We work with a range of partner agencies to establish rooms in remote Aboriginal Communities where computers are available for public use along with some supervision and assistance. These facilities have proven very popular with people in a range of age groups, for practical purposes with things like internet banking and paying bills, for communication with kids away at boarding school and family in other communities and for playing games, surfing the net and making media. Access to computers enables people to participate in self-directed learning, and boosts literacy, numeracy and computer skills.
As more and more government and other services are being shifted to on-line access only, connectivity and access to computers is becoming ever more essential to those living in remote Aboriginal communities. This pictorial report explains why, where and how CAYLUS and our partner organisations support and facilitate wifi connectivity and computer rooms across our region.
To date CAYLUS has supported the development of computer rooms at Mt Alan, Laramba, Mt Liebig, Kintore, Harts Range, Engawala, Lake Nash, Areyonga, Amoonguna, Ikuntji, Docker River, Tjuwanpa, Ntaria, Titjikala and Papunya. We have also developed computer rooms at three town camp learning centres in Alice Springs: Trucking Yards, Hidden Valley and Karnte.
The Papunya computer room, ran between 2009 and 2014/15 and was one of the first computer rooms at CAYLUS helped set up.
Papunya Palya Lingku is a documentary that features the Papunya Computer Room as well as a range of other programs that have been involved in stemming youth substance misuse in Papunya.
This movie was made in Ikuntji, to show at the Broadband for the Bush conference in Darwin in 2015. Slow internet causes alot of problems for people living in remote communities, making it difficult to access services (health services, Centrelink, internet banking etc.) and to stay in touch with people who don’t live in the same community. It also affects people’s ability to do homework, learn new skills or to find information on something that interests them, because they can’t just Google it, or watch a Youtube clip.
Local Control of Public Wi-fi
Remote communities in our region want and need internet services, but they also want and need the capacity to manage them, in order to reduce the risks of trolling, jealousing and bullying on line. Limiting hours of operation, daily download limits, content filtering and the ability to block particular sites on a temporary or permanent basis are all strategies being used at the request of local people in remote communities in Central Australia. This video features conversations with people in Harts Range around these issues. CAYLUS has also developed a set of resources aimed at promoting cyber safe approaches in remote communities that can be found here.
This presentation was made for the 2017 Broadband for the Bush conference in Fremantle. There are some very interesting stats that explode a few myths about remote community life and some stories about how mobile phones are used by remote community people. The stats and the stories demonstrate very clearly that it is a big call to expect remote Aboriginal community people to pay for connectivity that is freely accessible in urban areas of Australia.
Download: B4B presentation (5.3MB)