HUMN 3017 Australian Indigenous History from Federation to Reconciliation

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101872

Coordinator Timothy Rowse Opens in new window

Description This subject aims to explore the history of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians from Federation (1901) to the present. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Australia became a nation without paying much attention to the first Australians. It was widely assumed that they would die out or at least remain an insignificant welfare problem. Instead, these first Australians survived and grew as a minority population; they also increasingly made themselves heard as a people - so successfully that in 2008 the Parliament of Australia felt obliged formally to apologise for their years of mistreatment. This subject highlights two stories: the non-Indigenous transition from complacency to engagement, and the survival and increasing political effectiveness of the descendants of Australia's first peoples.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Indigenous Studies

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


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. describe and date the principal changes in public policy towards Aborigines over the period 1901-2010
  2. identify the regional diversity of colonial structures and of Indigenous Australian's experiences
  3. contextually interpret primary sources
  4. critically appraise historical controversy

Subject Content

. The political, constitutional and economic position of Indigenous Australians in 1901
. Queensland's 1897- early 1920s
. The ideology and practice of 'protection'
. The rise of Aboriginal critics
. Torres Strait: industry and ethnic difference
. 1937 - the impossibility of a national policy
. Aborigines and TSIs in World War Two - a new deal?
. Assimilation in theory and practice
. Indigenous responses to assimilation
. The 1967 referendum
. Inclusion of Aborigines and TSIs in welfare state
. Land rights
. Remembering and debating 'the Stolen Generations'
. How the High Court rewrote Australian history
. The contested meanings of 'reconciliation'

Prescribed Texts

  • Broome, Richard. Aboriginal Australians : A History since 1788. Fully rev. 4th ed. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2010.