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Great South Land: Introducing Australian History

Gain an introduction to Australian history starting with Aboriginal history pre-colonisation, and moving through to convictism

3,438 enrolled on this course

Great South Land: Introducing Australian History
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
This course is part of the program The Australian Experience, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Bachelor of Arts. Find out more.

Travel back in time to discover Australian history.

On this course you will take a journey through Australian history. You will examine a range of periods and topics including Aboriginal deep time history, transportation and convictism and colonialism.

This course will also introduce you to the skills and approaches used in the academic study of history – especially the study of Australian history – and help you to understand issues in contemporary Australia in context

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds «The mother nation of Australia first began as a penal colony for the British convicts and free settlers battled the harsh, unforgiving environment to transform an undeveloped landscape into one of the world’s greatest providers of natural resources. Britain brought civilisation to this untamed continent to make it one of the newest prosperous destinations to come and start a new life.»

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds This is how the story of Australia was often told, but how accurate is it really?

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 seconds This course will be a journey through the complex history of this nation, investigating the myths and facts of Australia’s past. Drawing on the work of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous historians, we’ll explore the rich history of this continent before the arrival of the British and the reality of convict life in the colonies. We will unpack the debate about the nature of colonisation and reveal its continued impact on Indigenous communities across Australia. Join me, Dr Kate Ariotti, and a cast of experts as we investigate Australian history.

What topics will you cover?

  • Traditional Aboriginal society/Aboriginal history pre-colonisation
  • Background to the British colonisation of Australia
  • Convict life in the early Australian colonies
  • Gender relations in the colonies
  • Relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Apply a developing understanding of core historical concepts.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of key themes, events, and people in the history of Australia’s First Nations and the early decades of European occupation of the continent.
  • Interpret the Australian past within a local and global context.
  • Explain the contested nature of Australia’s early European history.
  • Identify foundational scholarly sources (primary and secondary, oral and written) relating to Australia’s early history.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone looking to improve their knowledge of Australian history or their historical skills.

Who will you learn with?

I’m a historian at the University of Newcastle, Australia. I research and write about the histories of Australia, especially surrounding conflict, mental health and masculinity.

Dr Shauna Bostock-Smith completed her PhD at ANU in August 2020, and the title of her thesis is ‘From Colonisation to My Generation: An Aboriginal Historian’s Family History Research’.

Dr Kate Ariotti is a Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Kate is an expert in the history of Australians at war, and loves studying and teaching Australian History.

I am an Associate Professor of History at the University of Newcastle and have been teaching Australian history since 1992. I am looking forward to taking our course to the online world.

Who developed the course?

The University of Newcastle Australia

The University of Newcastle is a world-class university distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence. Ranked in Australia’s Top 10 universities, and 197th in the world (QS rankings, 2021).

  • Established

    1965
  • Location

    Newcastle, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

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This course is part of the program The Australian Experience, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Bachelor of Arts.

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