Digital Inclusion 1

Digital Inclusion in the Bush – exploring best practice models to facilitate accelerated digital inclusion across rural and remote Australia

The release of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index in 2016 provides a clear insight into the the demographics of those most in need of digital inclusion interventions, and will enable the development of collaborative and targeted approaches to digital empowerment in regional, rural and remote areas. This stream will look specifically at the challenges and barriers to creating a fully digitally enabled Australia, and explore the best practice models that are proving successful.

Session Chair:  Daniel Featherstone –  Broadband for the Bush Committee

Mini Menu: Featured Speaker, Keynotes and main speakers, ProgramDelegates – accommodation info, Registration

Speakers Thursday June 22 1.45-2.45

Public wifi is a fundamental library service in remote Australia

Anja Tait, Assistant Director Libraries and Learning, Northern Territory Library NTL

Anja Tait Presentation 5MB.

Anja Tait is the Project Director for Northern Territory Library’s community internet service. As Assistant Director Libraries and Learning her key responsibilities and accountabilities are to lead, develop and represent the library sector of the NT. The focus is on building staff capability to engage communities in library programs, and increase user access and contributions to the Library’s collections of Territory knowledge and history. Anja brings to the role a background in education, research, the arts in health and community cultural development.

Northern Territory Library (NTL) is collaborating with regional councils and local authorities throughout the Territory to provide free public wifi in 46 remote Aboriginal communities. This initiative is supported by ongoing funding from the Northern Territory Government, who recognises that free wifi is a fundamental public library service. Reliable and affordable internet access is crucial for us all to engage with and participate in the diversity of services, information and communications now available to people the world over.  

Unleashing the potentials that Digital Technology, inclusion and startup support can offer Australia’s most disadvantaged and disconnected communities

Leigh Harris,  ingeous studios, Cairns, QLD

Presentation Available

Leigh is a Aboriginal digital design and creative specialist who designs, codes and films with over 25 years in the digital creative industries. A serial entrepreneur Leigh has sold four online ventures and continues to be Creative Director of his Cairn-based Indigenous creative studio, producing on and off-line creatives for both local, national and international clients. He is a strong advocate and mentor for many Indigenous photographers, designers and graphic artists and Technology consultant to projects throughout North Queensland Indigenous communities, providing publishing platforms and designing solutions for mobile platforms and social media.

In 1995 Leigh was recipient of an Australia Council Fellowship for his work in online digital creatives and ten years on in 2015 Leigh was acknowledged as an Advance Queensland Digital Champion for his work over in advocating and volunteering his skills to improve digital literacy, inclusion in the creative, ICT and innovation space.

As the creative motivator and co-founder of DHIVE, an Indigenous-led digital inclusion and innovation hub in Cairns he strongly advocates for the next generation of digital creative and IT Specialists need to include more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in regional towns and remote communities. Leigh advocates strongly that the digital world has many offering that can bring much opportunity and impact to disconnected and disadvantage communities.

To bring about the discussion DHIVE will hosting a Tech and Digital inclusion conference in Cairns called Unleash.D designed to inspire this generation and activate the next.

unleash.D will bring together the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and other disadvantaged and minority groups from through Australia to discuss and unleash the potential that digital economy and digital innovation can offer. unleash.D is a place to imagine the future and discuss, a place to learn from world-changing innovators, futurists, inspired thinkers and an interactive community of activators. Our strategy is a program that will contain a Conference, Master Classes, Deep Conversations, pitch tables, performances, and other special events and discover the strategies and techniques for digital leadership and innovation for Australia most disadvantaged group.


Confronting the challenges of setting up a digital inclusion network

Cecily Michaels, Chief Executive Officer. Leap NGO

Cecily’s presentation

Cecily Michaels is the Chief Executive Officer of Leep, a group creating inclusive communities through communityNet, digital inclusion and volunteer solutions. Cecily has almost 30 years of experience working with disadvantaged communities.

For nearly 20 years she was an aid worker in the Middle East and South East Asia before turning her focus to the community sector in NSW. In an increasingly digital world, Cecily is an enthusiastic advocate for ensuring everyone has the skills and access to be online.


Drawing on our experience in setting up a network for digital inclusion in Western Sydney we will outline the strategies that worked and what didn’t. We will provide a rationale for why we think we met these challenges and share the solutions we found. We will share our experience providing IT support and solutions in remote NSW and the challenge bringing digital inclusion to Western NSW. We will include our lessons learnt from visiting online centres in the UK. You will gain insights into the key challenges and solutions found when creating a digital inclusion network in Western Sydney.