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How nonprofits are using technology to improve community outcomes for First Nations communities.

To increase digital inclusion across Australia, our First Australians Digitisation Fund supported by, Google’s philanthropy, helps and amplifies on-the-ground organisations that are working to bridge the digital divide with, and for, First Nations communities.

On Monday 8 July, our First Australians Digitisation Fund beneficiaries gathered for Tech Day at Google HQ in Sydney. To help develop their tech solutions for First Nations communities across Australia, our non-profits were able to connect with experts to help further develop their tech solutions.

As part of our capacity building program, we were thrilled to connect our organisations with Googlers and tech experts from Origin Energy. Their expertise in automation, software engineering and web development allowed our organisations the opportunity to learn from a tech-perspective relevant to the tech they are building.

Clontarf Foundation is working to create a Central Information Management System (CIMS), and together with Julie Boulton, Intelligent Automation Operations Lead from Origin Energy, were able to discuss how they could overcome some of the challenges that they had experienced in the early stages of the project.

“Data’s a vital part of our reporting to our stakeholders and it allows us to track student attendance and how they’re participating and engaging in school,” said Alex Schwarz, Partnership Manager, Clontarf Foundation. “Today allowed us to meet the INCO team in person and Google reps. The technical experts were really valuable in providing advice about the way to move forward with our project.”

A space to connect is an important part of the alumni engagement platform that Stars Foundation is developing. Together with Nitin Jain, Senior Developer from Origin Energy and Victor Wong, Software Engineer for Google Chrome, from Google, they were able to discuss potential solutions to barriers they’ve faced early on.

“Our use of technology to facilitate and maintain those ongoing connections using a whole range of different tools and functionality from the tech space to create ongoing connections for the girls is something we’re so excited about,” said Andrea Goddard, Stars Foundation Executive Director. “I had a great experience engaging with the INCO staff, Google staff and Tech Experts that helped facilitate conversation about the project we are working on.’

Tech Day attendees were greeted with a warm welcome from Cindy Wei, Head of Strategy & Operations and Reconciliation Action Plan Lead, Google, who said “‘There is so much more learning to do which is why First Australians Digitisation Fund is so important, because as we work with each of you, through these community-first, community-led initiatives, we’re learning, we’re growing.”

Pictured: Cindy Wei, Director, Strategy & Operations AUNZ and RAP Lead, Bec Turner, Google Government Affairs & Public Policy & Kiel Horton, Country Operations Manager

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