Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


The School has 2 flagship subjects that are core components of many CSU degrees.

IKC101: Indigenous Cultures, Histories and Contemporary Realities

This is a core subject in many programs offered at CSU including:

  • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood & Primary)
  • Bachelor of Education (Health & Physical Education)
  • Bachelor of Education (K-12)
  • Bachelor of Education (Technology and Applied Studies)

Student numbers have grown in this subject from 407 students in 2010 to 767 in 2014.

IKC101 has been designed in module format within a cultural competence framework to provide students with knowledge and understanding of pre- and post-invasion Indigenous Australian cultures, including the continuity and change between past and present culture; the impact of historical policies and practices upon Indigenous Australian communities and families; issues which are of concern to contemporary Indigenous Australians including the international human rights framework, health, education, employment, land, and criminal justice; strategies and skills for working effectively and with confidence in Indigenous Australian contexts or with Indigenous Australian colleagues. It is designed to develop your knowledge of Indigenous Australian cultures, histories and the contemporary issues that impact upon Indigenous Australian peoples today. The School of Indigenous Australian Studies is committed to the process of reconciliation and social justice through education, and considers that the ability to critically examine ideas about and events that impact on Indigenous people to be a crucial aspect of Indigenous Australian Studies. This subject is also designed to increase your ability to examine and analyse the relationships between Indigenous people and the rest of Australian society both in the past and the present.

IKC100: Indigenous Health

This subject is is taught in many health related programs including:

  • Bachelor of Speech & Language Pathology (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Podiatry (Honours) Bachelor of Clinical Science
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours), Bachelor of O.T. (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Health & Rehabilitation Science
  • Bachelor of Medical Science
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine)
  • Bachelor of Medical Science)/ Bachelor of Forensic Biotechnology

Student numbers have grown in this subject from 81 students in 2010 to 552 in 2014.

IKC100 Indigenous Health introduces students to Indigenous Australian perspectives on health and well-being, and Indigenous-community controlled models of health care. It explores the underlying historical, political, social, economic and cultural factors contributing to contemporary Indigenous ill-health. It considers relationships between race, racism and health care to further explain Indigenous health outcomes. Students will apply a cultural competence approach to personal and professional models of health. The subject draws comparative lessons from Canada and New Zealand in Indigenous health outcomes. It is designed to develop your knowledge of Indigenous culture, forms of knowledge and histories as they relate to the field of health. The School of Indigenous Australian Studies is committed to the process of reconciliation and social justice through education and considers that the ability to critically assess and evaluate ideas about and events that impact on Indigenous people to be a crucial aspect of Indigenous Australian Studies, and therefore this subject is also designed to increase your ability to examine and analyse the relationships between Indigenous people and the rest of Australian society both in the past and the present.

A major in Indigenous Australian Studies has been developed with subjects that include:

IKC102: Indigenous Australian Cultures

This subject introduces students to the richness and diversity of Indigenous Australian cultures. It explores the all-encompassing spiritual belief system that forms the foundation of Indigenous Australia worldviews, law and lore and outlines the nature of the classificatory system of kinship which creates a web of relatedness, uniting people to people and people to country and its flora and fauna. It examines the economic organisation of Indigenous Australian societies, including systems of trade, and the sustainable land management practices which have ensured survival and adaption to climatic and environmental changes across time. It also introduces students to the archaeology of Indigenous Australia and the role of archaeology today.

IKC103: Indigenous Australian Histories

This subject draws upon primary and secondary sources, including the historical records and findings of national inquiries, to examine the nature of the invasion and subsequent colonisation of Australia and the impact of colonial and post federation policies and practices on Indigenous Australian peoples and cultures. It begins with an overview of political, economic and social life in Great Britain during the 18th century, the history of transportation of British and Irish prisoners to offshore penal colonies, including Australia, and the ideologies which supported the expansion of the British Empire.

IKC200: Contemporary Indigenous Australian Realities

This subject has been designed in module format to provide students with knowledge and understanding of contemporary Indigenous Australian cultures, including the continuity and change between past and present culture; the impact of historical policies and practices upon Indigenous communities and families; issues which are of concern to contemporary Indigenous Australians in the areas of health, education, employment, land, and criminal justice; to situate this knowledge and understanding within broader understandings of Social Justice, Human Rights and Reconciliation.

