The Broadband for the Bush Indigenous Focus Day 2017, hosted by the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA) and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), was held on Wednesday 21 June 2017 in Fremantle, Perth WA. Indigenous Focus Day promotes digital inclusion projects and addresses the opportunities for, and obstacles to, the digital inclusion of remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations. Participants helped develop recommendations for a Remote and Regional Indigenous Telecommunications Policy, and gained valuable skills to advocate for increased connectivity.
Remote Connected and Savvy! was the title for the sixth annual Broadband for the Bush Forum. The Indigenous Focus Day was facilitated by Christine Ross, an Arrernte/Kaytetye desert woman, and provided space for yarning and sharing; and drawing conclusions on what ideas need to be advocated for.
The Indigenous Focus Day 2017 consisted of:
75 participants, 12 presentations and 4 workshop sessions on:
• Obstacles – Identified key obstacles to digital inclusion
• Solutions- Proposed targeted strategies and projects
• Policy Plan- Advocacy plans to address key obstacles
• Action Plan – key actions topromote Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander digital inclusion
Key outcomes from Indigenous Focus Day 2017 included the following themes:
• Remote Indigenous people remain the most digitally excluded population in Australia
• Digital inclusion should be considered a human right
• Major obstacles are affordability and access to infrastructure, equipment and online services; also cyber-safety, security and skills
• More mobile coverage and WiFi solutions needed due to mobility and limited home internet
• Locally relevant projects, content and applications are the key to engagement
• Partnerships and knowledge sharing are key enablers
• Digital mentors needed to increase skills and awareness; a new job in communities
• Devices are often shared, not individual
• Prepaid services are used more than billed, but expensive
Download the Indigenous Focus Day 2017 Key Outcomes to read about all of the presentations and the Action Plan.
How did the B4B Indigenous Focus Day come about?
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.