illuminance Solutions have been running several training programs for Indigenous Australians in collaboration with UniHall (UWA) since 2018, and now illuminance Solutions and The University of Notre Dame Australia have teamed up to tackle digital literacy in Broome’s Indigenous community. Training programs teaching people the basics of Microsoft Office programs including Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel will roll out at Notre Dame’s Broome Campus next year and be taught by illuminance staff on site.
Notre Dame Broome’s Aboriginal Studies Coordinator, Gillian Kennedy backed the importance of teaching communities basic digital literacy skills. “A lot of Aboriginal people live in remote places and find it difficult to leave their communities for education,” Ms Kennedy told NIT.com.au.
The program will run four times in 2020 and will be open to all members of every age group of the community, – not just students. Ms Kennedy said Notre Dame will attract participants through the networks the university has previously built through past programs.
“The program that will be offered on our campus in Broome, to the Kimberley Aboriginal Community, is in keeping with the University’s reconciliation mission. We are looking forward to contributing to the education of people who are very important to our University,”
Prof. Selma Alliex, Pro Vice Chancellor & Head of Fremantle Campus, University of Notre Dame Australia
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illuminance Solutions understands the imperative for all Australians to attain a high level of digital literacy, and the disadvantage that can result from limited digital literacy and also recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. At present the workforce at illuminance is diverse in age, gender, culture and ethnicity and our staff recruitment has clearly demonstrated the absence of Indigenous people pursuing a career in ICT. Given the incredible growth in this sector and the increasing reliance on technology in any industry, illuminance Training has given free Office 365 training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in collaboration with UniHall (UWA) to encourage and facilitate the uptake of ICT as a career path of choice for Indigenous Australians.
Answering to the awareness week National Reconciliation Week in 2018, illuminance Training launched the program to teach essential technology skills for improving productivity with Office 365.
Digital literacy is essential for all Australians, and the course help address two key inter-related issues currently faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, namely lower education completion rates and lower digital literacy levels than non-Indigenous students.
While there have been higher year 12 completion rates for Indigenous Australians and improvements in Indigenous university enrollment numbers over the past 10 years, Indigenous students remain underrepresented in higher education in comparison with the domestic student population. Indigenous university students also have significantly lower completion rates than non-Indigenous students.
Indigenous Australians are also amongst the groups of Australians who have lower than average levels of digital literacy which, in turns, results in a lower than average ability to use digital technology. This necessarily impacts upon all areas of life, from the ability to use the internet, to bank online, to communicate with others, to receive a quality education, and to gain and hold employment.
These problems are compounded by the current rate of technological advances and the impact this is having on the economy and the nature of work. Digital literacy is essential for all Australians and it is crucial to ensure that Indigenous Australians have equal opportunities to participate in education, employment, and economic and social life.
Illuminance Solutions is a Microsoft Gold Partner and a 2019 Microsoft Global Partner of the Year: Partner for Social Impact.