Indigenous Australia Course: Rights, Issues and Culture

Indigenous Australia Course: Rights, Issues and Culture

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As many before have called for recognition and reconciliation, the eloquent words of Uluru Statement From The Heart stirs one’s soul and conscience:

...We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. ...In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

Uluru Statement From The Heart

Similar words and sentiment were conveyed in the recent article Moment of Truth – History and Australia’s Future, Quarterly Essay, Issue 69, 2018 by Professor Mark McKenna for example:

It is not only the absence of any acknowledgment of the country’s violent foundation [in Canberra’s Parliamentary Triangle] that makes the silence palpable, but also 65,000 years of Indigenous occupation. ...More than a century after federation, Australians still struggle to include Indigenous people in our vision of the nation.

Professor Mark McKenna

Learning Aims

In this Indigenous Australia course, participants will explore, seek to appreciate and discuss current issues and cultural perspectives. This sociology course will encourage the study of evidence-based sources and analysis. Sources will include the literature, research as well as other expressions of ideas, such as those conveyed through video, music and art.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this Indigenous Australia course you will:

  • learn, examine and discuss issues that have shaped the trajectory of the original inhabitants.
  • consider and discuss the post ‘Uluru Statement of the Heart’ and the advisory body, Indigenous Music, Art, History, Food, Land Rights, Literature and ‘Closing the Gap’ with regard to education and health.
  • study and appreciate key cultural perspectives and artefacts.

Course Content

In this Indigenous Australia course the following topics will be discussed and considered:

Topic one: Indigenous Music

Guest Speaker: Professor Aaron Corn

Topic two: Post Uluru Statement 'From The Heart Can we have a bipartisan approach?'

Guest Speaker: Senator Patrick Dodson, Chair of Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Australian Federal Parliament, Canberra.

Topic three: Indigenous Land Rights and Treaties

Guest Speaker: Harry Hobbs, Ph.D. Student of Professors Megan Davis and George Williams

Topic four: Indigenous Food History and Indigenous Art

Guest Speaker: Dr Charmaine O’Brien

Topic five: Australian Indigenous Biography - Tracker: Stories of Tracker Tilmouth

Guest Speaker: Professor Frank Bongiorno

Topic six: Closing the Gap

Guest Speaker: Sam Jeffries

Topic seven: Indigenous History – Moment of Truth – History and Australia’s Future

Guest Speaker: TBC

Topics and speakers may be subject to change.

Intended Audience

This Indigenous Australia course is suitable for anyone who is interested and concerned about ‘Australian Indigenous Rights, Issues and Culture’.

Delivery Style

This Indigenous Australia course will be delivered as an interactive workshop consisting of an instructor-led lecture, guest speakers and group discussions. It will also be offered via video link to those in international or regional locations. Registered participants may connect to the video link using Zoom (available free) and a reliable internet connection is required. Video connection details will be made available to each participant prior to the course.

Recommended Reading

  1. Referendum Council, Uluru Statement from the Heart, National Constitutional Convention, Uluru, Central Australia, May 2017.
  2. Professor Mark McKenna, Moment of Truth – History and Australia’s Future, Quarterly Essay, Issue 69 (2018), pp. 1-86.
  3. Referendum Council, Final Report of the Referendum Council 30 June 2017.
  4. Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  5. Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Interim Report, 30/7/18.
  6. Video arising from Garma Festival 2018 [Noel Pearson, Richard Flanagan etc].
  7. Closing the Gap – The Next Phase – Public Discussion Paper
  8. Alexis Wright, Tracker: stories of Tracker Tilmouth (Artarmon, Giramondo Publishing, 2017).
  9. Professor Bill Gammage, The Biggest Estate on Earth – How Aborigines made Australia (Crows Nest, Allen & Unwin, 2012).
  10. Professor Aaron Corn, Reflections & voices: exploring the music of Yothu Yindi with Mandawuy Yunupingu, Sydney, Sydney University Press, 2009.
  11. Katelyn Barney (ed.), Collaborative ethnomusicology : new approaches to music research between indigenous and non-indigenous', Melbourne, VIC: Lyrebird Press, 2014.
  12. Charmaine O’Brien, The Colonial Kitchen: Australia 1788-1901, (Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
  13. Evelyn Araluen, Silence and resistance: Aboriginal women working within and against the archive, Continuum, 32(4), 487-502.
  14. Gilchrist, S. (2018), Reservoirs of Spiritual Power: The Presence and Promise of the Ancestors, In Leesa K Fanning (Eds.), Encountering the Spiritual in Contemporary Art. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press..

Course Prerequisites

This Indigenous Australia course has no prerequisites and is open to all members of the public.

About your instructor

Margaret McDonough-Glenn

Margaret McDonough-Glenn has a B.A. (Hons) from University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment from Hawkesbury Community College, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She has taught at university, community college and TAFE in Australia. In the pursuit of her doctoral dissertation she researched in many famous institutions such as Bodleian Library, Oxford, Cambridge, London, London School of Economics, Institute of Historical Research, Institute of Commonwealth Studies and Keele universities, United Kingdom, Harvard, Texas, Stanford, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Columbia, Chicago and UCLA, universities, United States of America, University of Waterloo, Canada, Australian research institutions and universities in Melbourne, Adelaide, Hobart, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane. She also gave numerous international research papers for example at: Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, International Standing Conference for the History of Education, Sydney, Australia and International Congress of Historical Sciences, Oslo, Norway. She has interviewed the professors of Australian historiography venturing beyond Australia to access their papers. In 2017 she attended and presented a paper at an international education conference about education for older persons.

Over the last eight years Margaret has been teaching lifelong learning; the many topics she has covered include civic education, women’s human rights: ideas, issues and history, indigenous issues and human rights, same sex marriage and human rights and in particular third phase education. Recent courses that she has taught include: Social Justice Course: Issues for Australians, Can Women Have It All: Family, Career and Power, Book Club, Hot Topics for 2016 Federal Election and State of Education in Australia. With regard to the last course for the first time a vice chancellor addressed the class, Professor Caroline McMillen of the University of Newcastle.

In 2012 she adopted Skype video that opened the world to her Sydney classes, originally Skyping beyond the borders of New South Wales to South Australia and Victoria. Since then she has gone on to Skype the world securing guest speakers from Russia, United States of America and United Kingdom, to Harvard University, MIT, London University, University of Kentucky, University of Toronto.

In 2017 Margaret began teaching at UON, Sydney campus. In the last semester 2017, Margaret’s courses ventured into the new pioneering field of transnational education and university to university video conferencing. Working with Professor Andrew White of University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, UNNC, we pioneered university to university video conferencing transnational education, ‘Ideas from Australia and China’ course between University of Newcastle, Sydney campus and University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.

In first semester 2018 University of Newcastle, Sydney campus course, Issues and Insights for South Africa was offered to Sydney students and for the first time via video link to those in international or regional locations.

Margaret strives to advance further the new pioneering field of transnational education and video conferencing; Margaret passionately believes that all students should have access to the latest topics, leading academics, professors, intellectuals, public figures, politicians, ideas and resources regardless of their background or location.

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