HLT517 Indigenous Perspectives on Health and Wellbeing (8)

This subject will enable students to explore health and wellbeing as a holistic concept linked to community, environment and culture in order to extend their understanding of Indigenist approaches to health. Students will reflect on their standpoint and evaluate the relevance of language, policy, workplace culture and history to professional practice. This subject will provide students with the knowledge to apply a decolonising approach to the creation and delivery of health services which are responsive to the priorities of Indigenous Australian peoples and their communities. Students will reflect on their role as a health professional with respect to Indigenous health and wellbeing, and the development of authentic sustainable partnerships to deliver culturally safe healthcare. This subject will enhance students cultural capabilities, including strategies to manage and lead workplace change to foster secure health service environments.


Session 2 (60)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: HLT517. 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 Community Health

Assumed Knowledge

Students enrolling in this subject are expected to have foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to Indigenous Australian cultural competency. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to apply Standpoint Theory to reflexively examine the social, cultural, historical, and institutional forces that impact their practice as a health professional;
  • be able to critically analyse their evolving understandings of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian cultures, histories and contemporary contexts to challenge the taken for granted discourses that frame contemporary health service delivery;
  • be able to examine and apply the core principles of culturally responsive health partnerships to explore the complexity of working with diverse Indigenous communities;
  • be able to apply a decolonising framework to the collection, use, and interpretation of data in professional practice;
  • be able to demonstrate a decolonising approach to decision making to create innovative health services for Indigenous Australian people and their communities with due consideration of all relevant legal, professional, ethical standards and Codes of Practice;
  • be able to identify and analyse opportunities to enhance health outcomes for Indigenous Australian peoples through advocacy and change leadership in the profession; and
  • be able to design and justify strategies for continued personal and professional learning to further develop cultural capabilities for health practice


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • MODULE 1: Standpoint Review - Indigenous models of health and holistic approaches to health; health sovereignty - Indigenous conceptions of health and wellbeing; diversity of Indigenous Australian communities; interpersonal partnerships and cultural responsiveness;
  • MODULE 2: Language, history, workplace cultures and policy - Reflection on professional culture and history; reflection on deficit discourses in science, medicine and health; institutional racism; factors relevant to informing culturally responsive professional practice;
  • MODULE 3: A decolonising approach - Critique of colonising knowledge in healthcare; strengths-based approach; self-determination; community-led approaches; Indigenous data sovereignty - who produces the data and who makes use of health data; and
  • MODULE 4: Institutions and professions - Factors which reinforce deficit perspectives within professions and institutions e.g. control and allocation of health funding; enabling authentic, sustainable and culturally responsive partnerships; leadership in fostering decolonising approaches; advocacy for human rights and social justice; creative approaches to enacting change.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.