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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Cultural Competence - Aboriginal Sydney by The University of Sydney

166 ratings
45 reviews

About the Course

This course explores some of the key themes and capabilities of cultural competence by exploring Aboriginal experiences and narratives of Sydney. Australia was ‘claimed’ for the British Crown in 1770, by Captain James Cook, but the invasion began in earnest when the First Fleet of British arrived in 1788 and established a penal colony in Sydney. As a consequence Sydney is a city rich in diverse pre-colonial, colonial and contemporary sites of significance to Aboriginal peoples. Too often though our perceptions about Aboriginal peoples consign them to an ancient past or perpetuates stereotypical imaginations that Aboriginal peoples live in remote communities (Hinkson, 2010). At the heart of this MOOC is the theme that Sovereignty was never ceded and Sydney always was and always will be Aboriginal Land. Despite this the Aboriginal presence in the city is often invisible to non-Aboriginal eyes. This course aims to bring to light marginalised narratives of Aboriginal presence in this space. To understand hidden and marginalised narratives and experiences it is necessary to develop cultural competence capabilities. Key elements of practicing cultural competence include being able to understand and interrogate context, which in the case of Sydney includes not only learning about the peoples, places and histories of Aboriginal Sydney but to also understand issues about how knowledge is created and how dominant narratives can exclude diverse knowledges and experiences. Course learning outcomes 1. Develop knowledge about cultural competence capabilities. 2. Develop a deeper and multi-layered knowledge and understanding about Aboriginal peoples, cultures and places in Sydney. 3. Develop a greater understanding of how history, cultures and places are represented, contested and interpreted and how that relates to their own context. Acknowledgement of Country We acknowledge that this course was developed on the land of the Gadigal Peoples of the Eora nation. We pay our respect to the Traditional Owners of this land and acknowledge that the land that the University of Sydney was built on has been a place of learning for many thousands of years....

Top reviews


Jun 04, 2018

A valuable and hugely informative course. I am new to Australia and this course has helped me to understand many of the complex issues to do with the land's identity; past, present and future.


Jul 16, 2017

A fantastic and vital course. Lectures are succinct and easily digestible, with beautifully filmed and edited interviews providing a range of expert insights on the subject. Thank you!

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1 - 25 of 45 Reviews for Cultural Competence - Aboriginal Sydney

By Catherine H

Dec 22, 2018

I was pretty disappointed with this class. I really wanted to learn more about the Aboriginal culture, philosophies, and just about the way of life of these people (ie spiritually, family structures, migration, etc.). This class is more centered around how the native people, today, are living in society, and how they combated discrimination throughout their lives. It all really focuses on post-colonial contact.

By David H

Dec 28, 2017

I found in this course everything I was hoping for. It was presented in an easy to follow format and ran together very well. Being from Canada and having such similar issues with our Indigenous Peoples I wanted to see if your country was the same after being colonized by the British and that has been most definitely confirmed. To see two regions on this Earth of ours and thousands of miles apart it makes one stand up and take notice as to how the Europeans operated and conquered Land and all the vast resources for wealth and power was all it was about. Now the tide has turned and the Authorities can no longer ignore issues as everything going on has worldwide attention and more and more people want to know.

By Sandra W

May 27, 2020

This was an extremely interesting course and brought into focus many things about our first people of which I was only vaguely aware. The readings were well chosen to highlight the various themes and reinforced by the videos which featured pertinent oral history.

Module Six especially made me realise the struggles Indigenous People have suffered. These travails are still happening.

Recently, Rio Tinto destroyed an important First People’s cultural site estimated to be 46,000 years old and then ironically ‘Sorry Day” was celebrated. The view expressed by Jenny Coe Munro was correct - the government talks a good story but nothing changes.

By Annette v H

Dec 31, 2017

This course gives a very diverse insight in Aboriginal Sydney. I particularly enjoyed the fact that most people speaking in the course are experts by experience, telling their own particular, very interesting stories. The readings support the very diverse range of subjects and were well doable in a week (for me anyway). The assignments made me think about my own environment and its meanings, which made the course very inclusive- it is not only about a far away country and an alien people but can be applied to all of us. I would like to compliment the designers of the course on this specific aspect. Thank you!

