From Murray Bridge to the Sydney Harbour Bridge a group of young leaders from South Australia, made the journey north to Sydney in August 2018 to take part in a week-long careers development camp hosted by the IDX Initiative at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE).

“The best time ever!” as it was described by many in the group, the visit to Sydney was a taste of city life, and an opportunity to think about their future career paths beyond the schoolyard.

Kokatha woman Lesley Saunders, a Coordinator for Nanko-walun Porlar Nomawi (NPN) within Child Adolescent Mental Health Service in Murray Bridge, was one of the leaders to attend the camp.

“These camps are very valuable and quite insightful for the young fellas to see what the IDX Initiative does. There are job opportunities out there, it’s just a matter of getting (the kids) to think about their future” said Ms Saunders.

The camp sought to ignite the interest of all participants in a potential career path in the tech or a related industry through a jam-packed schedule of activities and workshops.

Activities included a group visit to the Sydney Powerhouse Museum, Apple, Salesforce and the Sydney Swans at the SCG. As well as virtual reality, robotics, and a Talking About Tobacco Use (TATU) workshop onsite at the NCIE.

“All the kids involved enjoyed the opportunity and I’m sure have taken away a little more insight into their futures beyond school than before this trip.” Lesley Saunders said.

The IDX team met the facilitators and young leaders in May 2018 when the team travelled to Murray Bridge to deliver digital making workshops in the local community. Part of the IDX Flint program, the team trained young members of the community including local facilitators in a variety of new technologies, including robotics, coding, 3D printing and virtual reality.

Ngarrindjeri and Kokatha man Harley Hall is one of the local facilitators based in Murray Bridge, and also attended the camp in Sydney. He said the camp was a great opportunity to build on the learnings from the IDX Flint workshops in Murray Bridge earlier this year.

“Everyone had the chance to continue their digital technology training, and try new technology that many of the participants have never seen before,” said Harley Hall, Aboriginal Councillor from NPN.

He was blown away by the facilities at the NCIE and the commitment of the team to deliver positive workshops for the participants.

“There is all this positive energy in everything, from the food and over to the gym. It’s self-empowering seeing all the different community members come in and use the place,” he said.

IDX Flint Manager Grant Cameron explained the program and the work of the IDX Initiative aims to create is a sustainable platform for supporting Indigenous people to use and embrace digital technologies.  

“We really enjoyed the visit to Murray Bridge earlier this year and it was great to invite the young leaders to Sydney to participate in the camp. It’s the second year we have hosted a camp like this and we hope we can bring more of our Flint communities to Sydney in year’s to come.” “It’s a chance for them to see what opportunities are out there” Grant said.


The week kicked off with a warm welcome and a smoking ceremony performed by the deadly Kumorri around the fire pit in the NCIE’s courtyard. 

The group presented the IDX team with a shield that Harley Hall and the young participants cut out from a tree in Murray Bridge and painted in their own time.

The first day included onsite workshops with the IDX team in virtual reality, robotics and coding. Everyone had a go at using the tech.

“I really enjoyed the virtual reality both at the NCIE and the PowerHouse Museum. It was deadly looking through the glasses and looking at another world!” Camp participant.

The group also participated in the NCIE’s Talking About Tobacco Use (TATU) workshop. The TATU program is part of the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program – TIS – funded by the Department of Health and based at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern, Sydney.

Day 2 included a visit to the Sydney PowerHouse Museum where former IDX Program Facilitator Celeste Carnegie showed the group around her new workplace. The group had the opportunity to try a range of tech including the Hololens and tour the exhibits.

The visit to the PowerHouse museum was followed by some time out with a visit to Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach and a tour of the Sydney Cricket Ground and a peak at the Sydney Swans locker and training rooms.

“It’s all about having them exposed to strong role models and there’s the element of career opportunities that the kids can hopefully take up,” IDX Flint Program Manager Grant Cameron said.

Day 3 kicked off with breakfast at Apple’s flagship Australia store in Sydney’s CBD. The group spent the morning hearing from Apple staff talk about their career paths and role models.

“I saw positive engagement by all of the students, was great to hear the students talking about their future jobs they want, and opportunities they can have if they finish school and take up further studies.” Lesley Saunders said. 

The group were treated to a cruise on the Tribal Warrior around Sydney Harbour a highlight for many in the group, ahead of a day at Luna Park before heading back to South Australia at the end of the week.