Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is included in the Tertiary Preparation Pathway to enable you to gain greater knowledge, appreciation and awareness of the structure, social origins and diversity of Australian society, and to start to develop analytical and interpretive skills in understanding contemporary Australia. It includes topics such as: history, indigenous issues, environmental issues, gender and family, health, education, politics and the arts. You will compare and contrast aspects of Australian culture with your own culture and be exposed to the skills of reflective thinking. The aim of this unit is to provide insight into the cultures, communities and contexts in which you will be studying and working.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Recognise the influences of Australia’s history and social origins on the cultural diversity and current values of Australian society. [GA1] 

LO2 - Identify some dominant constructions of Australian identity as reflected in aspects of culture and community. [GA8]

LO3 - Describe some of the impacts on Indigenous peoples of European settlement in Australia. [GA1] 

LO4 - Describe key contemporary social and political issues including those related to social justice in Australia. [GA1, GA8, GA9] 

LO5 - Compare and contrast everyday life and cultural practices in your home country with what you have encountered in Australia. [GA8, GA9] 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


  • What is Culture? 
  • The First Australians and First Contact  
  • Contemporary issues concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 
  • Politics, citizenship and the law 
  • Australia’s engagement with the world 
  • Migration and multiculturalism 
  • Gender and discrimination 
  • Environmental issues 
  • Australian Identity – The Arts 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategies adopted in this unit focus on active and collaborative learning. This facilitates not only the acquisition and understanding of content knowledge, but also exposes you to a variety of cultural perspectives and opinions in the international classroom. Students are supported in the skills required for inquiry based learning, and in their evaluation of information and articulation of ideas and opinions. 


Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to enable students to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. The tasks have been selected and designed to support acquisition of knowledge and skills, and to assist students to in prepare for the assessment requirements of your undergraduate studies.  As the unit is part of a pathway program to undergraduate study, the purpose of the task design is to also assess your communicative competence in the context of tertiary study in Australia. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Reflective writing task 

The purpose of this task is for you to reflect upon and respond to your experiences as an international student living in Australia. You will be required to make comparisons and investigate cultural characteristics of living, working and studying in an Australian context. It requires you to adopt the reflective practice required in undergraduate studies. 



GA1, GA8,GA9 

 Tutorial Discussion 

 A requirement of tertiary study is to be able to identify points of view, and to participate in, and at times lead, a tutorial discussion. This task assesses your ability to further investigate contemporary Australian issues, to organise and evaluate information, and facilitate discussion in a formal presentation context.  




 Final Exam 

Through a series of reading texts and short and long answer questions, you will be required to demonstrate your understanding of the Australian historical and cultural characteristics explored in the unit, and their relationship to life in contemporary Australia. 



GA1, GA8,GA9 

Representative texts and references

Eckermann, A-K., Dowd, T., Chong, E., Nixon, L., Gray, R., & Johnson, S. (2010). Binan goonj: Bridging cultures in Aboriginal health (3rd ed.). Marrickville, NSW: Elsevier Australia 

Panckhurst, H. (Series Producer). 2008. First Australians: The Untold Story of Australia [DVD]  

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). 

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