Digital Divide: report finds tech access deficit must be addressed in West

Released today, Western Sydney University’s CatalystWest report highlights equitable access to technology a key concern for leaders and innovators in western Sydney.

The University’s premier thought-leadership event, CatalystWest saw 300 of Western Sydney’s most influential leaders and innovators meet last year to actively engage and develop key data and solutions to the region’s most pressing concerns.

The report’s findings are critical, said CatalystWest founder and Western Sydney University Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Dr Andy Marks.

“CatalystWest attendees hailed from remarkably diverse and divergent disciplines and professions, and they contributed a variety of ideas and innovations throughout the day. But there was almost universal agreement when we asked if digital technology was essential in making Western Sydney’s cities the world’s most liveable cities,” said Dr Marks.

Capturing the standout sentiment in the final report, Dr Marks noted one very important caveat to come out of the finding.

“CatalystWest delegates were clear and undivided in the directive: the success of western Sydney depends on the ‘nobody is left behind’ approach when it comes accessing technology.

This report is the first clear indication for a new fundamental right for western Sydney region. We need to focus on building the digital literacy of our community, particularly vulnerable groups, otherwise we run the risk of leaving people behind and driving social divides,” said Dr Marks.

With digital connection is the primary way people can overcome social distancing and isolation, access to technology is critical underscoring the importance of the report’s findings.

For a breakdown on more of the findings and insights into the key issues for western Sydney, download the 2019 Catalyst West report here .

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