Courses & Units

Cultural Awareness/Aboriginal Studies ESH390

Launceston, Cradle Coast


This unit responds to the attempts at national, state and Territory levels to include consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander1 issues, histories, cultures and perspectives in the curriculum. The unit has four foci which are integrated: identity/ nationalism, history, ethics and pedagogy. It considers these as they relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion in education, teaching and broader social and ethical context of Australian society. It enables students to recognise that cultural engagement in any classroom is contingent on the teacher's awareness of his/her own cultural positioning both as an individual and as a political and social power in society. The unit also provides students with key skills in understanding international constructions of nationalist histories so they will be able to reflect on how Australia's national history was written with silences on abuse of Indigenous Australians. It enables students to be more able to position themselves in understanding the so-called „history wars‟. The content and reflection will enable students to own a position from which to teach the shared Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous history since colonisation and to teach Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

The unit fosters deep listening and engagement with ethical issues that are vital to being an effective and transformative teacher. The unit explores „non-Indigenous Australianness‟ as an identity and a cultural form in society created in Indigenous presence. Students are encouraged to reflect on the imaginings and re-imaginings of Australianness and Indigenousness over time and how these impact on Indigenous students and non-Indigenous teachers‟interactions with students. Students consider how imaginings of Australianness in art, story, verse, film and Australian society include and exclude Indigenous peoples and history. They consider the curriculum and the „hidden curriculum‟ in Indigenous studies. Students are encouraged to cultivate ethical understandings to interrogate what it meant, and means, to be part of a cultural (non-Indigenous) majority and/or part of a cultural (Indigenous) minority in Australia.


Unit name Cultural Awareness/Aboriginal Studies
Unit code ESH390
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School Faculty of Education
Discipline Education
Teaching staff

Dr Mary O'Dowd

Level Advanced


Location Semester Attendance options Available to
Launceston Semester 2 On-Campus Off-Campus International Domestic
Cradle Coast Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 13/7/2015 10/8/2015 31/8/2015 16/10/2015

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see Withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2015 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2015 will be available from the 1st October 2014.

About Census Dates



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
1 2015: $769.00 2015: $1,812.00 070105

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


Teaching Pattern

On-Campus students: 1 x 1 hour lecture (13 Weeks) available only on-line; and a 1 x 2 hour face to face tutorial (13 Weeks) 

Online students: Lectures, weekly activities and discussions


Essay (20%); peer review process (20%) Aboriginal Studies Presentation and learning Sequence (60%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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