Building meaningful assessment around Mudang-Dali – an Indigenous-connected curriculum


  • Joanne Jamie Macquarie University, Wallumattagal Campus, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
  • Ian Jamie Macquarie University, Wallumattagal Campus, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia


Indigenous connected curriculum, Mudang-Dali, meaningful assessment


In 2017, Universities Australia launched its Indigenous Strategy 2017–2020, with its aim being to “support the advancement of Indigenous peoples in and through Australia’s universities”. A core part of this aim was to ensure “all students will encounter and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural content as integral parts of their course of study”. In 2022, Universities Australia launched its 2022-2025 Indigenous Strategy, which expanded upon its 2017-2020 strategy to promote action rather than being aspirational. The strategy continues to have a focus on embedding Indigenous knowledge into curriculum so that all graduates will have “a strong foundational understanding of Indigenous values and knowledges” and to ensure that the Indigenous content is “meaningful, appropriately developed and appropriately resourced”.

Mudang-Dali means ‘to live’ in the Dharug language. At Macquarie University, situated on Dharug land, the Mudang-Dali Indigenous Connected Curriculum Framework has been providing academics with the confidence and support to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, values, and philosophies into the curriculum. We have been seeing positive learning examples across all disciplines, showcasing the richness of Indigenous knowledge systems in different learning settings including in lectures, workshops, field trips and practicals.

There has, however, been limited discussion on assessment accompanying these learnings. To emphasise and reinforce the significance of these learnings to our students, it is important that there are meaningful assessment tasks related to the Indigenous content in the curriculum. In doing so, students obtain a deeper understanding of Indigenous knowledge, ways of learning, and perspectives, and we show them that we value Mudang-Dali. We also enrich our own knowledge as educators.

In this presentation, we will provide examples of assessments that have accompanied Mudang-Dali content and have given meaningful learning and transformative experiences for our students and the educators. This includes examples that have fostered exchange of knowledge, skills and capability strengthening for Macquarie University staff and students and our First Nations collaborators.


Universities Australia (2022) Indigenous Strategy 2022-25;

Author Biographies

Joanne Jamie, Macquarie University, Wallumattagal Campus, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

Associate Professor in Bioorganic, Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Molecular Sciences, Macquarie University

Ian Jamie, Macquarie University, Wallumattagal Campus, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

Ian is a senior lecturer in chemistry at the School of Natural Sciences, Macquarie University. Ian's interests lie broadly in the field of environmental chemistry, particularly gas phase and atmospheric chemistry, and chemistry education. Ian was one of the founders of what is now the Advancing Science by Enhancing Laboratory Learning (ASELL) project. He has contributed to the development of the Chemistry Threshold Learning Outcome (CTLO) and is engaged in improving assessment methods in Chemistry. Ian is a Director of the National Indigenous Science Education Program (NISEP). NISEP’s aim is to help low socioeconomic communities change their youth’s attitudes towards, engagement with, and aspirations for education. By using science engagement, NISEP seeks to provide Indigenous students with the skills and attitudes required to secure science and technology-based education and employment opportunities. Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), a past Chair of the RACI Chemical Education Division and a recipient of the RACI Pearson Educator of the Year (2009). He has also been awarded the Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (2007), a Carrick (ALTC) Award for Australian University Teaching - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2007), Carrick (ALTC) Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - Educational Partnerships and Collaborations with Other Organisations (2007). He has also been a recipient of the 2019 Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion and the 2021 AFR Award in Higher Education for Opportunity and Inclusion.