The University of Notre Dame Australia and Perth-based ICT consultancy Illuminance Solutions have joined forces to launch an initiative designed to boost digital literacy among Broome’s Indigenous community.
Nearly 50 percent of Indigenous households in remote Australia have no access to the internet at home, resulting in increasingly low digital literacy rates among Aboriginals.
To help address this, staff from Perth-based ICT consultancy firm Illuminance Solutions will work from Notre Dame’s Broome Campus and offer digital literacy programs to all students and adults in the community who wish to develop their skills.
“Digital literacy is essential for all Australians as it impacts so many areas of our lives – from navigating the internet, or being able to use online banking, to receiving quality education and securing employment,” says illuminance CEO Nilesh Makwana.
“Unfortunately, there is a digital divide emerging in Australia,” he says, “particularly among Aboriginal communities, with the problem compounded by the rapid rate of technological advancements.
As Australia becomes increasingly digitised, it’s crucial that our nation’s first people have equal opportunities to participate in education and employment.
The digital literacy training programs are focused on providing a basic understanding of Microsoft Office, teaching participants how to use Team, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint Online and a range of other Microsoft business programs, including OneNote.
“Notre Dame’s Broome Campus has a mission to support Reconciliation and we therefore have an important role to play in overcoming the challenges that many Kimberley people have in accessing and using digital technologies,” Notre Dame Chief Operating Officer Clare Stanford says.
“Students in the Kimberley are geographically disadvantaged and digital literacy is a critical component of any effort to bring about educational equity to Aboriginal people in this region.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Honourable Ken Wyatt will formally launch the joint initiative at the 2019 West Tech Assemblage held in Perth next month.
“I would like to congratulate both illuminance Solutions and The University of Notre Dame Australia for this new initiative. It’s encouraging to see such leadership outside of government that’s looking to lift digital literacy rates among Indigenous Australians,” Minister Wyatt says.
“This is an important project that will assist Indigenous families with access to education and employment opportunities.”
Acknowledgement of Country
The University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome acknowledges the original custodians of this land, the Yawuru people of the Yawuru nation. The University pays its respects to the Yawuru Elders past, present and future – for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Aboriginal Australia.