AEP Goal 6: Understanding and respect for traditional and contemporary culture

6. To provide all Australian students with an understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional and contemporary cultures.

Your response to this goal needs to address but is not limited to the following points:

  • Details of how and to what extent Indigenous perspectives are reflected in curriculum at your University.
  • How the University addresses the cultural competency of its staff and students.
  • The University’s involvement with Indigenous community members in working toward this goal.
  • Indigenous Education/Support Unit’s role.

Curriculum

The units offered by the Oorala Aboriginal Centre

Students taking the units offered by Oorala:

 

2015

2016

OORA100 Aboriginal Resilience and the Arts

33

35

OORA200 Working with Aboriginal People

172

340

OORA300 Aboriginal Resilience and the Arts

8

5

OORA400 Working with Aboriginal People

12

5

OORA100

Core unit

Listed

Bachelor of Music

TRACKS Tertiary Preparation Program

Bachelor of Education (K-6 Teaching)

Diploma in Music Skills

Diploma in Professional Communication

OORA200

Core

Prescribed

Listed

Bachelor of Nursing
(Rule (a) and (d);
Rule (b),
Rule (c))

Bachelor of Social Work

Master of Nursing Practice

Advanced Diploma in Arts (Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business (Bachelor of Arts component – Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws (Bachelor of Arts component – Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (Bachelor of Arts component – Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Education (Primary) (Schedule 2 – Contextual Studies in Education; Rural and Remote Education and Indigenous Communities)

Bachelor of Audiometry (General Program)

Bachelor of Criminology

Bachelor of Criminology/Bachelor of Laws (Bachelor of Criminology component)

Bachelor of Education (K-6 Teaching) (English; Language; Mathematics; Science and Technology)

Bachelor of Educational Studies

Bachelor of Social Science (Aboriginal Perspectives)

Diploma in Business (Indigenous Organisation Management)

Diploma in Community Welfare and Wellbeing (General Program)

Diploma in Educational Studies

Diploma in Professional Communication

OORA300

Listed

Advanced Diploma in Arts (Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business (Bachelor of Arts component – Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science (Bachelor of Arts component – Indigenous Studies)

Bachelor of Media and Communications (Media and Culture; Writing and Publishing)

Bachelor of Social Science (Aboriginal Perspectives)

Bachelor of Theatre and Performance

Master of Arts (Theatre and Performance – Rule (a), (b))

OORA400

Prescribed

Listed

Master of Arts (Indigenous Studies – Rule (c))

Graduate Certificate in Arts (Theatre and Performance – Rule (a) and (b))

Master of Nursing

Master of Nursing (General Program

School of Rural Medicine

The Joint Medical Program (with the University of Newcastle) (JMP) is accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) as meeting AMC Standards for a primary medical program provided by an Australian University. In accrediting the JMP BMed program, the AMC has acknowledged that the graduates of the JMP meet the expected graduate attributes. The ability to work effectively, competently and safety in a diverse cultural environment include Indigenous cultures is one of the graduate attributes expected of a student completing the JMP. Graduates of the JMP are expected to have knowledge, understanding and skills in Indigenous Health. Students are required to complete the Indigenous Health component of the JMP BMed, and undertake the required assessments to demonstrate their knowledge of Indigenous Health and competencies in understanding the Indigenous culture. The course outcomes that were added to the BMedSc/MD which are specific to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders are:

  • demonstrate that they respect and embrace the history, culture and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and
  • demonstrate that they are committed to providing culturally competent, holistic, patient-centred care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

