ATS1259 - Exploring contemporary Australia: People, events, ideas - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

National Centre for Australian Studies


Dr Susan Carland

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The unit has a domestic field tripdomestic field trip ( component and may incur an additional cost.


Exploring contemporary Australia: People, events, ideas is a subject that tackles the "why?" of modern Australia: Why does it treat asylum seekers like it does? Why is sport so important? Why are issues with Indigenous Australia still so unresolved? Why is gender spoken about so often in current Australian media? Why does ANZAC day matter so much?

We will investigate contemporary Australian issues through a sociological, political, and historical lens by each week covering a different theme or idea in Australia: Indigenous Australia, the economy, gender, sport, pop culture, multiculturalism, the environment, politics, and more. By asking, "How is Australia dealing with this?", "What happened in Australia's history for the nation to approach the issue in this way?", "What does the way this issue is being thought about tell us about current Australia?", we will be able to answer the "whys": "Why is Australia like this now?", "Why did it do those things in the past?", "Why is this issue handled like this now in Australia?"

As well as expert guest speakers coming to address the students on certain topics, there may be an additional optional field trip.


  1. To develop students' understanding of the historical and cultural processes that have shaped various aspects of contemporary Australia.
  2. To employ fieldwork and a range of relevant sources within the field of Australian Studies in gaining insight into past and current events that have shaped contemporary Australia.
  3. To think, discuss and write critically about the issues that affect Australian politics, culture and society.
  4. To develop students' independent research and presentation skills on related subjects.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement. + Additional requirements + Field trip

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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