Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitNational Centre For Australian Studies
Monash Passport categoryResearch Challenge (Investigate Program)
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Professor Bruce Scates


Previously coded AUS2001


How has the landscape shaped the definition of what it means to be Australian? How has Australia responded to the global challenge of creating a sustainable society? Have non-indigenous Australians learned from Aboriginal relationships with the natural environment, and 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 history, tourism, literature, geography, politics, journalism and cultural studies. It includes intensive field trips/excursions to the historic Rocks area of Sydney, indigenous sites and wilderness areas.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Demonstrate a familiarity with the major themes in the field of Australian environmental history with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities of sustainability.
  2. Exhibit a critical understanding of changing perceptions of the Australian environment.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the climatic, cultural and economic forces that help to determine natural resource usage.
  4. Have engaged with global debates about the challenges of sustainable development.
  5. Have built the capacity to research and critically evaluate topical and historiographical debates regarding the impact of war on Australian identity and society.
  6. Have developed skills in constructing evidence-based arguments using a variety of primary and secondary sources, and demonstrated their ability to reflect critically on what they have learnt.
  7. Have developed skills in written and oral presentation and communication.
  8. Have developed a capacity to undertake location-based fieldwork, enhancing personal resilience and the capacity to work cooperatively in teams, and conduct independent research.
  9. Students taking this unit at Level 3 will demonstrate a higher level of skills in independent research and critical analysis.


Seminar contribution, includes presentation and journal(2000 words equivalent): 20%
Minor essay,based on excursion(2000 words): 20%
Major essay(4000 words): 40%
Test(1000 words equivalent): 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Intensive mode including on campus seminars and a study tour of 5-10 days.

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


ATS3386, APG4712, APG5728