For the Unit MEDI1101A, the specific unit outcomes are:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the core principles of cultural competence and the skills for sensitively identifying patients of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin;
  • apply fundamental tools and principles of epidemiology to identify and measure the burden of illness of major health challenges facing Australia and other countries, including the gaps in health status and outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  • apply fundamental tools and principles of epidemiology to identify and measure the burden of illness of major health challenges facing Australia and other countries, including the gaps in health status and outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
School of Health
  • The BN curriculum is inclusive of the current guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and health set by the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives.
  • All undergraduate BN / MNP students in the School of Health undertake the Aboriginal Health unit delivered through Oorala.
  • Other units offer case studies and address specific health needs of ATIS peoples at a range of points within the BN and MNP courses.
School of Education
  • Acknowledgement of Country is included at the beginning of every formal lecture (and lecture recording).
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures and Histories is a cross-curriculum priority area in the Australian Curriculum.  Selected resources, texts for student analysis and readings incorporating Indigenous perspectives are included in unit materials and activities.
  • All Course and Unit Coordinators are specifically invited to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, readings and education implications in their courses and units.  All Education courses (undergraduate and postgraduate) include Aboriginal Education units, which detail Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and also cover the history of education, policy and government acts in Australia with implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
School of Environmental and Rural Sciences
  • Traditional Ecological knowledge is taught in first year in ECOL100 (Ecology: Concepts and Applications) and at higher levels (e.g. EM353 Conservation Biology). Our lecturers explain that Science is one of many knowledge systems, but that it is important to consider other systems for additional information that can inform holistic management of ecosystems. An important axiom of what we teach is that traditional knowledge depends on country for its context and significance, and that Aboriginal systems of knowledge are place and people specific.
  • Indigenous perspectives are examined in the first year curriculum in unit RSNR110: Sustaining our Rural Environment 1 - taken by all environmental, agricultural and engineering courses in the School of ERS through field excursions, lectures and in class discussions. At the end of this unit students: understand the importance of land to cultural and spiritual identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; know recent changes in legal opinion and government policy in relation to native title and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage; and appreciate the significance of changes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They are examined on their cultural understanding in the final examination;
  • ERS includes a core unit at third year – EM312 Environmental Impact Assessment - where students learn about indigenous considerations and requirements for development. There are speakers in from Office of Environment and Heritage to explain the policy and legal safeguards for indigenous cultural heritage. Students are examined on this;
  • Throughout the programs ERS also have a number of elective units that consider natural resource management and policy in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional and contemporary culture values are addressed.
  • In 2016 ERS had a review of Environmental Science courses at UNE and the Oorala Aboriginal Centre provided comprehensive consultation response as below.  Consequently, one of the recommendations in the review report was for increased and mapped integration of Indigenous perspectives into the degree and units, and to work with the Oorala Centre to explore pathways to better enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue the degrees.  The recommendations of the report are for a 5 year period. To work with the Oorala Centre is to be implemented.
School of Arts
  • The School of Arts Operational Plan 2016–2018 included a new initiative – Indigenous Arts and Knowledge – with the School to become a hub for the development of Indigenous-based arts curricula aimed at recruiting and retaining higher Indigenous student numbers and developing high-profile branding around Indigenous research and epistemologies, especially related to the creative arts.
  • COMM381/581: The Art of Documentary. This unit includes modules on The Language of (Australian) Cinema;
  • THEA318:  Minorities and Majorities in Australian Theatre. This unit explores issues of power and identity (including gender, race, class and sexuality) within the context of recent Australian Theatre. Some of the topics to be covered are: women's theatre; multicultural theatre; Aboriginal theatre; and gay and lesbian theatre.
School of Business

Indigenous content is embedded in a number of courses and units through UNE Business School, e.g. MM591 ‘Managing Across Cultures’ and MM545 ‘Organisational Leadership’ which includes topics regarding ‘Employing Indigenous Australians’; also MM200 ‘Contemporary Management’ has a broad focus on cultural diversity and social inclusion is addressed. The UNE Business School’s Master of Economic and Regional Development includes a major in Indigenous Futures which seeks to prepare students for a career involved in community and regional development projects.

