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For millennia, the Indigenous peoples of Australia have understood and cared for their various environments and not only adapted to their surroundings but modified and managed them sustainably – living with the land rather than living off it. Increasingly, we are becoming aware that this frequently involved the application of sophisticated engineering principles and design.
In this subject, students will experience an on-country two-way learning exchange with the Gunditjmara community at the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape at Lake Condah in south-west Victoria.
Students will explore specific examples of Indigenous design and engineering, including the aquaculture system developed over thousands of years by the Gunditjmara people in the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape at Lake Condah in south-west Victoria. Assisted by elders from the Gunditjmara community, students will examine and gain an understanding of not only the technologies involved but also the physical and cultural context of the system, together with its underlying values.
Students will also explore the significance of Indigenous Cultural Heritage, protocols for working with Indigenous communities and will develop a proposal for a specific engineering design project identified with Gunditjmara community.
This subject will require two visits to Budj Bim, one visit in Week 3 (Saturday-Monday, inclusive) and another 4 day visit during the mid-semester break.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- An awareness of, and sensitivity to, Indigenous Heritage and Cultural values and apply this knowledge across a diversity of contexts;
- An understanding of, and an ability to, describe and interpret examples of Australian Indigenous engineering and design;
- An understanding and application of Aboriginal community consultation protocols and principles;
- An ability to communicate with, consult with, and respond to members of Indigenous communities to develop project design briefs;
- The skills to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution whilst considering Indigenous community needs and perspectives;
- An increased self-awareness, including being able to identify and articulate the things that shape your thinking;
- An ability to work effectively and harmoniously in teams;
- The ability to communicate effectively, not only with other professionals but also with Indigenous communities through written, oral and visual media.
Last updated: 20 February 2024