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Getting started

In this article, students are introduced to what to expect with the course and directed to other important pieces of housekeeping.
Learner sitting in front of computer planning their study schedule.
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To get the most from the course, set aside realistic amounts of time in your schedule over the next two weeks to move through the content.

If this is your first course, please review the ‘Using FutureLearn’ page for an introduction to learning with FutureLearn.

You will note that many of cultural capabilities are intertwined. Our aim is to present resources that are thought provoking and designed to prompt reflection. Yes, the stories, concepts and statistics may be confronting at times, but that’s OK. Discomfort is transformative. Be patient and remember the process of developing cultural capabilities can be emotive, as it can challenge preconceived ideas.

Course Discussion

Over the next two weeks, there will be many opportunities to engage in conversation, in order to reflect on the learning content and share your ideas. This method of learning and sharing information through conversation is known as ‘yarning’ by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

When we are yarning, be sure to abide by the FutureLearn Code of Conduct and always keep conversations respectful. Show humility and choose your words carefully.

A quick note on terminology

Most Australian people are referred to as ‘Australians’. When it comes to Australia’s First Peoples, identity and terminology is more complex. For example, you may encounter the following terms in course resources and yarning – they are all used interchangeably.

  • First Peoples
  • Indigenous Australians
  • First Australians
  • Aboriginal
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • Torres Strait Islander
  • First Nations’ Peoples

The term ‘Indigenous’ is imposed and can also be problematic.

Although it is the Australian Government’s preferred term, and encompasses both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, it implies that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are one homogeneous group. This is not the case. They are two, distinct groups. This is just one of the many things you’ll learn about First Peoples over the next two weeks!

  • The term ‘Aboriginal’ refers to the original peoples of mainland Australia.
  • ‘Torres Strait Islander’ refers to the peoples of 274 islands; located in the Torres Straits (north of Australia).

It’s a lot to take in, but the important message is to not make assumptions. Take time to know individual clients and families and discover where they are from.

Enjoy the journey! We look forward to yarning with you in the course discussions along the way.

© Griffith University
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