This unit of study will introduce students to ethical issues facing anyone wanting to work in Aboriginal communities. Students will be introduced to Aboriginal people's practices of working ethically in Aboriginal communities as well as the contested roles and practices of non-Aboriginal people in community and social movement settings. Students will explore: the importance of land and self-determination; how 'race' shapes lives and social experiences; and the complexities of conducting ethical solidarity, collaboration and dialogue.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


AEK1105 - Aboriginal Traditions and Policy or

AEK1204 - Aboriginal History and Political Movements and

AEK2203 - Indigenous Perspectives On Sustainability or

AEK2205 - Politics of Aboriginal Art

Students enrolled in LBLA are required to have the following pre-requisites: AEK2203 OR AEK2205 Students enrolled in SBOL and NBSC are required to have the following pre-requisites: AEK2203 Students enrolled in ABSW are required to have the following pre-requisites: 192 credit points of core ABSW Year 1, 2 and 3 units.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and reflect on Aboriginal peoples' contemporary agendas including land and self-determination.  
  2. Critically investigate a range of perspectives on 'working ethically with Aboriginal people'.  
  3. Apply critical whiteness theory and self-reflection in regards to personal narratives, interactions and social conditions.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Presentation on Aboriginal case studies. 10%
Essay Personal statement on appropriate advocacy 40%
Journal Autobiography and Critical Reflection on unit issues. 50%
Total effective word limit 5000 words

Required reading

Students will be provided with other relevant readings, as required.

Balanda: my year in Arnhem Land,
Jordan, Mary Ellen (2005),
Allen and Unwin.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.