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Unit of study_

SCWK2009: Indigenous Australians and Social Work

This unit of study provides a foundation for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in social work settings through the development of knowledge, understanding and skills within a culturally responsive framework. Concepts introduced in this unit provide foundational knowledge for senior units of study in the Bachelor of Social Work degree.


Academic unit Education
Unit code SCWK2009
Unit name Indigenous Australians and Social Work
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

48 credit points including (SCLG1001 and SCLG1002) or (12cp of SCLG1U01) or (12cp of 1000 level units in Diversity Studies).
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Mareese Terare,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Task 2: Tutorial presentation
30% Multiple weeks Equivalent to 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Self Evaluation
Complete and submit self evaluation sheet.
10% Multiple weeks 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Task 1: Part A - Personal statement
10% Week 03
Due date: 23 Aug 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 30 Aug 2021
Personal statement 250 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Task 3: Research essay
40% Week 13
Due date: 14 Nov 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 21 Nov 2021
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Task 1: Part B Practice Framework
Part B Development of Practice Framework.
10% Week 13
Due date: 08 Nov 2021 at 23:00

Closing date: 13 Nov 2021
250 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Task 1: Part A - Personal statement (10%):  Write a personal statement on your current knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Australia including your reflections on how this knowledge was formed. 10%
  • Task 1: Part B Practice Framework (10%):
    • Part B Development of Practice Framework when working with First Nations people, families and communities. 
  • Task 2: Tutorial presentation: There are two components to this task.
    • Tutorial presentation(30%) : Students will be allocated a tutorial presentation topic based on one of the weekly themes. In small groups, student prepare a 20 minute presentation on the allocated topic. Each tutorial presentation must promote peer participation and debate.
    • Self evaluation (10%): A self evaluation sheet is provided on the Canvas site. Complete and submit self evaluation sheet,via Turnitin the day after the presentation. This evaluation provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your contribution to the tutorial presentation.
  • Task 3: Research essay (40%): Students are required to write an essay in response to one of a selection of questions focused on issues raised in the unit as a whole. Each topic will provide an opportunity to explore the relationship between historical policy and/or practice impacting on Indigenous Australians and the significance of these experiences for contemporary social work practice.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO7
Week 02 Identities, kinship, connection to Country Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO7
Week 03 History and legacy of social work and welfare intervention Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 04 Racism and social work Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 05 Invasion/colonisation and resistance Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 06 Protection and assimilation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Indigenous health and well-being Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO4 LO6 LO7
Week 08 Culturally responsive social work practice Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 09 Protocols, communication, collaboration and relationship building Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO7
Week 10 Self-determination: community visit Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO4 LO6
Week 11 Indigenous human rights and social justice Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 12 Indigenous knowledges and research Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.

  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. reflect on their own identity and personal knowledge constructions of popular and academic representations of Indigenous Australia and consider the implications of these for professional practice
  • LO2. describe the various ways colonisation has impacted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians
  • LO3. articulate the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agency and self-determination
  • LO4. critically reflect on the legacies of social work and welfare interventions
  • LO5. investigate the complexity and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their contemporary concerns
  • LO6. demonstrate understanding of cultural responsiveness in social work practice
  • LO7. demonstrate awareness as professionals of the ethical, moral and political responsibilities posed when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


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