CUC107 - Applying Cultural Capabilities Report

1.1 Background

The phrase ‘cultural capabilities’ refers to the skills important in promoting high performances in workplaces, communities and universities. It is an increasingly important aspect in all levels of workplace organisation because it aims at ensuring effective communication, maximum engagement and collaboration with individual co-workers for yielding maximum results.

Cultural capabilities are essential for creating a safe workplace and learning zone. Every area of work has its own set of cultures that are in accordance with that particular area only (Bernstein, Bulger, Salipante &Weisinger, 2019).

1.2 Aim

It is primarily based on evaluated behaviours and norms of the area within which it is applied. For a successful development in cultural capability in the workplace, it is important to analyse and negotiate the differences and further carry out advisory measures and training programmes suitable for the participants.

1.3 Scope

The purpose of this formal report is to observe and analyse if the characters in a given interaction are showing effective cultural capabilities or otherwise. Also, besides providing a detailed summary of its importance in developing and maintaining a culturally safe workplace, it’d also include safety measures by a suitable increase in the workspace (Bin-Sallik, 2003). The following report will also include the recommendations based on the analysis done and the improvements that can be made thereafter.

2. Summary and Observations

2.1 Summary of the Interaction

The analysis of the report is in light of the dark story behind the dangers of the nuclear industry as a whole. The stupendous uranium mining in Kakadu National Park in Northern territory has posed a health and cultural disturbances that are faced by the traditional landowners- the Mirrar people (natives). The film portrays the hazardous story of the Ranger Uranium Mine on the Mirrar people since the late 1970s and how over several decades the harmful discharge into the nearby water body and pristine wetlands has caused contamination. The film also shows how the overuse of the land for mining uranium, which originally belongs to the natives, has resulted in fatal health issues and a constant decrease in the cultural habitat of the natural land (Harless, 2018). Most of the water is the centre of food and sanctuary for wildlife which is slowly depleting because of projects which threaten human and animal life. The recent generation has been living with the impact of mining and it’s high time improvements should be made for an overall healthy environment (Bali, 2016).

2.2 Observation

Ranger is located in the boundaries of the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park (Kakadu) and had two other uranium-rich deposits- Jabiluka and Koongarra, which were yet to be developed. Those two projects had been on hold due to the opposition from the landowners and wet season rains which have resulted in washing down of the contaminants into the water bodies. There had been earlier news reports on the nuclear crisis in Japan, Fukushima and a considerable amount of decrease in production of uranium which has created a tough time for the Australian energy resources. The Fukushima incident has instilled a fear in the Mirrar people about their land being used for developing nuclear weapons from the uranium present in the area thus making the land hazardous for the people residing in and around.  Excessive extraction of uranium has left behind damages over the years on the recent generations as well. The collapse in rice after the crisis has surfaced the need for rehabilitation which costs thousands of million dollars (Gorman, Wurm, Vemuri, Brady & Sultanbawa, 2019). The crisis has also led to a decrease in uranium trade affecting the livelihood of the local people involved in its production. The energy resources of Australia needs to be rehabilitated for the benefits of those local people as well as ensuring that radioactive and contaminated mine tailings are done under proper supervision and isolated environment for the years to come.

3. Analysis

3.1 Information found

The announcements of proposed mining sites in the Kakadu, under the Jabiru Aboriginal Corporation, have had lasting impacts on the area and its people at large. The native residents of the area have been highly dependable on mining for employment and livelihood since the establishment of the Ranger mine in the 1970s. The involvement of the white people in the opening of new mining areas in the country, around the mineral lease in the National Park, had encouraged aboriginal people back then to believe in secured working conditions for them and their children in the future. This report has analysed the outlook of the early aborigines and how over the year the work culture has stood the test of time even with hazardous outcomes.

3.2 Issues identified

There were three major issues that were the outcome of mining: the impact of mining on the natural habitat; the impact of mining on the aboriginal people; the impact on the economy as a whole. It is notable to mention that even if the implications on the environment were looked up before, the graver implications were on the aboriginals especially.

3.3 Real fact

The bitterness of the proposed site was that the people were confident of slipping into better working conditions with employment securities. The part of Northern Australia where the mining was initially proposed was extremely hot and humid. To work under such extreme weather conditions it was expected by the people that they’d be furnished with the allowance of deciding upon the usage of their own land. Far from so, the traditional owners weren’t consulted and their land was used without their prior permission. When analysed, it was noted that the people were under a false impression of betterment. The idea of transporting 5000 people in a small town, with a police station, as promised, was a golden thought for the workers, although it didn’t turn out as planned. The Northern Land Council was consulted for the acquiring of the land which was actually meant for them but none respected their opinion and their pleas went unheard. The aboriginals had already accepted their way of living since mining was the only source of employment for generations at an end. Till date, the Mirrar people bear the responsibility for the impacts that mining activity has on the life of others nearby.

