[LINK] Indigenous participation in the ICT
Peter Radoll, Doctoral Student (e-commerce)
Thu, 20 Sep 2001 18:01:46 +1000
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I was glad to be asked to speak at the launch of a National Secretariat =
to encourage more Indigenous participation in the ICT field. This is a =
jointly funded initiative involving ATSIC,DIMA (through living in =
Harmony) and Fujitsu Australia. Neville Roach the Chairperson of =
Fujitsu Australia has been campaigning for about 3 years to establish =
this project. =20
I encourage the CEO's, CIO's, IT, IS and Communication Managers to =
follow Fujitsu's lead and seriously consider doing something within your =
companies. At the launch we were told that out of approximately 8000 =
Indigenous students studying at post-secondary level only 106 are =
studying in the ICT area and even less are working in the Industry. =
This is a very positive move by Fujitsu and will only succeed if the ICT =
industry drives the project.
Others Supporters on the project:
Australian Telecommunications Users Group
Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Australian Computer Society
Internet Society of Australia
Software Engineering Australia
Asia Pacific Smart Card Forum Australia
National Electrical and Communications Association
Service Providers Industry Association
Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee
NSW Dept of Aboriginal Affairs
20 September 2001, Fujitsu Australia Limited, Australia - The Minister =
for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, =
Philip Ruddock, and the Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait =
Islander Commission (ATSIC), Geoff Clark, today applauded the launch of =
a strategy which will promote Indigenous participation in the =
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry.
The "Networking Our Futures" strategy will seek to create training, =
education and employment opportunities for Indigenous people in the ICT =
sector and encourage Indigenous people to make use of these =
The strategy has been driven by Neville Roach AO, the Chairman of the =
Council for Multicultural Australia and Chairman of Fujitsu Australia.
The Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs' Living in =
Harmony project has provided a $50,000 grant while ATSIC will contribute =
"The project we are launching today truly represents the way forward in =
Indigenous policy, " Mr Ruddock said.
"It builds on an initiative announced by the Minister for Employment, =
Workplace Relations and Small Business, Tony Abbott in July 2001.
"It is not just the way forward because we are dealing with new =
technology and innovations in industry - it is also because it marries =
education and training directly with employment outcomes. This is an =
example of where so much of the future opportunity for Indigenous =
employment now rests - with the private sector."
Mr. Roach said the ICT industry has a social responsibility to =
Australia, particularly those who are disadvantaged and have to overcome =
social, economic or educational barriers to enjoy the benefits of the =
"Professionals and managers in the ICT industry, including CEOs and =
CIOs, must become more interested and involved in social responsibility =
initiatives, particularly those that focus on the needs of Indigenous =
Australians," he said
"I am passionate in my desire for reconciliation in Australia. This =
initiative is one small way of helping to address the ongoing =
disadvantage suffered by Indigenous Australians."
Mr Clark said that the tiny number of Indigenous students in IT-based =
courses throughout the country carry a great responsibility.
"They are pathfinders, but they carry a double burden," he said.
"They are role models for their communities but they also need to break =
through barriers to the employment of Indigenous people in IT =
industries. Their efforts will lay the foundations for future Indigenous =
"It's our task to ensure that these young people - and their younger =
brothers and sisters inspired by them - have the freedom to choose =
careers in the IT sector. It's up to us to ensure that they are not =
unfairly excluded from their choice of career because of =
institutionalised poverty, racism or denial of culture."
A key element "Networking Our Futures" is the establishment of a joint =
secretariat with the Australian Information Industry Association and =
Indigenous representatives to develop a strategy for greater employment =
and training opportunities.
"At the end of last year, there were about 8000 Indigenous students in =
tertiary educations - of whom 107 were studying computer science, " Mr =
"On the other hand, there are more than 200,000 ICT jobs nationally and =
the sector is growing rapidly. The strategy will encourage Indigenous =
Australians to tap into this growth."
The Living in Harmony initiative challenges Australians to take a stand =
against racism and intolerance. It celebrates racial, cultural, social =
and religious diversity and establishes partnerships with the corporate =
sector, community organisations and other levels of government. So far =
more than 25 partnerships have been established.
Ph: 0427 631 045 Jeremy Chitty
Mr Ruddock's office
Ph: 0418 971 042 Ian Hetherington
Ph: 02 6264 4285=20
About Fujitsu Australia Limited
Fujitsu is one of the world's leading e-services organisations. Fujitsu =
technology solutions, from servers to e-Business applications, are =
powering the new Internet economy. In Australia and New Zealand Fujitsu =
is helping corporate and government customers to design, build and =
operate solutions which offer competitive advantage in the Internet =
world, from state-of-the-art infrastructure through to complex =
e-Business solutions. Our portfolio of IT services includes consulting, =
systems integration, prime contracting and a full range of professional =
services. Fujitsu Australia Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of =
Fujitsu Limited of Japan. www.fujitsu.com.au
Doctoral Student (E-Commerce)
University of Canberra ACT 2601
Executive Council Member
Postgraduate Students' Association (CUPA)
general email email@example.com
(02) 6201 2190
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