Reflections on teaching a first-year Indigenous Australian studies subject

Robyn Heckenberg, Andrew Gunstone, PhD


Robyn Heckenberg and Andrew Gunstone team taught a first-year
subject in Indigenous Australian Studies at Monash University for eight
years. The significant majority of students undertaking this subject are
non-Indigenous students who are studying the subject as an elective
rather than as part of an Indigenous Studies course. In this paper, we
discuss our experiences and reflections in teaching this subject, including
our teaching philosophies and approaches, the various successes and
challenges that we have encountered, and our views of the usefulness
and potential of this subject in preparing students to genuinely work
and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and

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