Family, Country, Community: Indigenous Australian Understandings of Kinship

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Family, Country, Community: Indigenous Australian Understandings of Kinship

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Australian Culture, Indigenous Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course provides students with contemporary understandings of Indigenous Australian experiences and systems of family and kinship. Students will learn about the wide variety of kinship systems which were/are used in Indigenous communities prior to and after colonisation. They will gain a practical understanding of how to map and construct genealogies, and a firm grounding in the ways that family and kin relationships link people to each other, their country and to the Dreaming.
    Course Introduction
    Concepts of family, kinship and community are central to Indigenous Australian people's lives and there is huge diversity in the ways that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples understand, experience and perform these concepts. In this course we will explore this diversity through discussion of discourse about Aboriginal kinship in anthropology and Indigenous Australian Studies, regional differences in systems of kinship, the impact of colonisation historically and today on kinship, the centrality of Aboriginal kinship to understandings and enactment of relationship to country, law and knowledge, and the ways that understanding of kinship is used by government, industry and other public organisations. The course aims to give students a theoretical and practical understanding of Aboriginal kinship, family and community.
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the wide variety of kinship systems across Australia from both Indigenous Australian perspectives and in relation to anthropological frameworks.
    2. Understand the changes which have occurred to different kinship systems since colonisation.
    3. Demonstrate a practical knowledge of kinship structures through the construction of family and community geneaologies to serve Indigenous needs.
    4. Reflect on the ways their understandings of kinship systems have been challenged, changed and/or enhanced.
    5. Reflect upon your personal understandings and experiences of family, community, kinship and country and understand the centrality of relationship to who you are in relation to Indigenous Australian peoples.
    Class Contact
    3 Contact hours

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.