Indigenous Sport, Education and Culture (EDUH4053)

This unit provides students with a socially critical perspective on the range of social, cultural and economic issues facing indigenous Australians and focuses on Koori culture, community and education.

The unit examines the history of white Australia from the perspective of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and the social, economic and health disadvantages that threaten indigenous communities across Australia.

Although the unit does examine the issues involved with formal schooling, it also adopts a broader view to include the range of learning and development that takes place through the interactions of day-to-day cultural practices such as sport. Sport is one of the few areas of Australian social life where our indigenous peoples have excelled.

While the success of a few sportspeople at an elite level should not be allowed to distract us from the poor health, economic and educational status of Koori people, it can provide for the development of strong communities built around sport.

The issues addressed may resonate with students from other countries where indigenous peoples and other minorities face similar challenges but Indigenous Sport, Education and Culture also provides students with experiences of indigenous Australian culture and examines issues that are uniquely Australian and particular to indigenous Australians.

Field trips

In addition to lectures and tutorials, field trips are arranged through which students gather data for a reflective research essay. The trips are informed by lectures and readings, and make an invaluable contribution to a learning journey over the semester, allowing the students to develop an understanding of indigenous Australian culture and the issues raised in the unit.

The crucial relationship between physical context and course content means Indigenous Sport, Education and Culture cannot be taught outside Australia and will provide students with a deep and powerful educational experience. Typical field trips include visits to:

  • a local sports high school that has a high number of Koori students

  • the Aboriginal Youth Rugby League competition

  • an Aboriginal Netball match

  • the Youths at Risk surfing program.

About the course coordinator

John Evans