The Broadband for the Bush Allliance Committee would like to congratulate Nickeema Williams from Hitnet Worabinda for being selected in the elite group of First Round of Advance Queensland’s Community Digital Champions for 2017.
Nickeema has been a speaker at the Broadband for the Bush Forum in the past and this year, she will be presenting at the 6th Forum to be held in Fremantle, June 21-23 2017. She will both speak at the ndigneous Focus day and inspire her peers plus share her work and future thinking at the Main Forum.
Hitnet – robust, co-designed technology in remote Australia
Hitnet co-designs and innovates with remote Indigenous communities to develop technology that is robust, useful and simple to use. The Hitnet WiFi hotspot, turning a touchscreen kiosk into a digital hub, is a recent example. Hitnet codesigned with young people in Cape York to develop a culturally appropriate mobile landing page with easy links to useful everyday online activities. This has provided a safe, curated, free online experience for remote Indigenous people, using locally stored content wherever possible.
Hitnet has been working with remote Indigenous communities over the past 15 years to bridge the deepening digital divide. This session will give an overview and demonstration of the Hitnet Hub and its digital ecosystem for communities to access and interact via their mobile devices free-of-charge; enabling both social and digital inclusion.
Hitnet is an innovative ‘Communication for Development’ social enterprise that produces rich learning media with and for those living on the wrong side of the digital divide – populations marginalised by culture, technology and distance. Using cutting edge technology to co-create interactive learning materials with the community, Hitnet then distributes them to its unique national network of public touch screen kiosks (Digital Hubs), web and mobile, enabling easy access to education.
Building opportunities with art, youth and digital technologies
Nickeema Williams combines art and digital technologies to create opportunities for young people and promote positive change in disadvantaged communities.
She is based in Woorabinda, a remote aboriginal community west of Rockhampton. The community has high unemployment. Few community members have access to internet, or any exposure to digital technologies beyond mobile phones. Nickeema works in many ways to turn this around. She is a practicing artist, a youth worker for the Australian Red Cross, and a community connector for Hitnet Innovations, an Australian company that produces rich learning media with and for those living on the wrong side of the digital divide.
Nickeema primarily helps people aged 12–17 by:
- showing them how to access online services
- helping them research employment and education opportunities
- assisting with digital device set-up and technical problems
- teaching, healing and upskilling by combining art, fashion and technology
- supporting the Mimosa Studios program, which helps young people create music videos, short films and songs, and teaches them software, basic sound engineering and lighting.
Nickeema is also involved in public speaking and advisory work. This year she will be speaking at the Broadband for the Bush summit in Perth about the creative use of digital technology within an Indigenous context.
As a digital champion, Nickeema wants to increase the digital literacy of community members of all ages. As well as her existing work and activities, she will support the Queensland State Library to set up the Woorabinda Indigenous Knowledge Centre and introduce programs that bridge the digital divide. She will continue to mentor young people on the use of different digital art mediums, such as computers, cameras, projectors, recording and sound equipment, exposing them to endless new opportunities. For all digital activities, Nickeema will focus on sustainable outcomes and pathways.
Nickeema is nominated by: Australian Red Cross, Rockhampton