be challenged as one of the most populated Australian capital cities is inscribed as an Indigenous cultural hub and safe place for students as they complete their studies.
This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (extended) or the Bachelor of Science (extended).
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Articulate what an Indigenous student praxis means as either guest on, or custodian of, a Kulin Nation or Nations
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ongoing relationship between Aboriginal people, identity, culture, the environment and land
- Understand the significance of historical and contemporary political movements emergent from the Aboriginal Victorian context
- Work productively and collaboratively in a group in the field-visit setting
at the completion of this subject, students should gain generic skills in the following areas:
- Critical and creative thinking, based on an understanding of the connections between story, knowledge, environmental ethics and place
- Oral communication
- Collaborative and individual learning
- Research essay writing
- Interdisciplinary thinking
Last updated: 10 November 2023