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ISE2003 Media Representations and First Nations People

Semester 1, 2022 Toowoomba On-campus
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Coll for Indigenous Studies, Education & Research
School or Department : Coll for Indigenous Studies, Education & Research
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 30 June 2022


Examiner: Melanie Waters


Enrolment is not permitted in ISE2003 if ISE2001 has been previously completed.


Film and media representations continue to be key mediums through which societies gain knowledge and information. The pace at which knowledge and information is exchanged is a positive invention of the 21st century but there are also pitfalls. In the absence of having social relationships with Indigenous peoples these mediums play a key role in informing the wider society about Indigenous People, societies and issues. The accuracy and sources of knowledge about Indigenous Peoples and cultures through film and media is a contentious matter as representations of Indigenous People continue to rely on simple treatments of complex situations and old and new forms of stereotyping. This course seeks to breakdown the stereotypes, provide the counter- positions to misrepresentation and develop a deeper understanding of Indigenous issues.

The course takes an in depth look at how film and media portray Indigenous People, communities and cultures across Australia and globally. Through an analysis of mainstream texts, narratives and film and television critical analytical skills will be developed to encourage students to find a/ or multiple truths behind a story. Stories of success and celebration will be measured alongside stories of despair, neglect and menace. The impact of social media and the speed of global information exchange will be analysed against the rise of social movements. The changing dynamic in information exchange when individual and local communities control the way they are being represented will be analysed against the threat of big media collapse. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Netflix all change the way we give and receive information.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. differentiate between opinion pieces, editorials, and authentic reporting of facts
  2. evaluate the relationship between mainstream narratives in the media and First Nations representations of self
  3. understand the relationship between historical portrayals of First Nations people in film and television, portrayals of the ‘other’ and their impacts today
  4. understand the power of the positive, the impact of social media and the changing landscape of news reporting, representation and exposure
  5. investigate and analyse racist attitudes and stereotypes and their function
  6. apply knowledge to critically analyse texts and provide positive representation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Opinion vs journalism learning the critical skills to know the difference 20.00
2. Crime and criminality: Radio stations- talk back, ideologies of fear and sensationalism 20.00
3. Indigenous led representations - Maori media, NITV and the rise of social media in Indigenous communities 20.00
4. Critical analysis of headlines, hype and hyperbole 20.00
5. Historical representations and their impact today. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%)
Date printed 30 June 2022