Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitNational Centre For Australian Studies
Monash Passport categoryResearch Challenge (Investigate Program)
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Agnieszka Sobocinska


Previously coded AUS2001


How has the landscape shaped the definition of what it means to be Australian? Why was 'The Bush' seen as a place of the weird or the monstrous? Have non-Indigenous Australians learned from Aboriginal relationships with the natural environment and (in an age of catastrophic climate change) what challenges do we now face in living with the land? This unit considers the climatic, cultural and economic forces which have shaped the landscape, exploring the dynamic interaction between Australians and their environment. It draws on a range of disciplines, including tourism, literature, geography, politics, journalism and cultural studies; includes excursions along the Great Ocean Road and/or the Murray River.


On successful completion of this unit students should have:

  1. an understanding of changing perceptions of the Australian environment
  2. an understanding of the climatic, cultural and economic forces that help to determine land usage
  3. a knowledge of different ways of interacting with the landscape, in particular Aboriginal as opposed to non-Indigenous attitudes to land usage
  4. a familiarity with the major themes in the field of Australian environmental history
  5. an ability to conduct research
  6. an ability to write expressively and critically on the complex questions of human relationships with the natural world.


Minor essay (based on excursion) (1000 words): 20%
Major essay (2000 words): 40%
Seminar contribution: 20%
Test (one hour): 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 hours (1-hour lecture, 1-hour seminar) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study