1 x 50-minute lecture weekly
1 x 100-minute workshop weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of GEOG8761, INDG3761, INDG8761 has been successfully completed
Topic description
Caring for country is the term many Indigenous Australian people use to describe their connection with and approach to land and sea management. Caring as Country is a term many Indigenous Australians feel better represents their connection to country. The topic Caring for/as Country aims to develop the capacity of students to engage respectfully, effectively and equitably in cross-cultural collaborations, particularly with Indigenous Australians. The topic presents Indigenous perspectives on caring for country and also encourages students to engage with their own cultural backgrounds to challenge the dominance of Enlightenment thinking in Natural Resource Management (NRM). It engages students in discussion of the continued colonisation of mainstream NRM structures and practices and offers mechanisms to address this. Students are provided with an overview of the contemporary challenges, opportunities and innovations in protected area management, Aboriginal heritage, mining, native title, Indigenous governance, Intellectual property, tourism and international Indigenous contexts.
Educational aims
  1. Develop the capacity of students to engage effectively, equitably, ethically and respectfully in cross-cultural collaborations
  2. Define and discuss some of the differences in worldviews underpinning Indigenous Australian Caring for Country and Western approaches to Natural Resource Management (NRM)
  3. Increase the awareness of students of their own cultural perspectives on human-environment relations and challenge them to consider other ways of thinking
  4. Privilege Indigenous knowledge and perspectives and Caring for Country
  5. Increase awareness of race relations in Australia in the context of ‘country’ and the challenges facing Indigenous Australians in contemporary Australia
  6. Using a range of case studies, introduce students to contemporary debates in which the competing interests of Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders have led to conflict, compromise and innovation
  7. Identify and discuss key challenges Indigenous groups face in working collaboratively with NRM practitioners and institutional structures
  8. Provide opportunities for students to engage with pedagogical, teaching and learning approaches for working with students about Indigenous issues
  9. Develop an understanding of cultural and Intellectual Property rights and ownership related to caring for/as country
  10. Provide opportunities for students to develop knowledge, skills and mechanisms for addressing historical injustices and for engaging with Indigenous groups in effective and equitable ways
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of this topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the concept of Caring for Country and the importance of this perspective
  2. Recognise the complexity and influence of cultural assumptions on all sides of cross-cultural engagement
  3. Communicate effectively through oral and written assessments
  4. Appreciate the importance of ethical behaviour in cross-cultural engagement
  5. Recognise power relations and race relations as they occur in NRM
  6. Engage more effectively in contemporary issues and debates regarding Indigenous Australia
  7. Develop ideas for pedagogical, teaching and learning approaches for working with students about Indigenous issues
  8. Develop skills and knowledge that can be applied to effective cross-cultural engagement