HUMN 3013 Australian Colonial History

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102004

Coordinator Carol Liston Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to the 18th and 19th century foundations of modern Australia, and to the social, economic, political and cultural events that shaped Australian history. Students will be encouraged to consider the process of historical change within an historiographical framework and will use primary sources to explore some of these debates. Some of the themes explored will be colonisation, convictism, class, urbanisation, gender, land, indigenous society, culture and political developments leading to the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline History

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects HUMN 1019 - Foundations of Modern Australia HUMN 3014 - Australian History 1860-1920


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the skills necessary for an analytical approach to historical documents
  2. Use skills of analysis, synthesis and fluid expression in oral and written presentation
  3. Describe the various personalities, developments and forces- social, economic, legal, political, geographical and religious- responsible for shaping Australian society in the colonial period.
  4. Evaluate historical events through the use of primary sources.

Subject Content

Topics will be chosen from the following:
- European-Aboriginal relations
- British motives for occupation: gaol, trading post or strategic colony?
- Convict Australia: The Convict system and its Legacy
- Geographical expansion: land policies, pastoralism, rural settlements, immigration
- political and constitutional Developments
- cultural and social life: education, religion, art and literature, welfare
- Late 19th-century Australian cities and urbanisation
- immigration
- economic and technological change, such as mining, railways
- colonial politics and The emergence of The Federal movement
- Employment - work in the cities, work in the country; women and work
- The labour movement
- developing/changing attitudes to race, class, gender and social reform/politics
- development of Australian identity through social change, cultural development and recreation


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Online tutorial portfolio (reading summaries & quizzes) 1200 words 30 N Individual
Written assignment 1 2000 words 40 N Individual
Written assignment 2 1200 words 30 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • No text book. Book of documents and readings will be provided in hard copy and on-line