The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


This is the first course in a sequence that covers the social dimensions of environmental issues and environmental management. The course traces the social and economic development of Australia through its Indigenous history and European colonisation. The concepts of growth and development are critically evaluated and applied to the transformations of the natural environment, the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and the structural and cultural features of contemporary Australian society. The concepts of wilderness, natural heritage, and resource use are introduced to explore attitudes towards conservation, preservation and "wise use", and to highlight the entanglement of nature and culture in the Australian landscape. The questions of sustainability and environmental justice are considered in relation to contemporary Australian society and environments.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2019

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): EMGT1020. Students who have successfully completed EMGT1020 are not eligible to enrol in ENVS1004.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Apply the insights from Australian environmental history to issues in environmental management;

2. Critically analyse different models/theories of the concept of development as they apply to the Australian context;

3. Have particular regard for the impact of development on Indigenous people;

4. Have an understanding of the main features of social systems and cultural values as they apply to natural systems' management in contemporary Australia;

5. Determine the role of 'values' in the assessment of natural and cultural heritage;

6. Appreciate the interconnectedness between humans and the environment.


As indicated in the course description, this course covers material relevant to Australian environmental history and the impacts of the development of the Australian environment since 1788. Topics will be selected from:

  • The concepts of Western progress and development and the expansion of Europe into the New World;
  • Australian Environmental History;
  • Australia as an Indigenous landscape in contemporary, colonial and precolonial eras;
  • The European colonisation of Australia and its impact on Indigenous Australia;
  • The impact of colonisation on the Australian environment;
  • Urban natue and the environment;
  • Heritage values in Australia;
  • Biosecurity;
  • Sustainability, environmental justice and directions for future social development.


This course replaces EMGT1020. If you have successfully completed EMGT1020 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Presentation: Tutorial Presentation

Report: Field Trip Report

Essay: Research Essay

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety and fieldwork induction.

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term