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BUFP103 First Nations of Australia: Culture History & Politics


BUSN208 - First Peoples Business: for Profit and Not for Profit

Unit rationale, description and aim

The unit analyses the nature of First Peoples’ organizations, including the ‘types’ of community based and representative organizations in the for profit and not for profit sector and the role of service organisations. This unit also provides students with a sound foundation that will aid in their understanding of the role and value of economic, social and cultural development; the statutory requirements of First Peoples’ organisations; stewardship, subsidiarity and ethical issues in economic, social and cultural development and the tools to enable the successful development. It will also examine the complexities faced by First Nations organisations in balancing family, community and business responsibilities to achieve the common good. 

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 - Appraise the nature and role of First Nations organisations (GA5) 

LO2 - Synthesize and appraise the changing roles and structures of First Nations organisations and their contributions to the healing and sustainability of First Nations Peoples and their communities (GA2, GA5) 

LO3 - Evaluate the impact of family, community and indigenous culture in the governance of First Nations business organisations (GA4, GA5) 

LO4 - Critically and collectively analyse the role of economic, social and cultural development in achieving the aspirations of First Nations Peoples in Australia (GA5, GA7)

LO5 - Analyse the statutory requirements that govern Australia’s First Peoples business structures and assess the implications for corporate social responsibility. (GA5, GA8) 

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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


Topics will include:

  • Indigenous Sustainable Development
  • Organisational Structures - Fit for Purpose
  • Human, Cultural, Social & Economic: The role of capital in Indigenous business and development
  • Native Title Representative Bodies/ Prescribed Bodies Corporate
  • Indigenous Land & Sea Councils
  • Urban Planning in Community Business Development
  • Indigenous Service Organisations as business models
  • Corporate Governance Legislation
  • Indigenous Local Government; Missions & Reserves 
  • Indigenous Regional Authorities and the common good
  • Role of Natural Resource Management and Environment Protection in First Nations Business
  • Corporate Social Responsibility 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will be taught in multi-modal program using a variety of delivery strategies including online delivery to the equivalent of 150 hours student workload. Where face to face contact is included this may involve intensive away from base delivery.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to: essays, reports, examinations, student presentations or case studies.

In order to pass this unit, students are required to: submit all assessment pieces and obtain 50% overall. The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Critical Reflection

This assessment task consists of a 1000-word written journal entailing the reflection and evaluation of the role of cultural influences in governance of First Nations business organisations. This task requires students to work autonomously to synthesise knowledge gained in the unit (W1-5) in order to demonstrate an understanding of the influence of culture on organisations.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Reflective Journal

Artefact: Written journal


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA5

Assessment Task 2: Group Case Study

This assessment consist of 1500 words.

Students are required to work collaboratively to undertake an analysis of a First Nations organisation as to its foundation, purpose, representativeness, advocacy role, and its structural effectiveness for the business environment in which it operates. The study of the chosen organisation should be within the content covered in this unit.

Submission Type: Group

Assessment Method: Case Study

Artefact: Written report


LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7

Assessment Task 3: Major Essay

This assessment consist of 1500 words. Students are required to Analyse the rise of First Nations business organisations as to the diversification of their purpose and provide an appraisal  of their contributions to the common good and the advancement of Australia’s First Nations Peoples.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Essay

Artefact: Written report


LO2, LO5

GA2, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Altman, J. and Biddle, N. (2014) Refiguring Indigenous Economies: A 21st Century Perspective. In S. Ville and G. Withers (Eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of Australia (pp. 530 – 554) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Australian Government, 2020. NIAA Annual Report 2019-20.

Retrieved from

Australian Government, (2011), Indigenous Economic Development Strategy 2011 – 2018. Retrieved from,functional%20families%20and%20successful%20communities.

Fishel, D. (2014). The book of the board: effective governance for non-profit organisations, Federation Press, Annadale, NSW.

Hunt, J., Smith, D., Garling, S. & Sanders, W.(editors) (2008). Contested Governance: Culture, power and institutions in Indigenous Australia. CAEPR Research Monograph No. 29, Canberra, ACT: ANU EPress.

Kleinert, S. (2010). Aboriginal Enterprises: negotiating an Urban Aboriginality. Aboriginal History, Vol 34, 171-196. Online

KPMG, (2016), Collaborative Ideas for Igniting the Indigenous Economy. Retrieved from

Martin, D.F., 2003. Rethinking the design of Indigenous Organisations : The need for strategic management, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. ANU Press. Retrieved from

Shanks, Sid., Elliott, Tim, Clark, Matt. 2020, Measuring progress in Queensland’s remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Queensland Productivity Commission. Retrieved from

Sanders, W., 2016. Engaging Indigenous Economy. Debating diverse approaches, ANU Press.

Sullivan, P. (2009),"Reciprocal accountability: Assessing the accountability environment in Australian aboriginal affairs policy", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 22 Iss: 1 pp. 57 – 72.

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