AST250 - A History of Australian Football, 1858-2020


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125
Cohort rule: Nil


Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online

1 x 2-hour online seminar per week


This unit investigates the making and meanings of Australian football over more than 150 years. Students will examine: the game’s origins and codification in Melbourne during the 1850s; how it quickly spread across much of Australia in the nineteenth century; its growing popularity and increasing professionalisation throughout the twentieth century; and the emergence of the “football industry” in the twenty-first century. The grassroots level features at various stages, but the unit mostly focuses on football at the elite level by tracing the Australian Football League’s evolution from a suburban-based amateur competition exclusively based in Victoria through to becoming a billion-dollar enterprise with clubs based across the nation. The unit uses case studies to probe the role of football clubs in their local communities. It explores the emotional and cultural significance of “footy” to spectators and fans, and their changing relationship to the game through sports media. It considers the emergence of women’s football and women occupying off-field leadership roles. The unit also inspects the complex relationship shared between Indigenous Australians and Australia’s indigenous game, ranging from early participation through to recent racism controversies and attempts to promote reconciliation.

Unit Fee Information

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