IKC201: Comparative Indigenous Studies

This subject adopts a comparative method of inquiry to enable students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the commonalities and differences in experience of Indigenous Australians and other indigenous nations subjected to the processes of European invasion, colonialism and neo-colonialism. It builds upon the knowledge gained in previous subjects offered within the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Educational Studies Indigenous Studies Major and extends student understanding of Indigenous cultures, histories and aspirations today. The subject reflects the aims and objectives of the CSU degree principles, Indigenous Education Strategy and CSU's commitment to reconciliation and building of cultural competency through inclusive education. 

Adopting a comparative method of inquiry, this subject introduces students to the cultures, histories and contemporary realities of the First Nation Peoples of North America, Canada and New Zealand (Aotearoa) and explores the commonalities and differences of experience between Indigenous Australians and these Nation groups subjected to the processes of British colonisation. A range of contemporary issues which impact upon the indigenous peoples of North America, Canada and New Zealand will be examined, including indigenous struggles for recognition of rights in relation to land, self-determination and treaty rights, allowing students the opportunity to learn from international developments in indigenous affairs and how these developments may apply to the Australian context.

IKC202: Indigenous Australians and Literatures: Critical Endeavours

Students will be introduced to Indigenous Australian writing, performance and cinema to explore the ways Indigenous Australian peoples use creative endeavours to express Indigenous perspectives and challenge dominant culture control over Indigenous cultural expression. Critical perspectives are applied to identify underlying constraints inherent in non-Indigenous portrayals of Indigenous Australian peoples and cultures and interpret texts produced by Indigenous Australians for their political and cultural activism. Students will consider and participate in contemporary literary spaces in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous content and perspectives are negotiated.

IKC300: Indigenous Australians and the Politics of Race and Representation

This subject provides a foundation for understanding the nexus between politics and race representation. The subject focuses on social and cultural constructions of race and identity with a view to understanding the role of the media in such constructions. Relevant theories of discourse will also be considered in locating such concepts within a cultural studies framework to which students may apply professional cultural competencies. The subject reflects the aims and objectives of the CSU degree principles, Indigenous Education Strategy and CSU's commitment to reconciliation and building of cultural competency through inclusive education. This subject introduces students to concepts and theories of race and outlines the historical representations of group Indigeneity in Australia. It explores the social and cultural constructions of race and national identity and aligns them with concepts of representation. It critiques the impact of media representations of Indigenous Australians on contemporary perceptions of Indigeneity and examines the intersections between such perceptions and professional cultural competencies.

IKC302: Human Rights and Indigenous Australians

This subject introduces students to the United Nations and domestic systems of human rights and critically examines Australia's history of upholding the rights of Indigenous Australians. It is a third year level subject offered within the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Educational Studies Indigenous Studies Major which extends student understanding of Indigenous Australian histories and aspirations today. The subject reflects the aims and objectives of the CSU degree principles, Indigenous Education Strategy and CSU's commitment to reconciliation and building of cultural competency through inclusive education. This subject introduces students to the United Nations and domestic systems of human rights and critically examines Australia's history of upholding the rights of Indigenous Australians. It investigates the role of various UN treaties, conventions and committees, including the International Committee for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, and domestic bodies such as the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and domestic legislations such as the Racial Discrimination Act and Racial Vilification laws. It also examines the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and how this applies to Indigenous peoples of Australia.

IKC303: Indigenous Australians and the Politics of Control

This subject views policy and legislative developments since 1967 from Indigenous standpoints and aims to introduce students to contemporary issues in politics, policies and legislation that pertain to Indigenous Australians. It is offered within the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Educational Studies Indigenous Studies Major. The subject reflects the aims and objectives of the CSU degree principles, Indigenous Education Strategy and CSU's commitment to reconciliation and building of cultural competency through inclusive education This subject frames policy developments in Indigenous affairs since 1967 from Indigenous standpoints and critically examines Indigenous politics in relation to a dominant political structure. Specific policy developments and legislative determinations are critically examined from Indigenous perspectives and considered in light of Indigenous pursuits of rights and self-determination. Students will become familiar with policy developments since 1967, including the discourses that formed the basis of initial federal Land Rights legislation, the constraints of self-management and will critically analyse current Government initiatives including the Northern Territory Emergency Response and Closing the Gap. This subject explores the workings of policy implementation and how this impacts on the pursuit of Indigenous interests. Students will be asked to examine their position in relation to Indigenous politics.

Hybrid Subjects

The School of Indigenous Australian Studies teaches a number of hybrid subjects in education, nursing, justice studies, psychology, management and sport. These subjects have Indigenous Australian Studies (taught and assessed by the CIS) and discipline-specific Indigenous Australian Studies which is taught and assessed by the convening school.