In this course, 10 major topic areas important in Indigenous health will be examined. These include:

  • understanding Indigenous health data
  • the role of health information within primary health care
  • health issues in Indigenous communities: understanding the challenges, illnesses, social and environmental risk factors
  • prevention and management approaches to health improvement across the life span 
  • economics of Indigenous health.

This elective course comprises 6 units of credit towards the total required for completion of programs offered by the School of Population Health. It is also a stream defining course of the Masters of Public Health in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing.

Mode of study

External (distance)

Key contact

Ebony Lewis
Course Co-Convenor
+61 (2) 9385 3942

Who should do this course?

We welcome students from any discipline and level of experience to contribute perspectives and understandings. In addition, we encourage you to engage with the material, ask questions, discuss relevant issues with teachers and colleagues, and regard the available literature with a critical eye.

Course outcomes

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  • explain the impacts of colonialism and government policies on patterns of health and disease, determinants of health and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations
  • explain epidemiological transitions and demographic characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, including multi-morbidities and shared risk factors, and compare these to non-Indigenous populations
  • critique a diverse range of health promotion, primary healthcare and human rights strategies and principles designed to improve health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, and their implementation in diverse settings
  • interpret the measurement and effectiveness of strategies implemented to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, analysing for example: research design and implementation, ethical issues, research translation and accountability, capacity building and economic efficiency
  • critically reflect on your own culture, beliefs and attitudes, life experience, professional practice and interrelationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Learning & teaching

This course incorporates a student-centred, blended learning approach, informed by Indigenous pedagogies. The two-day on-campus workshop is its centrepiece, laying the foundations of a collaborative learning community. For those who are unable to attend, there will be an alternative online component for you to complete. This will include compulsory webinar sessions in Week 1 which you will need to attend if you did not participate in the two-day workshop. Details are available on the Moodle site. Attendance at the workshop is strongly recommended.

In the two-day face-to-face workshop, you will engage with a range of Indigenous health professionals as well as your peers. We place a high value on your own experiences as health professionals, which you will inevitably call upon and share both face to face, in the scenario planning you will do online and in the development of your critical reflection practice.


Assessment Task 1 – Critical reflection
Weighting: 30%
Length: 1500 words

Assessment Task 2 – Investigative report
Weighting: 45%
Length: 2500-3000 words

Assessment Task 3 – Online group discussions
Weighting: 25%
Length: Posts minimum 200 words

Assessment Tast 4 – Reading Game
Weighting: 5%

Readings & resources 

Learning resources for this course consist of the following:

  • course notes and readings (in Moodle)
  • workshop information and content
  • webinar portal and preparation guide (available in Moodle the day after the workshop concludes)  
  • recommended resources
  • supplementary resources such as videos, podcasts (available in Moodle).

PHCM9630 does not have a textbook. However, we do recommend you try to view the following recommended readings, which are available in UNSW Library: