Investigation 2: Taking perspectives


Using the research questions below, you should now be able to gather information to support the following perspectives in the debate over access to Uluru:

  • the Anangu, the traditional owners
  • the Northern Territory Government
  • the Commonwealth Government
  • the tourist industry
  • the environment lobby

The previously formed groups could now represent/adopt different perspectives on the issue, and choose to undertake their investigation from that perspective.

Research questions

  1. What are the natural heritage values of Uluru and how are they currently protected?
  2. What are the cultural values (sacred sites, cultural practices, beliefs) associated with Uluru and how are they currently protected?
  3. What are processes for deciding heritage and cultural values, and their importance?
  4. How would the issue be affected by government intervention – Northern Territory and the Commonwealth? What rights do each of the contesting groups – environmentalists, Anangu and the tourist industry – have?
  5. How would tourism be affected by a move to ban climbing on Uluru? What ramifications would this have for the local and Territory economies?


Jigsaw activity, Part 1

Each group is now ready to adopt a perspective to represent the interests of the different sides of the Uluru debate – Anangu, environmentalists, the tourism industry, the Northern Territory Government and the Commonwealth Government. Within each perspective group each member will take responsibility for a different research question but their task will be to understand and research it from their adopted perspective. [See pictorial representation]

For instance, in considering research question 5, the representative of the environmentalists' group would have to consider the following:

  • alternative ways of accommodating tourist activity
  • means by which tourist activity could be limited to a lesser or greater extent
  • finding and emphasising different revenue and employment sources for the local community.

Each perspective group should approach each research question in the way recommended above and devise a subset of research questions for the responsible researcher to answer in their investigations. Once each perspective group has devised a subset of questions, from its perspective, for each research question, the members can start the second part of the Jigsaw activity and join their research group to research the question.

Remember, the objective is for each perspective group to put forward its best case for climbing or not climbing Uluru.

Jigsaw activity, Part 2

In this part of the Jigsaw activity, group members divide into their research groups, that is the groups are now formed based on the research question that each member has to address. [See pictorial representation] In these groups, the members present and exchange the information they have gathered investigating their research question from their interest perspective. For example, a member of the environmentalist perspective group will present their research on research question 5 from an environmentalist perspective to other members of the research group who come from different perspective groups. Members should take the opportunity to exchange researched information, sources and points of view, as their perspective group will need to counter these arguments when they present their case. The following chart could be used to record the arguments and approaches of the research group members.

Research group number: Question number ...



Tourism Industry

NT Government

Commonwealth Government


Resources for the researching the perspectives

The following websites and online material have been categorised by perspective group. Some materials have applicability across categories and are repeated. Feel free to read as much of the material as you need to explore your perspective and to explore material across the categories, or to find additional sources.


National Parks, Conservation Areas and Tourism (Central Land Council)

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park


Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

‘Uluru - A cathedral in the desert’, Helen Splarn

Tourism NT

Travel NT

Northern Territory Government

Jigsaw activity, Part 3

Participants now meet in their original perspective groups to compare their research and to mount their case for or against allowing climbing on Uluru. Each participant would have heard from every perspective group on their individual research question, and it is now time to construct their case from their group’s perspective. In this activity, each member should share the different perspectives on their question that they recorded on their research sheets. In this way, their group will know who their supporters may be, and who they will have to convince, from the other perspective groups. The table below can be used to outline the different perspectives.

Research question



Tourism Industry

NT Government

Commonwealth Government

Question 1


Question 2


Question 3


Question 4


Question 5


The perspective groups could present their arguments for or against climbing Uluru in a PowerPoint presentation to the whole class or your teacher may chose to run a ‘Hypothetical scenario’ in which individuals from all the groups contribute to a discussion from their ‘perspective’ about the question of climbing Uluru.

A Class Charter on Uluru (class convention)

Once all the perspective groups have been heard, the class may choose to develop a Class Charter on Uluru that addresses the issue of Uluru as a sacred site to the Anangu people and a site of significance to the competing interests. A convention of all the groups might be called and a class position regarding Uluru could be drawn up.


Introduction | Topic 2 | Topic 2 Investigation 1 | Topic 2 Investigation 2 | Topic 2 Investigation 3 | Resources