Indigenous Focus Day 2016

Tuesday 7 June, 2016
State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland

The 3rd Indigenous Focus Day saw 64 delegates from around Australia get together at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane on 7 June 2016, as part of the fifth annual Broadband for the Bush Forum. Over the course of the day, which was facilitated by Heron Loban of Griffith Law School, delegates attended 16 presentations. This included memorable keynote addresses by the Honourable Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, and Helen Milner, CEO of the Tinder Foundation.

The key themes to emerge from the day’s presentations were:

•       Remote Indigenous communities remain the most digitally excluded population in Australia

•       The major obstacles to connectivity are affordability and access, as well as cyber safety

•       The key to engagement is having locally relevant projects, content and applications

•       The focus should always be on people and relationships rather than technology

•       Partnerships and knowledge sharing are key enablers

•       Digital mentors are needed to increase skills and digital literacy in communities

Attendees were asked to distil their thinking into one big ‘ask’ or idea to put to policymakers.

The following are the three big ideas:

1.     Introduce a Universal Service Obligation underpinned by a set of principles (which are culturally appropriate and based on community need) to provide a minimum standard of internet connectivity in Australia, which will set Australia apart as a world leader in the digital innovation space.

2.     Recognise that digital inclusion is a human right, and to build digital citizenship through free (unmetered) access for all Australians, however remote, to essential online services and the skills and support to access them (reinforcing the theme that it’s not about the technology, but rather about people).

3.     Provide $60m to support Indigenous digital inclusion in 300 communities for two years. This funding would employ digital inclusion workers to provide training and technical support in media centres to build community capability and digitally empowered people.


Indigenous Focus Day Program (PDF)

Photos available on the IRCA Flickr page.


Heron Loban | Senior Lecturer in Law, Griffith Law School

Keynote Address

Hon Leeanne Enoch | Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Science and Innovation, Queensland Parliament

Helen Milner | Chief Executive, Tinder Foundation


Songwoman Maroochy Barambah | Welcome address

John Lockyer | Chairperson, Indigenous Remote Communications Association
Una Lawrence | Director of Policy and Campaigns, Australian Communications Consumer Action Association

Lauren Ganley | General Manager, Telstra Indigenous Directorate
Natalie Ahmat | Presenter, Producer and Senior Journalist, National Indigenous Television
Leigh Harris | Creative director, ingeous studios

Normie Grogan | Project Liaison Officer, NTGPE/Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT
Andrew Crouch | Senior Research and Projects Of cer, Centre for Appropriate Technology
Eleanor Hogan | Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology
Ellie Rennie | Associate Professor, Deputy Director, Swinburne Institute for Social Research
Iona Matthews | Administration and Membership Officer, Indigenous Remote Communications Association
Susan Locke | Research and Projects Officer, Indigenous Remote Communications Association
Glenn Bird | Managing Director, Indigenous Communications Group Pty Ltd

Michelle Williams | Director, Digital Learning Futures
Paul Sutton | Director, Digital Learning Futures
Jennifer McFarland | Community Development Worker, Central Australian Youth Link Up Service
Leyla Iten | Community Development Worker, Central Australian Youth Link Up Service
Nickeema Williams | Community Connector, Hitnet

Anja Tait | Assistant Director Libraries and Learning, Northern Territory Library
Cynthia Rowan | Executive Manager Indigenous Library Services, State Library of Queensland
Amanda Hayman | kuril dhagun Manager, State Library of Queensland


The Indigenous Focus Day came into being after participants in the Broadband for the Bush Forum perceived a need for a dedicated forum for Indigenous Australians to talk about their digital inclusion needs and challenges. The Indigenous Focus Day is an opportunity for Indigenous people to engage and collaborate with their peers. It is an interactive event, facilitated primarily by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and organisations.


All enquiries to Maor Bar-Ziv
Phone: 08 8952 6465.

This event is hosted by

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This event is sponsored by



Please note: Broadband for the Bush Alliance is no longer active since 2019. This legacy site is being retained for historic and research purposes
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