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Campus offering

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BUFP103 First Nations of Australia: Culture History & Politics


MGMT313 - Indigenous Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit examines the principles of governance and leadership and their application to governance processes and leadership practices within the context of Australia’s First Nations' peoples and communities. This unit builds on knowledge gained in other indigenous units that focus on “what business are we in?” This unit examines the governance and leadership required to participate in “the business we’re in” both in the private and public sectors. It will challenge students to reflect on leadership and governance theories, strategies and practices and their applicability and contribution to the common good. It also explores the contested governance space in the changing environments in which First Nations peoples, their communities, organisations and leaders find themselves nationally and globally. The First Nation people’s experiences and resilience to contribute to the common good will be demonstrated through the utilisation of case studies and other learning material.

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 - Demonstrate an understanding of the stressors on First Nations’ peoples that impact on their governance and leadership knowledge and practices (GA5, GA8) 

LO2 - Evaluate frameworks, theories and concepts relevant to governance and leadership in contemporary organisations and their applications in the public and private sectors and assess their relevancy to Indigenous businesses (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - Analyse governance and leadership problems and dilemmas from a moral, cultural and ethical perspective (GA3, GA5)

LO4 - Elaborate on First Nations peoples’ governance and leadership in the context of sustainable local, national, and global futures (GA5, GA6) 

LO5 - Work collaboratively to demonstrate the ability to critically analyse First Nations governance and leadership and their resilience to adapt to ever-changing environments (GA5, GA7) 

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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


Topics will include:

  • The status of First Nations’ people
  • Identity & Hybridity – A First Nations perspective
  • Cultural Legitimacy
  • Leadership – Traits and behaviours
  • Power and Influence
  • Building leadership in a contested governance environment
  • Challenges of leadership
  • The interface between sustainability, governance and leadership
  • Accountability in governance and leadership  
  • Governance and leadership in a changing environment
  • Politics in governance and leadership
  • Ethics in governance and leadership

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 12 weeks semester. Where face to face contact is included this may involve intensive away from base delivery.

Students should anticipate spending 150 hours of study for this unit, including weekly learning activities, readings and assignment preparation.

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 a critical reflection and evaluation of the first five weeks of the unit. This task requires students to work autonomously to synthesise knowledge gained in order to demonstrate an understanding of this unit.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Critical Reflection

Artefact: Written report


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Essay

This assessment consists of a 1500 word Essay. Who determines First Nations leaders? Students are required to research two persons whom they  consider are leaders of First Nations’ people either in Australia or internationally. Once the two people are identified, (cannot use two people of the same gender  e.g. two men), students are required to analyse and evaluate the two people’s answer to the following questions: who determine First Nations’ leaders and how are they selected? What role does the Indigenous culture and ethical perspectives play in this process?

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Essay

Artefact: Report


LO3, LO4

GA3, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 3: Presentation Video and Script

Students are required to work in groups and utilize their effective communication skills to produce a 10-12 minutes video in addition to a script. Students are required to elaborate on how the  First Nations’ peoples and communities’ leaders and governance rise to meet the challenges of 21st century as the world becomes globalized? Students are required to analyse  within a framework of gender differences and the impact (if any) on culture and societal changes of First Nations peoples and communities. 

Submission Type: Group

Assessment Method: Video Presentation & Script

Artefact:  Video & Script


LO4, LO5

GA5, GA6, GA7

Representative texts and references

Australian Institute of Company Directors,(2019), Strong gains underway in Indigenous governance. Retrieved from

Australian Government Productivity Commission (2016) Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2016, Chapter 5, Governance, leadership and culture. Retrieved from

Daft, Richard. (2018). The Leadership Experience, 7th ed. Cengage Learning, Australia.

Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, 2013. Towards an Australian Indigenous Women's Standpoint Theory, Australian Feminist Studies, 28:78, 331-347,

Nahavandi, A. (2009). The Art and Science of Leadership, 5th ed.

Stewart, J and Warn, J. (2016), Between Two Worlds: Indigenous Leaders Exercising Influence and Working Across Boundaries, in Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 76, no.1, pp. 3-17.

Sullivan, P. (2006). Indigenous Governance, Research Discussion Paper No 17.

United Nations, 2008, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved from:

White, Nereda, 2010. Indigenous Australian women’s leadership: stayin’ strong against the post-colonial tide, International Journal of Leadership in Education, 13:1, 7-25. Retrieved from

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