Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit offers pre-service teachers the opportunity to be immersed in ‘country’ and to contextualise Aboriginal ontologies, epistemologies and pedagogies through this experience. Teaching and learning will take place in bush and indoor settings. Pre-service teachers will have the opportunity to engage with what it is like to be an Aboriginal learner. Aboriginal people from the local community will engage as traditional Knowledge custodians and teachers.

This unit aims to enable pre-service teachers to engage with what it is like to be an Aboriginal learner to enhance their understanding, respect and contextualisation of Indigenous Knowings to their area of discipline and practice.

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 - transmit and transform an understanding, respect and contextualisation of Indigenous Knowings to their area of discipline and practice (GA1, GA2, GA4; APST 1.4, 2.4)

LO2 - transmit and transform an understanding and engagement with Aboriginal storying in their area of discipline and practice (GA4, GA5; APST 2.4)

LO3 - transform personal reflections of their own connection and relatedness to Country in their area of discipline and practice (GA1, GA2, GA4; APST 2.4)

LO4 - engage with and design curriculum that privileges Indigenous Knowings whilst transmitting and adapting this context in their area of discipline and practice (GA4, GA5; APST 2.4, 7.3, 7.4).

Graduate attributes

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

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 


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


Topics will include:

  • Experiential learning through immersion in Country through sites visits
  • Understanding connection and relatedness to Country through local Indigenous Knowings
  • Aboriginal ontologies
  • Aboriginal storying
  • Spiritual understandings
  • Protocols and terminology
  • Medicinal plant uses and bush foods
  • Urban Dreamings

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This 10-credit unit will involve a 5-day intensive block with immersion in Country; bush settings and in more traditional teaching environments. The location will be dependent on the campus the unit is offered and the teaching will engage local Aboriginal people. Pre-service teachers will engage with Aboriginal teaching and learning styles in real settings and in real-time. Participants will have to pay a fee for this course to cover, travel, accommodation, catering and community Knowledge Custodians teaching.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed for participants to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. A range of assessment procedures are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements. To enable an assessment to best meet the needs of learners, two assessment tasks are outlined below. All learning outcomes are assessed.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The total assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5,000 words. In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to submit and participate in all assessment tasks.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Reflective Journal

Using a variety of media to create a daily journal over 5 days which captures and reflects on the immersion experience on Country. This Journal will be a personal reflection and expression of the feelings you experience, the questions asked and pondered.

The Journal will be the equivalent of 3,000 words with 1000 words (of the 3,000 words) engaging with current readings through journal articles and books on themes/questions that emerge from the Journal.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2:

Lesson Sequence embedding Indigenous Knowings

Design a sequence of 6 lessons that you implement and evaluate during professional experience. The lesson sequence must draw on the experiences of the Country immersion.



GA4, GA5

Representative texts and references

Arbon, V. (2008). Arlthirnda Ngurkarnda Ityirnda. Being-knowing-doing. De-colonising Indigenous tertiaty education. Teneriffe, Qld: Post Pressed.

Bird Rose, D. (1996). Nourishing terrains, Australian Aboriginal views of landscape and wilderness. Canberra, ACT: Australian Heritage Commission.

Hokari, M. (2000). History Happening in/between Body and Place: Journey to the Aboriginal Way of Historical Practice. Habitus: A Sense of Place, (p. 2). Perth.

Martin, K. (2008). Please knock before you enter. Aboriginal regulation of outsiders and the implications for researchers. Teneriffe, Qld: Post Pressed.

Meyer, M. A. (2001). Our own liberation: Reflections on Hawaiian Epistemology. The Contemporary Pacific, 124-148.

Neidjie, B. (1998). Story about feeling. (K. Taylor, Ed.) Broome, WA: Magabala Books.

Nunavik Educational Task Force (1992). Silatunirmut. The pathway to wisdom. Lacchine, Quebec: Makivik Corporation.

Watson, I. (1998). Power of the Muldarbi, The road to its demise. The Australian Feminist Law Journal, 11, 28-45

Yunupingu, M. (1994). Voices from the land. Sydney, NSW: ABC Books.

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