School of Law

Within the UNE Bachelor of Laws program there are 6 core units and 6 elective units that include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content (LAW101, LAW157, LAW164, LAW272, LAW281, LAW301, LAW312, LAW313, LAW314, LAW341, LAW358, LAW389, LAW400. For example, the core unit LAW101, Law in Context, includes Race and the Law with a focus on the colonization and the historical treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

School of Science and Technology
  • PHAR210 Pharmacy Practice I - Team written case study: students are required to develop a case on cross-cultural communication when trying to explain how medicines work.  While not specifically stipulated, the majority of students choose to develop a case involving an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient;
  • PHAR222 Pharmacology I - Specific discussion of the differences in the risk factors and incidence/prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian populations;
  • PHAR310 Pharmacy Practice II - Specific discussion of cross-cultural communication with regards to patient counselling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with cardiovascular disease and discussion of differences in responses to medicines across different racial/ethnic groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals;
  • PHAR320 Pharmacy Practice III - Day-long Cultural Awareness training with Dave Widders, a local Anaiwan man. This was increased from the half-day session provided previously.  Specific discussion of cross-cultural communication with regards to patient counselling of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with mental health disorders and discussion of differences in responses to medicines across different racial/ethnic groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals;
  • PHAR410 Pharmacy Practice IV and PHAR420 Pharmacy Practice V - Reinforce discussions from PHAR310 and PHAR320 regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with cardiovascular disease and/or mental health disorders.
School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences
  • BCSS's Teaching and Learning Committee is exploring making OORA 200 a core or listed unit in courses offered by the School.
  • The Clinical Psychology Program provides students with a two day Intensive School delivered by an Aboriginal Psychologist, to support an understanding of sociocultural issues relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • The school has 21 units with some ATSI content including Indigenous languages, linguistics, Language and   the Law, psychology and sociology.
  • Indigenous issues are a feature of most of the criminology units (such as: CRIM314, CRIM324, CRIM305, CRIM306) with featured indigenous perspectives through guest lectures.
  • The staff at the Institute of Rural Futures (IRF) have research projects that deal with indigenous natural resource management which involves indigenous HDR students.
  • There are plans to develop an indigenous component on water allocations for a new post graduate course being developed for Geography and Planning.
  • New Geography degrees in Community Planning and Development will include units on indigenous issues and will likely be attractive to Local Land Councils.

Cultural competency

UNE’s Cultural Connections 2016 course was run by HR’s Senior Aboriginal Employment Consultant, in conjunction with the Oorala Aboriginal Centre. During 2016, 60 UNE staff participated in the workshops.

School of Rural Medicine (SRM)

Indigenous health is a core component of the JMP BMed program delivered by SRM. Students receive training in this component as well in communication skills with culturally diverse groups including Indigenous peoples. Staff are expected to attend cultural awareness training provided by UNE.

School of Arts

Staff are expected to participate in the University’s Cultural Immersion Program and are encouraged to avail themselves of other professional development opportunities.

School of Humanities

The School continues to contribute a range of units available in the TRACKS Tertiary Preparation Program. These currently include:

  • ARPA100            Great Excavations: Key Discoveries in Archaeology
  • ARPA104             Archaeology: Principles and Practices
  • ANCH111             Introduction to Ancient Rome
  • HIST150              Colonial Australia
  • HIST151              Modern Australia
  • PEAC100             Introduction to Peace Studies
  • RELS180             Exploring the Sacred
  • RELS182             World Religions Today
  • RELS184             Magic and the Supernatural in History and Culture

Other units with a focus on Aboriginal Australia include ARPA302 (Aboriginal Archaeology), ARPA352 (Public Archaeology and Management), HIST354 (Aboriginal History Since the Late 18th Century), and HIST338 (Australian Frontiers: Rural and Regional Histories).

The School continues to teach a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate units which focus on Indigeneity, addressed in the Australian context and comparatively with international examples. These units are available to Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and are offered in a range of awards. In the BA and related awards students can major in Indigenous Studies. Current (2017) Units taught are:

  • IDIG102                 Introduction to Indigenous Australia
  • IDIG103                 Indigeneity: A Global Experience
  • IDIG301/501          Analysing Change in Indigenous Societies: Politics and Public Policy
  • IDIG305/505          Indigenous Business and Community Development
  • IDIG306/506          Indigenous Health
  • IDIG311/511          Indigenous Peoples and Colonisation: Land & Nature.