3.4 Hazard found in economic and nature context

According to Alan Macintosh, the resident engineer from the mining in the Jabiru site, mentions that the deposit of uranium oxide was 10,800 tonnes until Jabiluka1. The deposits were 200,000 tonnes thereafter, which was the highest ever recorded. With a deposit of that huge an amount, the impact on the natural habitat for flora and fauna are irreconcilable. It has been reported that a single mine use, even if properly managed, has hazardous effects on the environment due to the chemical release into the water bodies and soil. Kakadu has been listed under The World Heritage Site and the negative implications mining has on the archaeological values and the biological cycle will take many years to be rehabilitated (Sangha  et al. 2017). More so, the business company that carries out the mining process often covers up the actual damages that are done on a regular basis. Since the four decades of the mine's existence, there have been over 200 leaks, spills and breaches of license which have further degraded the biological cycle of the Northern country.

Now, the economic issues that arise out of a project that involves the mass area and majority of the population can be divided into two sectors. One sector which directly lead to the payment of the employees and the other which deals with the rehabilitation of the sites. Rehabilitation is an important concern in recent times, because of the already infused contamination that needs to be deducted.

4. Recommendations

Although there has been a wide-spread side effect of the impact of mining already, there still exist methods of improvements that can be applied for the betterment of the Australian mining corporation.

4.1 Recommendation 1

Firstly, the economic benefits to Australia from the new mines should be made substantial for the overall growth of other industries that can flourish beside the mining industry in order to sustain the aboriginal life (Martin & Mirraboopa, 2003).

4.2 Recommendation 2

The funds that are collected for the rehabilitation of the mining sites should also be set aside for conserving the sanctuary and the environmental quality index (Schwab, 2018).

The income derived from the new and upcoming mines would improve the social and economic conditions of the traditional owners.

4.3 Recommendation 3

A thorough assessment of the benefits of the new projects should be carried out, keeping in mind the aborigines of the place.

In recent news, The Jabiru Aboriginal Corporation, representing the Mirrar traditional cooperation, representing the Jabiru Township in Kakadu National Park, has announced the idea of Coalition for the town’s and Kakadu’s vitalisation.

Summary and Conclusion

It can be well concluded from the report that the living conditions of the traditional Mirrar people have long suffered due to the oppression of the whites. The toxic legacy of inheriting mining employment has created a barrier in cultural development as well. Given the importance of the Kakadu national site and the traditional owners of the land, it must be incorporated that the health, betterment and safe working environment is more crucial than the establishment of more mining projects. The cultural heritage of the Country has to be maintained and the opinions of the residents have to be taken into account keeping aside bureaucratic and commercial benefits.


Bali, M (2016) Unpacking Terms around equity, power and privilege. [Blog] Good Friday

Bernstein, R. S., Bulger, M., Salipante, P., &Weisinger, J. Y. (2019). From Diversity to Inclusion to Equity: A Theory of Generative Interactions. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-16. 

Bin-Sallik ,M.  (2003)    Cultural safety: Let’s name it!. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education32, 21-28. 

Gorman, J. T., Wurm, P. A., Vemuri, S., Brady, C., & Sultanbawa, Y. (2019). Kakadu Plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) as a Sustainable Indigenous Agribusiness. Economic Botany, 1-18.).

Harless, J. (2018). Safe space in the college classroom: contact, dignity, and a kind of publicness. Ethics and Education, 13(3), 329-345.

Martin, K., &Mirraboopa, B. (2003). Ways of knowing, being and doing: A theoretical framework and methods for indigenous and indigenist re?search. Journal of Australian Studies27(76), 203-214.  

Schwab, R. (2018). Twenty years of policy recommendations for indigenous education: overview and research implications. Canberra, ACT: Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR), The Australian National University.

Sangha, K. K., Sithole, B., Hunter-Xenie, H., Daniels, C., Yibarbuk, D., James, G., ... & Russell-Smith, J. (2017). Empowering Remote Indigenous Communities in Natural Disaster Prone Northern Australia. International Journal of Mass Emergencies & Disasters35(3)

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