PSY114 Indigenous Australians and Psychology: An Introduction (8)

This subject provides students with foundational knowledge in Indigenous Australian Studies from which to build their discipline-specific understandings and skills and ability to work effectively in Indigenous contexts. It is constructed within a cultural competence pedagogical framework which enhances the development of student graduate attributes and prepares students for active citizenship and engagement in reconciliation and the achievement of social justice for Indigenous Australians. Students will be exposed to a body of information critiquing the meta-paradigm and methodologies of the discipline of psychology and its historical involvement with Indigenous Australians, and the implications of this for contemporary professional practice.


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY114. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity of pre- and post-invasion Indigenous Australian cultures and the continuity and change in aspects of cultures past and present
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the socio-economic and political policies, practices and ideological processes of colonisation and their impact upon the First Nation peoples and cultures of Australia
  • be able to demonstrate understanding of the trans-generational psychological impacts of colonisation on Indigenous peoples and cultures, including the forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families, within human rights and social justice frameworks
  • be able to demonstrate critical reflection on the self as an individual and professional, and upon the discipline, including its paradigms, assumptions, methodologies and history of interaction with Indigenous Australian peoples and communities
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of Indigenous community protocols and the major issues and strategies relevant to working effectively in Indigenous contexts
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of Indigenous loss and grief models and methodologies
  • be able to demonstrate reflection on the implications of the content covered in this subject for professional practice when working with people from diverse cultures.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Pre-invasion Indigenous Australian cultures, including an introduction to The Dreaming as worldview and law, kinship and social organisation, economic and totemic relations to land, and the relationship between these factors and identity and self-concept in collectivist cultures
  • The historical, socio-economic and political processes of colonisation including the physical and psychological impact of disease, violence and dispossession, segregation and protectionism, and forcible removal of children
  • Social justice and contemporary issues impacting upon or of concern to Indigenous Australians today, and the relationship between these factors and mental health and wellbeing
  • The contemporary psychological consequences of colonialism including trans-generational trauma, loss and grief, suicide and self-harm, psychosis, depression and anxiety disorders
  • Indigenous grief and loss models and methodologies
  • Deconstruction of the discipline of psychology and its role as an agent of colonialism
  • Power and privilege, self- and professional reflexivity and implications for citizenship and professional practice
  • Strategies and protocols for working effectively in Indigenous contexts and implications for professional practice
  • Applying skills and knowledge to working effectively with people from diverse cultures in a multicultural society.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSY114 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
On line test
Online journal

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: October 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.