Indigenous studies Society, history and languages

Indigenous studies Society, history and languages

A diverse, interdisciplinary area of study, Indigenous Studies is interested in the everyday social, cultural and political world of Indigenous people in Australia and around the world.

Studying Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University will equip students with the skills and knowledge to think critically about the world we live in and develop a deeper understanding about issues that impact on Indigenous communities not only at a local, regional and national level but on a global scale.

Indigenous studies and your career

Indigenous Studies equips students with the knowledge and skills highly sought after in many professional career pathways. Students will gain a deeper appreciation of diverse perspectives and gain sought after critical thinking and communication skills.

Professional experience

Connect with your future career through PACE

At Macquarie, learning doesn't just happen in the classroom. With PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) you can gain real-world experience and get ahead in the career queue.

PACE provides opportunities for undergraduate students at Macquarie University to gain practical experience by working with industry partners on mutually beneficial projects. No matter what you decide to study, PACE has an opportunity available for you. Learn more about the opportunities available through PACE.

Student experience

Sharon Kerr

Sharon Kerr

Master of Indigenous Education

“As a non-Indigenous person involved in serving Indigenous students, I realised that I had much to learn in order to serve effectively in my role. I enrolled in the Master of Indigenous Education to gain knowledge and appreciation of Indigenous history, cultures, languages, ways of knowing and ways of doing. The course changed my life and made me a much more effective practitioner. As a result of this course I will always be committed to cultural safety in both the workplace and learning environment.”

Wayne Charters

Master of Indigenous Education

"The Master of Indigenous Education is the best course I have ever done. I have enjoyed studying education and history/politics in the past, but this is another level of understanding. The wide range of topics and readings related to Indigenous Education are fascinating, sometimes heart wrenching but ultimately informative and enlightening. I cannot think of any profession or person who would not benefit from doing the Master of Indigenous Education. I also now have even more respect for the keepers of knowledge."

Wayne is a descendant of the Wiradjuri Nation.

Our expertise in Indigenous studies

Ms Corrine Franklin

Ms Corrinne Sullivan

Lecturer in Indigenous Studies

Corrinne is an Indigenous woman from the Wiradjuri Nation, New South Wales, Australia. Her research interests are multi-disciplinary and focus broadly on experiences and effects of body and Identity in relation to Indigenous Australian people. Corrinne's knowledge stems from the disciplines of Indigenous Studies and Human Geography, and she utilises both to understand the ways in which Indigenous people are affected by their experiences of space and place.

See Ms Sullivan's full profile

Built as a permanent feature on campus it provides a culturally safe place for yarns, community meetings and other Indigenous events. The sacred space acknowledges the significance of this style of sharing for Aboriginal people as a way of handing down knowledge.

Hosted by the Department of Indigenous Studies, the launch event saw Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton joined by members of the Darug nation for the unveiling of the 'learning circle'. The event commenced with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony conducted by respected Elder Lexodious Dadd (known as Uncle Lex), followed by a traditional dance performance, and the unveiling of a plaque to mark the continuation of our relationship.

In achieving this milestone, Aunty Elaine Chapman and Emily Sutton have both worked and studied together in the University's Department of Indigenous Studies. The 67 year old and 28 year old have brought different perspectives to their studies, but have enjoyed learning, and now graduating, together.

"Whilst the course is offered externally we always joked about me being on campus all the time with my work!" says Emily. "I am exceptionally proud to be standing alongside Aunty Elaine as the first Indigenous graduates of the program – she is such an inspiration and mentor to me."

Both women also enjoyed graduation ceremony itself, with family and friends from around Australia joining them on campus.

"I'm really excited," says Emily. "I didn't attend my undergraduate ceremony as I had moved overseas so this will be my first graduation."

"My son is in the Northern Territory," says Aunty Elaine, "but he will be with me in spirit, as he is also doing the Master of Indigenous Education."

Aunty Elaine, employed as Macquarie's Elder in Residence, studied the Master of Indigenous Education because she loves learning about her history and culture.

"This degree allowed me to explore and study not only my Aboriginal history, past, present and future but also to compare this to other First Nations histories world wide," Aunty Elaine says.

"After retiring in 2000 I was inspired and pushed into entering the educational arena by an Aboriginal teacher at TAFE, Annie Vanderwick. Annie expected the best from her students and pushed Aunty Anita Selwyn and I to go from Certificates 1, 2 and 3 in Aboriginal studies to a Diploma of Aboriginal History then a Bachelor of Community Management.

"Now I have completed my Masters, I am very proud to be graduating at this ceremony and presenting the Student Response. It has been a long and challenging journey but with the help, encouragement and support of family and Warawara, I have made it!"

The Master of Indigenous Education program is the only postgraduate degree of its kind in Australia. It provides an in-depth understanding of the historical, contemporary and global issues faced by Indigenous Australia, to help in developing effective teaching practices and policies for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

After graduation, both Emily and Aunty Elaine hope to continue their work in supporting Indigenous students through their degrees and exploring their culture.

"Having now completed this exciting learning journey I intend to use the knowledge gained to help our young Indigenous students to embrace their culture with pride and enthusiasm and hopefully encourage them to explore their options for tertiary education," says Aunty Elaine.

"In my role as Elder in Residence I have the privilege of spending time with our students as well as within my local Aboriginal community to encourage these young people to achieve their highest potential."

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