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Nonprofits develop tech to bridge digital divide in First Nations Australian communities

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

On Tuesday 21 February, our First Australians Digitisation Fund beneficiaries gathered for their final Capacity Building Session at Stone & Chalk in Sydney. This was the last of four workshops designed to lift the capacity of the Orgs, share updates to understand and support each other and connect while building their tech solutions.

In keeping with the theme of building capacity, the final session was an opportunity for the four participating Orgs to provide the group with final updates on their projects and also included an education piece, which was delivered by keynote speaker, Geoff Scott, Uluru Dialogue. Geoff shared details of The Uluru Statement from the Heart and the importance of the upcoming referendum, including how the Orgs can support the campaign amongst their communities.

Andrea Goddard, Stars CEO, provided a final update on its Alumni Engagement Platform, Wunder, which is currently in testing phase and due for implementation to Alumni students in Q4 2023. While Anna Gannon, Wiradjuri Woman and Program Manager for KARI Foundation, shared an exciting update on their Wellbeing App that will be available later in the year in South Western Sydney and Regional NSW at first, followed by a national roll-out.

In his update, Deputy CEO of Clontarf Foundation, Craig Brierty, explained the importance of quality student data to understand school engagement, and how it should be retrieved and shared amongst stakeholders, including Clontarf, schools and Department of Education across all states, to ensure greater efficiency. Intelligent Pathways will provide the automated additions to Clontarf’s CIMS system, with the pilot due to commence in WA by March 2023, and discussions underway with other state departments for a nationwide roll-out.

In the afternoon, we were joined by Michelle Zahra, Head of Origin Energy Foundation and Shalysse Romer, Senior Organisational Development Manager, Aon, following their ongoing support this year by providing volunteers.

The afternoon session included a presentation from Geoff Scott, a Wiradjuri man from Narromine, who has more than thirty years of experience working in Aboriginal Affairs. Geoff provided the group with an informative and inspirational discussion on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Overall, the FADF program and all four Capacity Building Sessions have been successful in building capacity and empowering First Nations Australians to use technology to improve health, education and employment opportunities for their communities. We look forward to seeing the tech programs come to life and continue to drive positive change into the future.

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