Albanese Government to hold First Nations Digital Inclusion Roundtable

The Albanese Government will today bring together First Nations experts and stakeholders from across the telecommunications, media and broadcasting sectors as part of a First Nations Digital Inclusion Roundtable.

The Roundtable will provide an opportunity to discuss issues relating to First Nations digital inclusion, with a focus on identifying initiatives already underway to support improved digital access, affordability and ability for First Nations people and communities, and to explore possible priorities for future action.

This builds on the Australian Government’s commitment to Target 17 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, to achieve equal levels of digital inclusion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by 2026, and ensure First Nations people have access to information and services enabling participation in informed decision making regarding their own lives.

Achieving equal levels of digital inclusion is critical for First Nations Australians given the fundamental importance of connectivity for economic and social inclusion and opportunity. Digital inclusion is critical to employment, social connectedness, and access to online services including financial services, telehealth and education.

The Government is aware the challenges of digital inclusion are complex and require a collaborative approach across the telecommunications, media and broadcasting sectors to deliver change.

The Roundtable will help inform the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group – funded through the October Federal Budget –as it develops advice to Government on possible ways to support digital inclusion. The Government expects to announce the Group’s membership early next year.

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

“The First Nations Digital Inclusion Roundtable is part of a collaborative approach to digital inclusion for First Nations people. It places renewed importance on collaborating and working in partnership on Closing the Gap.

“For many First Nations Australians, their ability to be socially connected, access services, undertake education and participate in the digital economy is limited by the digital divide. The Albanese Government is committed to taking action – in partnership with First Nations people, industry and the not-for-profit sector – to close the gap in digital inclusion.

“I look forward to meeting with First Nations peoples and industry representatives today to accelerate progress towards closing the digital inclusion gap for First Nations Australians”.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP:

“Digital inclusion is about ensuring all Australians are able to access, afford and benefit from digital technologies – no matter where they live.

“The Albanese Government is committed to working in partnership with First Nations people to bridge the digital divide and address some of the challenges First Nations people face, particularly for those living in regional and remote communities, in participating in the digital world.”