This assessment focuses on the issue of Hotel Laeta’s corporate social responsibility and its duty of care towards the Indigenous Australian people.
Aboriginals Australians are technically the first people who lived in Australia. Australian Aboriginals were basically the hunters who used to eat the animals they caught and were also considered as gatherers of plants which could be eaten. Some of these groups then settled on the islands and are now called as Torres Strait Islander People.
1. Foundational Aspects of Indigenous Australian Cultures (the dreaming and economic organisation)
The term dreaming is a spiritual or a regional perception which not only goes back to the creation of the events but it also grasps the present as well as the future. For the Aboriginal People the word dreaming is known as a period when the supernatural spirits known as ancestral beings where they spread over the continent, creating the landscapes, human society, customs, languages and also its rules and regulations. In order to achieve something from all the above mentioned aspects they eventually died as bodies but it is believed that there spiritual essence still remains in the sky, water as well as the landscape. Dreaming is an abiding life force where it is often seen when individuals come and go and as a matter of fact lives do change. The ancestors travelled through water, earth, oil, sea, air etc. where they gave the laws so that people can live by and also those laws which eventually created respect among one another. And therefore the Aboriginal’s right to land were recognized by the High Court of Australia in the year 1992 where as per the law the Australian law Indigenous people do have rights to the land, rights which existed even before colonialization. In regards to the island communities before the mid-nineteenth century the Torres Strait Islanders’ economic systems were separate from the mainland. The life of the islanders therefore formed a very broad culture which was then dependent on trade as well ceremony. The culture among the Traditional Torres Strait was regulated by senior men which was solely based on kinship and reciprocal obligation. Kinship is at the heart of Aboriginal culture. It is believed that Kinship has existed for more than thousands of years and is well alive today. It is all about fostering harmony as well as respect for the first nation peoples.
2. The influence of historical colonization practices, policies and legislation relating to Indigenous Australian people
The influence of the colonization practices, legislations of the past has had a negative impact on the Aboriginals as they were not treated fairly and were not even considered as humans in some cases. The social and economic impact of invasion and control of Indigenous people has accumulated across generations. It was amplified by policies and practices that have systematically disadvantaged Indigenous people. The negative effects of colonization are still having an impact on Indigenous people every day. The social and economic impact of invasion and control of Indigenous people has accumulated across generations. It was amplified by policies and practices that have systematically disadvantaged Indigenous people. In many instances, this has resulted in the transmission of trauma, poverty and other forms of disadvantage from generation to generation. So the disadvantage we see today is often the long term effect of lack of opportunities in previous generations, including poor nutrition and inadequate education and health care. Such injustice and differential treatment over the years has left a scar on the minds of Aboriginals and now they find it difficult to let go of this feeling. In regards to the legislation there are considered to be several acts which were designed in order to help protect the Aboriginal people such as:
• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Act 1984 – This act focuses on several issues that are impacting upon the Aboriginal as well as Torres Strait Islander people which includes the formation of community justice groups, their entry to respective trusted areas and also includes the formation of the Island Industries Board.
• Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 – The main purpose of this act is to endorse recognition, protect the people of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.
• Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 – it was designed in such a way to focus on the recognition as well protect the people of Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage.
3. The links between past and present Indigenous socio-economic disadvantage.
Australia’s Indigenous population has, since the British settlement in the eighteenth century, been marginalized in all aspects of life. Many initiatives have surfaced and many policies have been developed to assist in improving living standards and socio-economic outcomes of the Indigenous people. However, the Indigenous population as a group continues to experience many significant disadvantages from birth to death compared to the non-Indigenous population. Community disadvantage can be defined as the complex cluster of factors that make it difficult for people living in certain areas to achieve positive life outcomes. It emerges out of the interplay between the characteristics of the residents in a community e.g., employment, education levels etc. and, over and above this, the effects of the social and environmental context in which they exist i.e., place effects or neighborhood effects, such as weak social networks, poor role models and a relative lack of opportunity. The major links between this continuing socio economic advantage can be pointed out as lack of opportunities to Australian Aboriginals, racism or discrimination, lack of education or employment, high rates of violence which is due to illicit drug use , mental health issues etc.
Hotel Laeta follows a broad view of Corporate Social Responsibility where the hotel goes beyond the financial as well as economical obligations to look after the community and the environment. In other words the hotel has responsibilities towards the consumers, employees, suppliers as well as the community.
And therefore Hotel Laeta is always committed towards corporate social responsibility by making a positive contribution towards the community, stakeholders, guests, sub-ordinates, business partners, environment etc. In order to conduct its operations in a manner that does not threaten environmental sustainability there are some sustainable practices that are in place at Hotel Laeta.
The hotel’s ongoing CSR initiatives include 1) Earth Check which can easily assist or help in prospering pragmatic systems, procedures and processes that deliver sustainable outcomes and 2) Green Leaf Sustainable Services which overtures on sustaining the hotel business beyond the parameters of triple bottom line – it basically means a trading that is competitive, profitable, responsible as well as strong. It has a crux overture on sustaining businesses beyond the triple bottom line where the three departments within GLSS are solutions, software and standard where each and every-one delivers additional facilities to make sure that the success is achieved in a trading’s sustainability sojourn.
In order to respect the Indigenous Australian peoples’ relationship to the land Hotel Laeta makes sure that the places which have high importance to the Aboriginal people for a variety of reasons such as social, historical as well as spiritual are not being destroyed/ damaged by further development of the business in those areas as these places need to be protected and under the NPW Act 1974 it is a crime to harm or destroy any land or any object that belongs to the Aboriginal People as these places recognizes their culture. And by protecting these places from being destroyed this will not only be beneficial for the Indigenous but also for the Non-Indigenous as with the help of Aboriginal places a lot can be learnt about their culture, their values, their traditions as there is a lot that can be learnt from these places. When it comes to the land it is considered that it is more than just a place for the Indigenous Australian people. For example non-Indigenous people and the owners of the land consider it as a property something they own which can be bought and then sold so that they can make profits out of it. But the Indigenous Australian people have some kind of spiritual connection as they are required to care for the land. The health of land and water is very central to their culture as they are seeing endeavored to live with the land as opposed to the non-Indigenous people. The land was not just the soil or rocks but it includes the whole environment. They are part of the land and the land is part of Aboriginal People.
Following are some of the implications for Hotel Laeta and its Corporate Social Responsibility that will ensure environmental sustainability and respects towards Indigenous Australian people:
• Hotel Laeta should focus more on energy conservation practices and should also look for safe waste disposal methods.
• As far as the Australian Aboriginal community is concerned, the hotel needs to focus on ways by which it can create employment opportunities for the community.
• Hotel Laeta will make sure that its job advertisements are not discriminatory.
• Hotel Laeta will focus on taking strong as well as positive steps to recruit and then train Aboriginal people.
• The hotel will actively focus on attracting as well as recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates.
• Creating a career path where the hotel will be developing some programmes to support Aboriginal as well as Torres Strait Islander People in a career in hospitality industry. The programmes therefore will be designed in such a way where it will provide candidates ample amount of opportunities where they can demonstrate their skills regardless of their experience.
• And therefore Hotel Laeta believes in diversity and inclusion and endorses a work environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity. As it endorses an equal employment opportunity where the hotel doesn’t discriminate against employees on the basis of sex, race, colour, gender, ethnicity, religion, culture etc.
• Hotel Laeta will focus on supporting Indigenous Art as well as their culture not only internally but also externally.