Advance Queensland promotes digital skills for all

DIGITAL INCLUSION: These girls participating in another workshop called 'WiFi on Everything' at the Digital Skills Roadshow in Cairns. Photo: supplied
DIGITAL INCLUSION: These girls participating in another workshop called 'WiFi on Everything' at the Digital Skills Roadshow in Cairns. Photo: supplied

The North West community will have a chance to see and experience some of the latest technology at a digital innovation roadshow on August 28 at Mount Isa Civic Centre.

Visitors can learn what it means to have a digitally inclusive society, with a one hour workshop from Anne Livingstone, one of the Advance Queensland Digital Champions.

Ms Livingstone is dedicated to encouraging the sector to embrace technology. 

Of particular interest to Ms Livingstone are the ways people require support at home, and the ways in which technology is helping them.

“​They might be aged people, people with a disability, homeless people, carers looking after other people.”

“Technology is providing a whole range of opportunities for people to live more engaged in their community, but also more supported,” Ms Livingstone said.

New technologies might include driverless vehicles or drones delivering meals or medication, Ms Livingstone said.

Digital inclusion is about being digitally literate and able to engage in all activities, said Ms Livingstone.

“As governments move to doing everything online, banks go online, shopping centres go online; if you’re not engaged in the skills required, you’re going to be disadvantaged in the community.”

Digital inclusion is also the difference between people getting support and services, and not.

“It’s also about preventing social isolation and getting people services they may not otherwise have access to.”

“We’ve got limits in the number of workers and the increasing need for them to enable individuals to stay in their community.

“Technology is a real enabler for that – but it’s only as good as long as people can use the technology,” Ms Livingstone said. 

Mount Isa has been one of the most digitally excluded areas in Queensland, according to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index – first released late 2016 to outline population groups’ experience of digital exclusion.

North West Queensland has an index rating of 45.9, and is Australia’s second least digitally included region (after Burnie and Western Tasmania, on 44.1). 

The gap between scores for Brisbane and rural Queensland, referred to as the ‘Capital–Country gap’, has narrowed slightly over the past year, from 6.3 points to 5.1 points,  largely due to improvements in access.

Ms Livingstone said the Advance Queensland Digital Skills Roadshow is a great initiative to promote digital inclusion for all Queenslanders.

“You’ve got to be digitally skilled, digitally involved, digitally included, otherwise you won’t have the opportunities these disrupting technologies will have,” Ms Livingstone said.

A full program with workshop details is available at godigitalqld.dsiti.qld.gov.au