The word for fire in Mutti Mutti, Wadi Wadi and Latji Latji language, and what the Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) Flint team aimed to ignite among the young people in the small town of Robinvale, VIC.
IDX Flint aims to spark the interest, ideas and talent of young Indigenous Australians in making digital technology. And last week on the banks of the Murray River a group of young leaders had their chance to build and connect with the latest in digital technology.
FLINT Manager Grant Cameron, Learning Experience Designer Celeste Carnegie and Programs Coordinator Claude Williams, travelled to Victoria for a week of workshops facilitated by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) and the Clontarf team at Robinvale Secondary College.
“We want to really encourage Indigenous young people to engage with this technology, have a bit of fun with it, and see that it is accessible to them and it can be a real career path for them as well,” Grant said.
The team worked with local mentors and students to build robots and use coding to tell a digital story, 3D print words in Mutti Mutti, Wadi Wadi and Latji Latji language and learn ways to care for Country and monitor sites in their community with a drone.
“Flint really opens their imaginations as to what they can do. Drones for example, we’re seeing so many industries adopting drones and we can be a part of that,” Grant said.
The IDX Flint team is looking forward to seeing the participants lead the way in innovation in their community.
“This was the first site that was youth led in terms of facilitators, so IDX will be watching this community very closely in months and years to come to see what fantastic workshops and programs the young leaders deliver,” he said.
VACL Digital Language Projects Officer Emma Hutchinson said after training older students as facilitators, it was inspiring to see them share their knowledge with the younger participants.
“A highlight of the week was certainly watching how eager and capable these students were in quickly using these new skills in leadership roles to teach others. It was also an enriching experience to have the multitalented Claude Williams come along as part of the IDX team,” Emma said.
VACL has played a leading role in creating digital language resources to support language learning in both communities and schools. Eighteen apps are now available on the VACL iTunes Store, all of which feature unique artwork created by local Aboriginal artists and in creative workshops with Primary and Secondary students across Victoria.
Emma said VACL is grateful for the Flint program in enabling this experience and they look forward to seeing these digital resources mastered and used by the Robinvale community for cultural storytelling and language revival.
“The possibilities are limitless in the imagination of children and they are the ones who can take digital excellence to new levels. We’ll be following their lead with great interest,”she said.