By Lauren R

Jun 25, 2017

As a British citizen who has lived in Sydney for three years, this course was educational, thought provoking and humbling. I am extremely pleased to have had the opportuntity to learn more about the city and country I've decided to make a home in, and now feel like I have a stronger connection to the country and it's people - whichever walk of life they come from. I cannot wait to continue on this journey of discovery and will continue to educate myself on the treatment and experiences of indigenous Australians.

By Sébastien H

Jun 03, 2017

To me, it was short, new but so interesting ! By the way, you should create others MOOCS on the same topic, exploring the different ways of life of the others Aboriginals peoples and Torres Strait Islanders all around Australia and make a real certificate with all the MOOCS completed.

By Joy S

Feb 19, 2018

Not sure I believe a very caucasian looking "aborigine" got picked on in school.

By Sue R

Oct 03, 2020

I expected just to learn about first nation peoples in Australia, but actually via the assessments I also learnt a great deal about British history, and about new cultures settling in my region of the UK. I found out new information about new settlers and their emerging cultural infrastructure in my town. A very thought provoking course, many thanks.

By Greer

Aug 22, 2017

This is a wonderful course and a valuable catalogue of some incredible knowledge and individuals who have been at the forefront of history and social change. The richness of contemporary aboriginal Sydney has inspired me to explore my local community, its history and history of social change. Thank you for putting this together

By Hannah

May 24, 2020

Well constructed course with thoughtful lessons and themes. Really enjoyed getting to know more about Sydney, my adopted city, and the incredible history and culture, particularly in my area of the Inner West. Thanks for a great course, will recommend to others!

By Loretta B

Mar 28, 2020

Loved this course, which I started during its first iteration. Highly recommend for those seeking to understand colonization and indigenous impacts, in Australia but also globally since so many harmful practices were already “perfected” in the Americas.

By Jess M

Mar 28, 2018

This was a great course, really valuable, insightful and important. Thanks so much for making this material available, we completed as a group of colleagues and all took a lot from it. I will definitely recommend it to others to complete.


Oct 07, 2017

Very interesting approach to examining the urban Aboriginal community with lots of input from people with diverse experience. Focussed but comprehensive; an extensive reading list offers the chance to broaden each module if desired.

By Anders A

Mar 05, 2018

An engaging, interesting and highly important course for anyone living in Sydney or indeed Australia. The course teaches a modern, unique perspective on Aboriginal culture with a particular focus and lens on Sydney.

By Rosalia C

Jun 28, 2017

This was a wonderful course. The videos are high quality and they offered many different perspectives. It was a joy to study this course and it's really changed the way I see the world around me. Highly recommended.

By Samantha M

Jun 13, 2017

A great short overview course that presents both the history of the area as well as the contemporary issues and innovations of Indigenous peoples in the Sydney region. Highly recommend as a beginner's course.

By Robert W M

Jun 04, 2018

A valuable and hugely informative course. I am new to Australia and this course has helped me to understand many of the complex issues to do with the land's identity; past, present and future.

By David G

Jul 16, 2017

A fantastic and vital course. Lectures are succinct and easily digestible, with beautifully filmed and edited interviews providing a range of expert insights on the subject. Thank you!

By Gai-Louise H

Jun 17, 2020

I really enjoyed this course and learning about Cultural Aboriginal Sydney. Hearing the stories of the past cemented the knowledge firmly. I would highly recommend the course.

By Nicole P

May 18, 2018

Very informative course delivered in a very accessible format with lots of video from people active in the Koorie community in Sydney. Thanks so much.

By Guillaume T

May 10, 2020

I am studying full time and took this course as an extra. The course is very well done, very imformative and makes you think.


May 29, 2020

Thank you. I thought I had a good grasp of the decolonisation process. I had no idea. Thank you for offering this

By Lynette M

Jul 22, 2020

I really enjoyed the course. It was well presented, provided excellent information and made me think.

By Hannah B

Aug 12, 2020

Incredible course with insightful resources I will continue to refer back to for a long time.