In 2016, following the review of the Indigenous Studies Major, a revised Indigenous Studies major was agreed and has commenced in 2017. The course continues to offer national and global perspectives on indigeneity, including units taught through Oorala. Additionally, the School has developed a new Foundation unit (HUMS103) for the BA degree entitled “Controversies: Foundations of Critical Social Analysis” that includes case studies related to Indigenous issues in Australia.

School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences
  • A number of BCSS staff have completed the cultural awareness training made available to staff through the Human Resource Services directorate.
  • Senior staff in BCSS have met with Oorala staff to discuss strategies to enhance teaching and address issues and needs of Indigenous students.
  • There are number of ongoing research projects that involve aboriginal communities for example, a participatory model of community engagement and is collaborative with the Bourke and Enngonia Aboriginal communities. An informal session with community members has been hosted and catered by BCSS researchers in the field and it is anticipated that future sessions will be similarly hosted. Throughout the research it is hoped that access to education will be improved, as this access is a guiding principle of the research.
  • Sociology is intending on introducing an element of competence and sensitivity in their introductory unit (SOCY100) that will provide all Australian students with an understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional and contemporary cultures.

Involvement with Indigenous community members

School of Rural Medicine (SRM)

Members of the Executive at SRM are liaising with Oorala Aboriginal Centre to develop a tailored cultural awareness training program for staff of the School.

Lisa Shipley, Lecturer is in working negotiations with the AMS’s i.e. Pat Dixon Centre (Armidale); Armajan (Inverell & Walcha); Pius X (Moree & Toomelah) and Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service.

She has also:

  • attended meetings of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to advocate for equity in “Rural” Aboriginal education and health outcomes.
  • initiated discussions with Hunter New England Local Health District Population Health Aboriginal Team for future lecture and research relationships with the SRM.
  • established working relationship with UNE Futures Campus Parramatta who promoted Kruki through Sydney networks and through their social media
School of Arts

East Armidale New Indigenous Community Garden project is a collaborative project with involvement of the Aboriginal Oorala Centre, TAFE New England, Jobs Australia, Best Employment, the Clontarf Academy (Armidale High School), The Armidale School and UNE.

School of Health

The Coledale Health and Education Clinic is a partnership between the SoH, UNE and Walhallow Health (an Aboriginal Medical Service) for the purpose of providing health services to a disadvantaged community (primarily Aboriginal) and education opportunities to Indigenous and non-indigenous nursing and allied health students.

School of Humanities

The School has several researchers working directly with Indigenous communities on Indigenous issues. These include several staff in Archaeology such as Dr Mark Moore (e.g. Narran Lakes project), Prof Martin Gibbs (Walcha project), Adj Assoc Prof Wendy Beck (Working Ancient Wetlands ARC project) and Adj Prof June Ross (Kimberley Rock Art ARC Project). As UNE’s students are regularly involved in the field components of these research projects, they assist in helping students to develop an understanding of and respect for Aboriginal traditional and contemporary culture, alongside the many unit offerings outlined above.

School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences
  • The School of BCSS is committed to increasing a diverse range of indigenous voices in units, both through readings and invitations to guest lecture in units.
  • Geography and Planning staff on behalf of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment are expected to provide planning training for a number of Local Land Councils.
  • Criminology staff at the school work in partnership with the management committee of the Armidale Neighborhood Centre which supports family violence indigenous women.
  • An adjunct Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, Margaret Sharpe, met as a member of the Yugambeh Language Advisory Committee at the Yugambeh Museum at Beenleigh, Qld, in May to finalise the Yugambeh language orthography, and plan what should be covered in a last semester 2017 introduction of the course in Prep classes in a few schools on the Gold Coast, the traditional country of the Yugambeh people.
All enrolments

Enrolment year

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Bachelor of Medical Science

      

1

Bachelor of Medicine

4

3

2

6

7

8

5

Graduate Diploma in Applied Anatomy by Dissection

 

1

2

2

   

Total

4

4

4

8

7

8

6

Commencing
 

Enrolment year

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Bachelor of Medical Science

      

1

Bachelor of Medicine

1

 

1

3

4

3

 

Graduate Diploma in Applied Anatomy by Dissection

 

1

2

2

   

Total

1

1

3

5

4

3

1

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