Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This interdisciplinary course examines the foundational principles and practices in working competently with Australia’s Indigenous people, across disciplines and careers.

Students will consider the complexity of Indigenous identity construction in Australian society and the continuing impact of historical experiences on current Indigenous communities. They will engage in problem based learning to consider examples of culturally competent professional practice.

The course also highlights Indigenous knowledges and creates awareness of the relevance of these knowledges in contemporary Australian society. It will build students’ capacity for evidence-based problem solving, intercultural awareness, and ethical engagement with Indigenous people.

At the conclusion of this course, students will have developed written, oral and digital research and communication skills that are vital for success engaging with Indigenous people across a range of potential career paths.

They will also be able to demonstrate foundational understanding of the role of culturally competent service in improving equity and access for Indigenous people.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2020.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate introductory knowledge of the principles and practices of Indigenous Cultural Competency in the workplace.

2. Demonstrate ability to research online information to produce a coherent synopsis of the subject area.

3. Demonstrate effective academic reading, writing and research skills necessary to interpret indigenous knowledge in its context.

4. Communicate concepts, issues and ideas using a variety of formats, including oral presentations.

5. Apply interdisciplinary approaches to interpreting and analysing problems in social, cultural and political contexts that affect indigenous people.


Topics may include:

  • What is Indigenous Cultural Competency
  • Frameworks of Indigenous Cultural Competency
  • Indigenous and non-Indigenous epistemologies in context
  • Ethical engagement with Indigenous communities
  • The role of professional practice in cross cultural contexts
  • Understanding languages and cultures in social and cultural contexts
  • Understanding power relations in the past and present Indigenous experience
  • Cultural protocols and communication skills
  • Improving equity and access for Indigenous people to services. 

Assessment items

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: 40%

Online Learning Activity: 20%

Presentation: 40%

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.