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Aboriginal and Indigenous Research at

University of Tasmania




Aboriginal Studies is offered by Riawunna, Centre for Aboriginal Education.

Riawunna is committed to the advancement of knowledge about Aboriginal and Torres St. Islander cultures and societies and to the promotion of cross-cultural understandings, as well as to providing a prominent place within the University for Indigenous Australian values, traditions and discourses.

In particular, Riawunna provides excellent support for Aboriginal Students.

The Centre maintains close links with the Aboriginal community in Tasmania and with Indigenous people in other parts of Australia, North America, Europe and Asia.

On each campus Riawunna maintains a resource room which houses an outstanding collection of books, articles, audio-visual materials and material culture; the resource rooms are available for use to all University students and staff. Riawunna staff offer a wide range of skills and experience to those wanting to understand In

Riawunna offers an undergraduate major and an honours program in Aboriginal Studies. Both programs aim to develop a wide understanding of Aboriginal and Torres St. Islander cultures and societies as they have continued and adapted, from ancient times until the present day, with special focus on the on-going process of Aboriginal dispossession and the resistance and responses to it on the part of Indigenous communities. Strong emphasis is given to the issue of Aboriginal identity and study materials generated by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people are used.

The Aboriginal experience in Tasmania is a major focus in second and third years and units are also offered which consider Indigenous societies in other parts of the world. Emphasis is given to the development of a range of academic skills, including writing, research, critical analysis, oral presentations and problem-solving.


Riawunna Research Summary

Riawunna staff have a wide range of active research interests. These include:

- Aboriginal participation in vocational education & improvement of education and training pathways (Clair Andersen)

- the nature and development of the languages of Northern Australia (Ian Green)

- housing needs of young and elderly Tasmanian Aborigines, public policy and attitudes to Aborigines in 1990s & Aboriginal families (Maggie Walter)

- non material cultural appropriation and the colonization of cultures & Aboriginal autobiography and life-stories (Mitchell Rolls)

- Australian identity, family history, colonial and Aboriginal history (Shayne Breen)

- Indigenous knowledges and environment, identity and place in Tasmania (Greg Lehman)

- personal and national memory and representation in visual arts & archaeology, museums and collection (Julie Gough)

- construction and representation of Aboriginality in the Australian print media (Carol Pybus)

- governmentality, liberal arts schooling and Aboriginality (Terry Moore)

- historical biography (Walter, Gough & Lehman)

In recent years, with the development of an honours and postgraduate program, Riawunna has supported an exciting range of student research projects. Current projects include:

- spatial patterns in Aboriginal criminal justice (Lisa Rosevear)

- Aboriginal languages in Tasmania (John Taylor)

- public health policy effectiveness (Maggie Walter)

- Reconciliation (Kate Harrison)

- museums and Aborigines (Tony Brown)

- Aboriginal bushrangers and public remembering (Kali Ward)

- Aboriginal history of West Australia (Jennifer Sabbioni)

- Indigenous knowledge of weather and climate (Greg Lehman)


University of Tasmania


Clair Andersen
Director, Indigenous Higher Education Programs
Riawunna, Centre for Aboriginal Education
University of Tasmania
Hobart, TAS 7001        Australia

ph    +61  03 6226 2517
fax   +61  03 6226 2575

E mail:





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