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Indigenous Studies: Australia and New Zealand

via Open2Study

This course may be unavailable.


In this course we build the distinctive stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia and Māori people in Aotearoa New Zealand over four modules. Our aim is to provide you with an understanding of our past and present realities.

In the first module we overview the arrival of both Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and settlement in our lands, exploring our respective culture and societies. In the 2nd module we detail the period of colonisation for both peoples, from the first European claims of discovery and ownership to establishment of Colonial Governments, the frontier wars and the disruption to our traditional societies and ways of life and the colonial containment practices that followed.

The third module’s focus is how colonisation impacted on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Maori from the mid 1800s until the late 20th century. We explore not just denial of Indigenous citizenship but also the resistance and activism of both our people’s to re-assert our sovereignty and basic rights. The final module draws the material from the previous three together to outline the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori peoples within our respective nation states and dominant cultures.

What will I learn?

  • The long history of Indigenous peoples in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand
    • Aboriginal arrival more than 45,000 years ago and migration across Australia – 500 nations and more than 260 languages
    • Māori migration theories and the seven waka and Māori customary locations and traditional worldviews
  • The similarities but also the differences in how British colonisation came to, and was established in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and the various ways our peoples sought to resist their dispossession from their traditional lands
    • How Australia and Aotearoa were ‘discovered’ ‘renamed’ and ‘claimed’
    • Australia as a convict colony and the arrival of the first fleet of British military, convicts and settlers
    • Crown/Māori relations, treaties and Land wars
    • Australian frontier wars including the Black Wars in Tasmania and the incarceration of our people at Wybalenna
  • How colonisation impacted on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori peoples from the mid 1800s to the late 20th century
    • The disenfranchisement, cultural destruction and dislocation and use of statutes and laws to contain Aboriginal and Māori peoples
    • The resistance and activism including the Day of Mourning, the Freedom Rides and the 1967 Referendum in Australia and the Land March, Bastion Point and Foreshore and Seabed in Aotearoa
  • Being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or Māori today including our identity and presence in each of our countries
    • Socio-economic marginalisation and disadvantage
    • Treaty of Waitangi Claims
    • Political movements – representation and reconciliation including Constitutional reform and reviews
    • Contemporary social, economic organisation

Where could this lead me?

If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.

  • Community work
  • Foreign affairs
  • Māori development
  • Policy analysis
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Translation services



Taught by

Dr Maggie Walter and Huia Tomlins-Jahnke


4.4 rating, based on 7 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Indigenous Studies: Australia and New Zealand

  • Anonymous
    Previously searched for a course relevant to the Indigenous peoples and throughout my search was fortunate. The first time I have ever studied online. I am extremely thankful for both Maggie and Huia whose teaching method kept me captivated. My gratitude can never be expressed for the learning experience I encountered. Forever grateful.
  • Tiffany Kleinhans
    This is a self-paced course now, so you can take it on-demand and at your own pace. I finished it in two weeks. The material was interesting and engaging, and the challenge level was really almost perfect for a basic intro-level class on the subject - though it feels easy if you're paying attention to all of the videos. The on-demand nature does reduce interaction to a certain extent, as people kind of pop into discussions in their own time, but the ability to determine your own schedule and pace really does make up for it in a lot of ways. I learned a lot, and definitely enjoyed it.
  • I learned so much from this course. I loved every minute of it. Great, interactive learning. The problem with many MOOCs is that there is no interaction. My favorite place for free learning so far is Australia's Open 2 Study. I highly recommend their courses. I have taken two so far and they both have been superior.
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    Pamylle Greinke
  • Alan Salsac

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