(NAIITS Indigenous unit – open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants)

This unit introduces and examines colonization and decolonization through Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and global Indigenous philosophies, experiences, and theories. The unit will interrogate settler colonialism and the ways in which people participate in the process of settler colonialism knowingly and unknowingly. We will examine a range of issues resulting from settler colonization and the ways in which Indigenous people resist, self-determine, and revitalize an Indigenous worldview. Areas of concern for Indigenous communities include— research and education, wage labor, gendered and sexual violence, animals, Indigenous identity and tribal enrollment, environmental racism, resource extraction and pollution, and Indigenous and decolonizing methodologies. Through the readings, assignments, and discussions, we will zoom in and out of large scale and community based instances of colonization and decolonization.

Unit code: AH8002W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: History

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Use and appropriately reference a variety of primary and secondary sources important to the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australian history to build an evidence-based historical and theological narratives or arguments.


Describe a range of factual knowledge of the histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in historical, political, and religious settings


Articulate the relationship of religion and politics in the development of historical and contemporary Australia and its impact upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples


Identify and reflect on key ethical and historical debates relating to real-world situations/case studies relating to Australian Indigenous peoples over time and their experiences of Christianity and its denominations.


Students will develop and be able to articulate settler colonialism and the multiple frameworks that uphold it as well as the connection between heteropatriarchy and settler colonialism


Face to Face: Lectures, Discussion groups Online: Reading comprehension quizzes, online discussions

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barry, Amanda, Joanna Cruickshank, and Andrew Brown-May, eds. Evangelists of Empire?: Missionaries in Colonial History. Vol. 18. UoM Custom Book Centre, 2011.
  • Boyce, James. God’s Own Country? The Anglican Church and Tasmanian Aborigines. Hobart: Anglicare Tasmania, 2001.
  • Brock, Peggy, Norman Etherington, Gareth Griffiths, and Jacqueline Van Gent. Indigenous Evangelists and Questions of Authority in the British Empire 1750-1940: First Fruits. Brill, 2015.
  • Brodie, Nick. The Vandemonian War: a secret history Britain’s Tasmania invasion. Richmond: Hardie Grant Books, 2017.
  • Broome, Richard. Aboriginal Australians: A history since 1788. Melbourne: Allen and Unwin, 2019.
  • Carey, Hilary M. God's empire: religion and colonialism in the British world, c. 1801–1908. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Fanon, F. The wretched of the earth. Trans. by R. Philcox; introductions by Jean-Paul Sartre and Homi K. Bhabha. New York: Grove Press, 2004.
  • Harris, John. One Blood: 200 Years of Aboriginal Encounter with Christianity. A Story of Hope. Australians Together, 2013.
  • Maynard, John. Fight for liberty and freedom: the origins of Australian Aboriginal activism. Aboriginal Studies Press, 2007.
  • Mitchell, Jessie. In good faith?: governing Indigenous Australia through god, charity and empire, 1825-1855. ANU Press, 2011.
  • O'Brien, Karen. Petitioning for land: the petitions of First Peoples of modern British colonies. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.
  • Presland, Gary. The Eastern Kulin of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Central Victoria. Melbourne: Victoria Museum Publishing, 2010.
  • Reynolds, Henry. The Other Side of the Frontier: Aboriginal Resistance to the European Invasion of Australia. 2nd Edition. Hawthorn, Victoria: Penguin, 1990.
  • Rintoul, Stuart. The Wailing: a National Black Oral History. Port Melbourne: William Heinemann, 1993.
  • Van Toorn, Penny, and Penelope Van Toorn. Writing never arrives naked: Early Aboriginal cultures of writing in Australia. Aboriginal Studies Press, 2006.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Book Review - One 1000 word Book Review

Students will be required to write a book review on one of the books listed in the unit bibliography.

1000 20.0
Project Report or Project Journal - Thematic Project on chosen topic or issue identified as important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or World Indigenous communities relevant to the aims and learning outcomes of this unit.

Thematic project: You are to identify your chosen topic or issue identified as important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or World Indigenous communities relevant to the aims and learning outcomes of this unit. You will develop a written piece of work with a small literature review of scholarly and appropriate community resources. You can include a combination of primary and secondary sources for this assignment.

1500 30.0

In this assessment, you are required to critically apply your knowledge to develop an argument in relation to a specific topic. You are required to write an essay of 3,500 words in response to one of questions concerning issues raised by the whole unit.

3500 40.0
Forum - Discussion forum contributions

Participation is evaluated through multiple discussion forum contributions : reflections upon doing assigned reading, engagement, in class writing, group work, partner work, speaking in class, and in class assignments.

500 10.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-20 16:16:58 +1100