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Mapping the Digital Gap

Focus Area(s): News & Media
Research Program: People

Improving digital inclusion outcomes and access to services in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is critically important for informed decision making and agency. People living in Australia’s 1100 remote Indigenous communities are likely to be among the most digitally excluded Australians. The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) found that people in remote communities often have extremely limited access to digital infrastructure and services and encounter very high costs for internet access, especially in relation to their income.

This project aims to generate the most detailed account to date of the distribution of digital inclusion and the uses of digital services including news and media across Indigenous communities.

It will track changes in measures of digital inclusion for these communities over time, and inform the development and evaluation of appropriate local strategies for improving digital inclusion capabilities and services enabling informed decision making in remote Indigenous communities.

The project involves working with 8-10 remote First Nations communities to develop local digital inclusion plans and measuring the change in levels of digital inclusion and media use within the community over a four-year period (2021-2024).  Potential research sites will be identified based on criteria to ensure a diverse national sample, and selected communities will be offered the option of being involved in the project.

The research team will work closely with local and regional agencies on all community-based research and the analysis of results to ensure the project adheres to local policies and cultural protocols, community trust and engagement, and to ensure the research addresses local needs and provides benefit to the community.


Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator

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Lauren Ganley

Lauren Ganley

Head of First Nations Strategy & Engagement, Telstra

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Daniel Featherstone

Dr Daniel Featherstone

Senior Research Fellow

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Indigo Holcombe-James

Dr Indigo Holcombe-James

Research Fellow

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Jenny Kennedy

Dr Jenny Kennedy

Associate Investigator

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Lyndon Ormond-Parker

Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker

Principal Research Fellow

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