Telstra in the communities
We’re proud of our history of engagement with Indigenous Australia, which spans more than 140 years. We’re actively supporting Indigenous Australians to thrive in the digital world – and that includes ambitions to provide access to e-health and increase digital literacy in remote communities.
We believe every person, in every corner of Australia, should have access to quality health care. That’s why one of the goals in our Reconciliation Action Plan is to bring greater access to telehealth services to patients and health providers in remote locations. Telstra Health and the Northern Territory Government have joined forces to build a National Telehealth Connection Service, which brings specialist medical care to some of Australia’s most remote communities via quality and secure video conferencing. It means patients can access free specialist healthcare locally, rather than having to travel long distances to hospital. We plan to expand the program to at least five new communities each year until 2018.
Connecting remote communities
We understand the vital role telecommunications plays in keeping people connected. We’re always looking for way to create connections to address the unique challenges faced by Indigenous communities, especially in remote locations. We’ve joined forces with the NT Government to start a three-year, $30 million infrastructure rollout across remote NT communities. It follows a similar $5.76 million joint investment with the NT government completed in 2014, which brought mobile coverage to eight remote communities and fixed broadband services to six remote communities.
Promoting excellence in innovation
What happens when digital technology is embraced by the world’s oldest living continuous culture? We believe the answer is Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX). The Telstra Foundation and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) have forged a multi-year partnership to unlock the opportunities the digital world can provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As part of the IDX partnership, the Telstra Foundation and NCIE work with Indigenous communities to deliver engaging learning experiences that help build the next generation of digital makers. In April 2016 the partnership hosted a three-day summit in Sydney, which bought together 60 Indigenous digital experts, academics, leaders and policy makers from across Australia to create a road-map for Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX). The summit looked beyond digital access to harnessing the opportunities that digital tools provide, including how new technology can solve long-standing problems.
Digital Mentors’ Network
In April 2016 we helped launch a new digital mentoring project, inDigiMOB, to address digital exclusion experienced by many people in remote communities. A network of indigenous mentors will provide peer-to-peer training and support in digital literacy, cyber safety and internet access over the next three years.
Older members of the community can feel challenged by technology, and that’s no different in Indigenous communities. Tradition often dictates that Indigenous elders should be looked up to for wisdom, but that is often reversed where technological prowess is concerned. Under our Tech Savvy Elders program, the entire community comes together to learn – with local school students using tablets to show Elders the technology ropes.
Partnering with Jawun
Telstra is a corporate partner of Jawun, an organisation that connects corporate and government organisations and their employees with Indigenous organisations throughout Australia.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
This year marks the 25th year of Telstra’s partnership with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory to showcase the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. This award is the most prestigious and longest-running award dedicated to Indigenous art and artists.