Regional Innovation 3

Regional innovation – from digital isolation to digital revolution

Regional development is a key issue for rural and remote areas of Australia; however, innovation is often hampered by poor access to reliable and adequate telecommunications and a lack information on how to access and exploit digital  technologies to ignite business growth. Many businesses not far from major urban centres have extraordinary tales of digital isolation. This stream will look at examples of digital innovation across primary and creative industries, tourism, community services, health, education, and other sectors.

Session Chair: Marianne St Clair – Broadband for the Bush Committee

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

Speakers Thursday June 22 11.00 – 12.00

Developing the North through Connectivity: Fostering digital ability for innovation in regional, rural and remote (RRR) Queensland.

Dr Amber Marshall

Amber’s presentation  – Amber Marshall

For the last three years Amber has lived in remote Northern Territory and Far North Queensland while completing her PhD through the University of Queensland Business School. Her research specialisation is ‘virtual organising’ and she holds a Masters degree in organisational communication. Her professional background is in internal/external communications in public/private sectors, along with start-ups and project management. Amber is now seeking to apply her city-based education and experience towards the social and economic development of remote, rural and regional Australia by fostering participation in the digital economy.

This research addresses the emerging gap between getting RRR Australians connected and converting connectivity into digital innovation, leading to outcomes that grow businesses and create jobs. This will involve investigating how Northern Australians in particular may develop knowledge and skills to innovate in their businesses and communities. Particular focus is on the processes by which connectivity may be harnessed to improve existing business processes and/or create new services to complement primary production.

Tele-Veterinary – Diagnosing remotely

Sue Sameulson

Sue Samuelsson, cofounder and CEO, iVET

Video confereence, no local presentation

Dr Sue is owner of Gove Veterinary Services in East Arnhem Land which she has owned since 2009. She is founder of i-Vet, Australia’s first Veterinary Online Consultation Service which was awarded NT Export Industry Commendation Award for Innovation in 2016. Dr Sue has a Masters Degree in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery and was included on the 2016 Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence for Innovation.

Providing veterinary services in regional and remote areas is costly and difficult. There is a smaller population providing revenue for a mandatory expensively equipped hospital. Wages are also higher in regional and remote areas. However, the personal and physical costs on the attending Veterinarian by being on call 24hrs a day 7 days a week precludes most vets from wanting the regional lifestyle. In Nhulunbuy, we have successfully utilised Veterinary Telemedicine to provide an after-hours service for a town that was struggling to keep a vet. In this model, the “On Call Vet” can be anywhere in Australia and is provided support through various veterinary technicians that can assist with hands on treatment of required. This session showcases a new way of providing support to Vets in regional and remote Australia and proposes further uses for the technology.


Digital readiness of remote Indigenous researchers, are we there yet?

Aurelie Girard and Valda Shannon, Whole of Community Engagement initiative, Charles Darwin University

Presentation – Aurelie Girard

Aurelie Girard has been working in the digital world for over 10 years and was exposed to the rapid-changing technology her entire life (GenY). Aurelie is the project coordinator of the Whole of Community Engagement initiative since 2015. She is currently undertaking a Master of Education international with CDU and her areas of research are language, literacy and Indigenous researchers and digital technology.

Valda Napurrula Shannon Wandaparri is a Walpiri/Warumungu woman who has been living and working in Jurnkurakurr since 1992. Valda’s most recent work has included writing culturally relevant programs for the Mental Health Association of Central Australian Suicide Prevention initiative which led her to draw on culture to connect with communities. Valda presented her work on the importance of addressing suicide through cultural practices at the United Nations Indigenous Forum in 2014. Her focus is ‘Walking in confidence in two worlds’ and embedding Indigenous culture within education, employment and processes to strengthen community cohesion through improved communication and information sharing.

In recent decades Indigenous research, has shifted from research ‘on’ to research ‘with’, and shifted from ‘research ‘for’ to ‘by’. It makes sense that active participation of Indigenous peoples and researchers creates clarity and understanding of the research and findings. A 2014 study (AITSIS and AIGI) said use of digital technologies in Indigenous research is an enabler and a barrier, particularly within action research projects, which is the common way that research is conducted. What are the consequences of this?

We will share some stories about what it is like being an Indigenous researcher. We will focus on the experiences of the Indigenous researchers in collecting, recording, analysing and sharing data, communicating and working within and across research teams to meet research output and project requirements. We will highlight digital literacy barriers and enablers faced by remote Indigenous researchers. We will share what software, hardware and techniques we use and see if the audience uses alternatives. We will focus on the impact of poor broadband and connectivity as one of the factors impacting on people’s participation. Can Indigenous people develop digital literacy when their online experiences are limited?

We will use a roundtable technique to ask our audience what they have experienced and what barriers they have found. We will use a collection activity to gather ideas about potential solutions. These will be fed into the key ideas of the forum.



Telehealth – access and use in remote Australia – why isn’t it happening?

Marianne St Clair,  Northern Insitute, CDU


Marianne has been involved with organising the 2014, 2015 & 2016 Indigenous Leadership Conferences and is working in collaboration with AMSANT and the Northern Institute on the Implementation of Telehealth across Northern Australia. This collaboration continues to expand. Marianne is doing her PhD on the role of collaboration in seafood enterprise development in remote Indigenous communities. Marianne is supporting the Board of B4BA 1 day a week as Executive Officercontexts.

Uptake of telehealth in the NT has been limited, for a variety of reasons eg inadequate broadband access. Through collaboration between stakeholders, staged implementation has been developed in NA requiring engagement with hospitals and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).  The NI/AMSANT/CSIRO collaboration is assisting remote ACCHOs to establish telehealth and aid them in evaluating the cost/benefits of reliable internet and telehealth services as well as expanding digital inclusion.