Digital Inclusion 3

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: Alex Burgess – IRCA

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

Speakers Friday 3.15-4.15

Voice Communications and leveraging existing infrastructure more efficiently.

Russell Baird, Director,  Stratum Communications Pty Ltd

Russel Baird Presentation

Russell has worked primarily in financial management roles, with a technology focus, and established Stratum Communications in the mid-nineties to pursue innovative communications opportunities. Having been engaged by the Northern Territory Government continually over this time and undertaken a number of trips, afforded Russell additional insight as to remote communities and associated communication services.

Stratum ran a pilot of its proposed voice messaging system involving 5 small communities both on Elcho Island and on the mainland. The pilot was to evaluate the benefits of using existing fixed community phones to relay secure messages to individuals within the community, via a communal message bank. In the first instance this was tailored around a primary health care application, to reduce the “no shows” of patients for important clinical appointments and air travel.


Connecting communities: Access, infrastructure and connectivity on the Ngaanyatjarra lands.

Silvano Giordano, Director, Wilurarra Creative

Silvano Giordano’s Presentation

Silvano Giordano has been the Director of Wilurarra Creative for seven years, living and working in Warburton Community in the very remote Ngaanyatjarra Lands in Western Australia. Silvano has a background in commercial printing, contemporary and community arts, and sound engineering.

With the belief that access to arts resources, technology and appropriate self-directed learning opportunities is fundamental to self-determination, Silvano works alongside (particularly younger) Ngaanyatjarra people to build engaging and relevant creative, cultural and enterprise opportunities.

1000km from the nearest towns, Warburton Community, on the Ngaanyatjarra Lands in WA, is Telstra’s most remote service area. Wilurarra Creative is the only public access internet in Warburton. The internet hub sits at the centre of a vibrant, community-driven arts program for young adults, which brings together the whole community. Silvano Giordano will discuss the value of connectivity in very remote Australia; the challenges of providing internet access in Ngaanyatjarra communities, and how a Wilurarra’s approach is achieving lasting results.


 Access from a different perspective

Angela Voerman, InDigiMOB Project

Video only supplied.

Angela Voerman presently coordinates a remote learning centre in Utopia for Batchelor Institute. She has been a lecturer in Sociology and in Community Management.  Her long interest in the area of engagement in learning has focused on social aspects of learning, development of practice-based projects and on the creation of learning and living environments that create communities.

This session will explore the concept of access to technology in remote aboriginal communities. Access is commonly thought of as a technical issue, related to hardware, software and the limits of networks. Access is also about literacies, cultural appropriateness and the general place of digital communication in the fabric of everyday community life. These are important concepts to integrate into models of internet-based service provision.

 Slipping through the net – case studies from Central Australian Aboriginal Communities

Leila Iten, Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS), NT

Video Only supplied.

Leyla has been working with young people and families in remote Aboriginal Communities in Central Australia since 2010. Part of her role with the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service (CAYLUS) involves supporting computer rooms, wifi hotspots, and cyber safety initiatives specific to the region.

Limited internet connectivity and access to digital devices in remote Aboriginal communities in Central Australia results in excluding people from essential services on the basis of income and geography. As more of these essential services transition to being managed online, how are the rights of digital citizenship being challenged? This presentation will illustrate the impact of digital exclusion using case studies from Central Australian Aboriginal communities, and their experiences, in 2017.

If you cannot afford to access the internet to set up and maintain essential services, where does this leave your family, your community?

Slipping Through the Net is a ten minute film featuring interviews with residents of Central Australian remote Aboriginal Communities.  The film will attempt to share the perspective of Aboriginal people and their priorities and experiences online, including the challenges they face in maintaining access to essential services. The film will also include interviews with service providers in roles at council offices, clinics, schools, youth programs etc. who spend hours and hours assisting people to get online so they may access essential services.