Advisory Group’s third meeting seeks to narrow the digital divide for First Nations Australians

The Albanese Government’s First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group (FNDIAG) convened for its third meeting in Darwin today, where it considered a number of practical measures to support First Nations digital inclusion across the telecommunications, media and broadcasting sectors.

Established to accelerate progress towards closing the digital inclusion gap for First Nations Australians, the Advisory Group has identified initial priorities for further work, including data collection and digital mentoring.

These priorities are informed by the outcomes of the Group’s initial engagement with stakeholders, including the Central Land Council, the Northern Land Council, the Northern Australian Indigenous Reference Group, the Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network, the NBN Co Low Income and Digital Inclusion Forum, and the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network.

Today’s meeting covered a range of issues, including:

  • Ways to improve the national collection and use of First Nations data;
  • Solutions to address the need for digital mentoring in remote communities;
  • Possible pilots of alternative and complementary technologies to deliver high speed internet in remote areas; and
  • Improving support for First Nations communities to identify their connectivity needs and options available to address them, including accessing grants.
  • Engaging First Nations businesses in providing local solutions to closing the digital gap.

Funded through the October Budget, the Group forms part of the Albanese Government’s commitment to reduce the digital inclusion gap and work closely with First Nations people and organisations to improve digital inclusion. It is working closely with First Nations peoples and industry to provide advice and identify measures to support progress towards Target 17 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap – delivering equal levels of digital inclusion for First Nations Australians by 2026.

Today’s meeting was attended by the Minister for Communications – who joined virtually – and members of the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group and its Digital Inclusion Expert Panel, which supports the Advisory Group.

For more information on the Advisory Group, visit Contributions to the work of the group are welcome, and can be sent to

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“The Albanese Government is committed to improving digital inclusion for First Nations people.

“The third meeting of the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group is another step toward achieving that goal. The advice of the Advisory Group will inform the Government’s policy and approach to ensure we take practical measures to tear down barriers to digital inclusion, literacy and engagement.

“I welcome the discussion around improving data collection and digital mentoring, and look forward to hearing more about this work as it progresses.”

Quotes attributable to Chair, First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group, Ms Dot West OAM:

“Today’s meeting saw the Group reflect on what we have heard from stakeholders, to ensure that our advice to the Australian Government is based on community-led solutions.

“Launching possible pilots of alternative and complementary technologies to deliver high-speed internet in remote communities, and better identifying and supporting the connectivity needs of First Nations Australians, are among the priorities we discussed.

“I am proud to Chair the Group as we work towards solutions that will deliver a range of long-term benefits for these communities, including employment opportunities, social connectedness, and greater access to online health and education services.”

“Access to the internet is a human right, and recognised as such in 2021 by the United Nations Human Rights Council, noting that internet access is an essential service for most of us in our everyday lives. It enables us to work, communicate and access important services. Increasingly, it is a key enabler for the exercise and enjoyment of many human rights. Access therefore, must be provided to all Australians including those First Nations people living in remote and very remote regions of our country.”