Australian Case Studies of Interactions; Cultural Capability in Practice

Chapters 2-5  is a collection of  case studies which use the principles of cultural capability developed by first year university students at CDU in Australia. The principles developed in their critical reflections in chapter ‘Principles of Capability’ were used to analyse the case studies in the following chapters. (Additional cultural studies students in Capstone units and Business have also contributed works from chapter 6 onward. )


Students accessed openly available media links to events and experiences they had in order to analyse  them for the cultural capabilities demonstrated and make recommendations for  a more culturally safe interaction.

Cultural capabilities  are actions and skills we can use to become better in our professional, academic and roles in the community roles.  The four main principles are based on managing bias with collaborative relations of power, building cultural border crossings, developing equity and acknowledging privilege, and  more deeply enacting diversity and inclusion (Kandola, 2013; Cummins, 2009; Aikenhead, 1996; McIntosh, 1988, Gorski, 2014; Bali, 2016).

Case Studies include analysis of the following selection of inter-cultural interactions:

Dirt Cheap 30 year on: Mining Lease negotiations with Mirrar traditional owners in the Northern Territory in Australia.

This is a  documentary which was made available on the Vimeo platform by the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation. ‘Dirt Cheap 30 Years on: the story of uranium mining in Kakadu National Park. https://vimeo.com/73373709

#toostrongforyoukaren; a racially charged confrontation between a senior Indigenous man and his neighbours in December 2019 that went viral. The neighbour unsuccessfully attempted to pull down the Aboriginal flag, resulting in the  statement ‘It’s too strong for you Karen.’

This event was copied and shared on social media in various formats ; here are some links:



Discrimination Suffered by Asian people during COVID19. 

The New York Times Published a brief  clip about  an Asian American girl which showcased example of incidents experienced globally; a series of media clips on a collection of statements made; students were encouraged to cite Australian examples as well.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/opinion/Racism-coronavirus-asians.html


A local Indigenous students’  experience of online racist reviews of their workplace in tourism focused on the importance of a culturally safe workplace. This report comes first in this collation of student analyses of cultural capability in today’s world.


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