Investigating the teaching of Indigenous knowledge in Australian tertiary design schools

Landscape architecture students from the University of Canberra and University of Melbourne learning about Indigenous knowledge at a fieldcamp to Haycock Point, Ben Boyd National Park, in 2015. Photo: S Heyes.

Re-Casting terra nullius blindness: Empowering Indigenous Protocols and Knowledge in Built Environment Education ID12-2418

Office for Learning and Teaching, Australian Government – $220,000

Project Team: Assoc Professor David Jones, Deakin University, (lead Institution); Prof Darryl Low Choy, Griffith; Assoc Prof. Richard Tucker, Deakin; Dr Scott Heyes, University of Canberra; and, Assoc. Professor Grant Revell, University of Western Australia

Recent events in Australian history, including recognition of native title by the High Court in Mabo v the State of Queensland [No. 2] (1992) 175 CLR 1, have heightened recognition of the rights, interests, needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia and internationally. Despite this, little has changed in Australian built environment professional education to integrate a better understanding of the need for engagement with Indigenous knowledge and cultural systems and relevant protocols, as distinct from cultural competency articulation. While aspirations of including a better understanding of Indigenous Australian’s knowledge and cultural systems are embodied in the relevant agendas of the respective discipline professional Institutes, little attempt has been made to realize this objective. This project seeks to re-dress this deficiency by providing Australian universities with tools to address practice realities and complexities through a nationally applicable cross-discipline educational module that will aid Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural literacy in this context.


Re-casting terra nullius design-blindness: better teaching of Indigenous Knowledge and protocols in Australian architecture education

Planning for Country: Empowering Built Environment students with Indigenous Protocols and Knowledge

Reverse greening Australian Landscape Architecture Education: Charting an Indigenous perspective on country respect and design