Last week I attended a GoDigi Event at the National Library of Australia. GoDigi is an initiative that encourages ways to be digitally inclusive of all Australian peoples and improve digital literacy. I was interested to see how this initiative translated into the every day and keen to learn from others experiences.

Early in the day, Lisa Fletcher introduced GoDigi’s Digital Inclusion Manifesto and it struck me how similar it is to ALIA’s Statement on Information Literacy. So it didn’t surprise me to later on, learn that GoDigi’s partners included government, school and public libraries and museums. GLAM institutions really are uniquely placed to teach digital literacy skills and help alleviate the digital divide, therefore, I am happy to hear of their involvement in this initiative.

Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, Director General NLA and NYDI Champion and Brendan Fitzgerald, CEO of Infoxchange suggested we read the Digital Inclusion Index that was recently released to gain an understanding of where Australia stands.  According to the index:

“Australia’s overall performance indicates a moderate level of digital inclusion, with mixed progress across different Index dimensions, geographic areas and groups…  In general, wealthier, younger, more educated, and urban Australians enjoy much greater inclusion…the ACT has the highest level of digital inclusion, Victoria’s scores are improving faster than any other state or territory, and Tasmania is the only state or territory with declining scores”.

The Lightning talks highlighted examples of digital inclusiveness reflected in GoDigi’s Manifesto. Julia Hickie, Assistant Director of Trove talked about initiatives that are community driven. She used the Corporal Coles prosthetic hand on Trove to show how international community collaboration allowed more than 1,600 people to receive a 3D-printed hand at low cost.

Mithun Alexander, Deputy Chair, Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils Australia shared his digital experience working within a multicultural  community. He mentioned a need to move memberships to a digital platform as people still use cheques. I was interested to hear the digital tools they used to better manage meetings, decisions and ideas. He mentioned Trello as an alternative to Kanban lists. I wonder how they reached the decision to use Trello and not Basecamp, Slack or Evernote?

Laurie Patton, CEO, Internet Australia  spoke to the need for policy that is integrated and visionary. He stated we should have decent internet to support the digital inclusiveness everyone at GoDigi encouraged. Needless to say, the NBN was mentioned and how, in its current state, it is “not good enough”.

I was quite inspired to hear examples of physical spaces that are accessible, vibrant and connected from George Dunford, Head of Digital and Content Services at the National Museum of Australia. Like many others, the National Museum have used Facebook Live to bring physical spaces in the museum to those outside it. He also mentioned a website called Collision that brings the outback of Australia to people through virtual reality film and the museum’s educational robot tours for schools.

The last lightning talk was by Peter Radoll, Professor of Information Technology and Dean, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy at the . As Peter talked I learned and found I could relate to many of his statements, especially the one about sharing mobile devices around communities!

Overall, the day was food for thought.

Till next time!
DFTBA – Don’t Forget to be Awesome

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