Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitMonash Indigenous Centre
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Liam Brady


Previously coded AAS2080


When Europeans arrived in Australia they brought with them a complex system of laws which were markedly different to those used and practiced by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years. The subsequent imposition of European law over Indigenous law created significant tensions especially in relation to Indigenous connections to land, sea and culture. This unit undertakes an interdisciplinary study related to Indigenous Law, land rights, Native Title, Indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage. The unit critically examines some of the emerging and recent debates involving: Native Title and mining; intangible heritage (art-song-story); and general public responses to Indigenous land rights.


Upon completion of this units students will be able to:

  1. Describe and critically compare both orally and in writing the major shifts in approaches to native title and land rights.
  2. Evaluate the prevailing attitudes which dominate current thinking about native title from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including law, history, anthropology and archaeology.
  3. Understand the importance of native title and land rights to social justice and reconciliation.
  4. Critically analyse legal, political and historical representations of native title and understand their relationship to debates concerning the cultural politics of representation and self-determination.
  5. Demonstrate both orally and in writing an understanding of native title debates in terms of historical and contemporary relations between Indigenous peoples and the law.


Major research essay(2500 words): 60%+ Self-reflective essay(1500 words): 30%
Oral presentation(500 words): 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


1st year sequence in a related Area of Study or with the permission of the unit coordinator