IKC401 Rebuilding Australia's Indigenous Nations (8)

This subject seeks to build students' capacity to become community spirited leaders who guide the empowerment and development of Indigenous nations.

Conceptually, the subject is about a new perspective on Indigenous Australia. What if the conversation about Aboriginal Australia were not one about deficit, powerlessness, and assimilation, but instead about Indigenous community success, decision-making responsibility, and the importance of Indigenous knowledge in addressing contemporary community concerns? This subject is about that new conversation, and further, challenges students to imagine the ways that they can assist Indigenous nations in shaping their own futures.

Practically, this subject is about applying the tools and strategies that support the rebuilding of Indigenous nations. Students will learn how other Indigenous communities have applied the strategies of nation building, strengthened Indigenous nation identities and cultures, and built sustainable economies and societies. Students will identify the demonstrated links between Indigenous self-determination/self-government and Indigenous people's ability to achieve their economic, social and cultural goals. They will explore nation building as a means of incrementally reversing over two centuries of deficits through the exercise of Indigenous decision-making authority. In the Australian context, they will consider how Indigenous community members might engage in nation building conversations/talk, undertake nation building activities/actions, and strengthen Indigenous nation relationships and connections that may support the creation of communities/societies in which people can and want to live.

The transformation of a number of nations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States provides a comparative dimension. In particular, students will learn from respected persons from other Indigenous nations that have shared their success and failures as a means of illuminating a pathway for others.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Dubbo Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: IKC401. 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 Indigenous Australian Studies

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the influences and impact that history plays on Wiradjuri Nation, language and culture, including the policies and practices that have implications for Rebuilding Australia's Indigenous Nations in a contemporary context.
  • Be able to think critically about the concepts of nation building and be able to generate ideas and strategies to achieve nation building within this complex area.
  • Be able to demonstrate specialised knowledge and understanding of the importance of nation building/rebuilding and be able to apply this knowledge in their professional areas.
  • Be able to analyse, consolidate and synthesise information relating to nation building and be able to actively participate in this process.
  • Be able to identify the need for nation rebuilding and forecast what successful nation building could look like in their community.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1 - An introduction to Indigenous nation building
  • Module 2 - Why (re)build Indigenous nations?
  • Module 3- Case studies of (re)building Indigenous nations
  • Module 4 - Key elements of nation building
  • Module 5 - The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Module 6 - Rights and responsibilities in Indigenous nation building
  • Module 7 - Starting and sustaining conversations about Wiradjuri nation building
  • Module 8 - Rebuilding the Wiradjuri nation: Plans and next steps

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of IKC401 in Session 1 2020. 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 %
Indigenous nation rebuilding - what belongs here?
Self reflection
Module exercises and critical reflection

Residential School

This subject contains a 5 day Compulsory Residential School.

The Residential School is compulsory for students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language and Cultural Heritage. It will build on students previous knowledge of Wiradjuri language. Its main focus will be to develop students capacity to hold conversations with one another in Wiradjuri. It will form an integral part of the remainder of this subject. Indigenous Australian students may be eligible to apply for away from base funding to support them for the period of the Residential School.  2 x 5 day residentials will be held for IKC401.  Students are required to attend a minimum of 5 days with 10 days attendance highly recommended.

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.