2018 National Reconciliation week is a time to celebrate and recognise our shared history. This year’s theme, Don’t keep History a Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow., highlights some of the lesser-known aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, histories, cultures, and achievements.
Throughout history, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been responsible for the development of many technologies. From the boomerang to weirs, fish traps and even thermoplastic resins, Australia’s First Peoples have been innovating since time immemorial. Today, Indigenous innovators are combining the sophistication of traditional knowledge with breakthrough 21st century digital technologies to strengthen cultural identity and improve the wellbeing of Indigenous people and their communities.
What we call Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) is continuing an 80,000-year tradition of innovation that has been practiced by Indigenous peoples and communities throughout Australia. IDX can take many forms, from robotics, 3D printing to using drones to capture imagery of country, coding and developing apps to preserve language and culture for future generations.
New technologies have opened the door to a new way to share and preserve culture and engage with different audiences. IDX is happening in communities across Australia where exciting projects and ideas are coming to life daily.
the IDX Flint program sparks the interest, talent and ideas of the next generation of Indigenous digital makers and innovators. Co-founded and designed by the National Centre of Indigenous (NCIE) and the Telstra Foundation, the Flint program is delivered by the IDX Initiative.
Since 2016 the IDX team based in Redfern Sydney, have visited 18 communities in regional and remote areas of Australia. The IDX Flint program aims to inspire communities to explore technology, develop new skills and share culture through digital making.
IDX Flint Manager Grant Cameron explains each community receives $25 000 worth of in-kind support through workshops for Indigenous youth, skills development for local facilitators, and the delivery of technology kits and educational resources that remain within the community following each workshop.
“We have been to 18 sites and have a strong national reach. We engage local Elders to take part and use the technology as a way to bring the young and old together. Elders share knowledge and the young ones learn about new technologies and share what they’ve learnt with the Elders. It’s a great two-way learning experience.” Grant said.
“We believe in the power of technology to do great things. Our mob has been innovating for thousands of years. By putting new digital skills in the hands of our young people backed by traditional knowledge, the possibilities are endless.” Grant said.