Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit critically explores the colonised history of Australia, historical and current racism and structural racism as seen in policies and practices and the impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, those with ‘settler' ancestry, and more recent immigrants, with a particular focus on the role of social work. The myth of a ‘peaceful settlement' is explored alongside concepts of privilege, critical whiteness and anti-oppressive theoretical frameworks, inclusion/exclusion and allyship are interrogated. Students will draw on lived experience, and/or their prior knowledge gained from SWSP2001 Knowledges and Skills for working with Indigenous Peoples, and practice observations and experiences gained from SWSP3001 Field Education 1 to consider how culturally secure communication and interventions may be created within alternative frameworks, such as ‘third space'.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Off-campus
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Social Work major sequence

Students are able to (1) critically analyse the impacts of colonisation, racism and structural racism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples those with ‘settler' ancestry, and more recent immigrants; (2) develop and critique you own cultural standpoint and the impacts of this on your work with Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples in the context of your practice framework; (3) evaluate of the principles of cultural security as they apply to your practice framework; (4) critically analyse a case study as observed or experienced during SWSP 5309 Field Education utilising antioppressive and critical whiteness theoretical frameworks, encompassing the concept of power

; (5) analyse specific frameworks such as 'third space' that embrace cultural security, responsive communication and allyship; (6) critically analyse the relevance of decolonising principles to the future of the social work profession, and more broadly, to the role of social work in actively challenging colonialist policies and practices; and (7) examine professional practice principles as they apply to workplace and university professional behaviour.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) individual reflective journal; (2) presentation and individual paper; (3) case study; and (4) professional behaviour assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the professional behaviour assessment component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
Enrolment in
BH017 Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
and Successful completion of
144 Points
and SWSP3001 Field Education 1: First Placement
Contact hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.