Students bring Indigenous culture and language to life through cutting-edge technology
In a first for Australia, an Indigenous designed digital skills training program will be launched to teach students how to bring Indigenous culture, language and history to life through cutting-edge technology like augmented reality, animation and coding. This marks another step towards closing the digital divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia.
The Indigital Schools 10-week program is launching for the first time in Australia on Thursday 30 July at Governor Stirling Senior High School in Perth, WA.
40 students at the school, across Years 7 to 11, will be taking part in the program – 20 students from Follow The Dream (an academic and leadership program for Aboriginal students run by the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation and Department of Education) and 20 students from the school’s specialist ‘Artsmedia’ program.
At the launch event on Thursday, students will meet with the three Elders who have played a pivotal role in establishing the Indigital program in the area. In this and the following 2 sessions, the elders will share stories relevant to the Midland area and Governor Stirling site. Over the remaining 7 sessions, and with the support of specially trained teachers, students will use a suite of apps and augmented reality software – including Paint 3D, Minecraft and Blender – to create their own 3D stories and dreaming characters.
The program will culminate with special events both at the school and in locations in the midland community to showcase the students’ final virtual reality designs.
This innovative and groundbreaking program will not only ignite students’ passion for technology and science, but will also provide them with a deeper understanding of Aboriginal heritage and greater connections with Elders in their community. By building their digital proficiency, creative thinking and team-work skills, students will be better prepared to excel in their chosen career pathways and equipped to seize opportunities in the digital economy.
This inaugural program was established at the Governor Stirling Senior High School thanks to funding and in-kind support from the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation and Worley.
Mikaela Jade, Founder and CEO of Indigital, comments: “I am absolutely thrilled to see this wonderful community embrace augmented reality storytelling. My father was born in Western Australia and it is so fitting for me personally and professionally to see this program start on Whadjuk Country.”
Ewen Lawrie, Program Coordinator of Governor Stirling Follow The Dream, says: “This program is a fantastic opportunity for students to develop a greater understanding of the local Aboriginal culture and history. Not only will they gain significant technology skills and grow their digital literacy, but they will be able to use cutting-edge technology to preserve these stories and share them with the broader community. I would like to give special thanks to Indigital, the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation and Worley for enabling this program to take place at our school and for our students.”
About Indigital and Indigital Schools
Indigital is Australia’s first Indigenous edu-tech company, specializing in technology development and digital skills training. Its mission is to close the digital divide between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples, by providing a meaningful pathway for Indigenous people into the digital economy and the creation of future technologies. Mikaela Jade is the Founder and CEO of Indigital. She is a Cabrogal woman from the Dharug-speaking Nations of Sydney.
Indigital Schools is an Indigenous designed digital skills training program for primary and high school students. It enables Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people to connect with and learn from Elders about cultural knowledge, history and language, while learning digital skills in cutting-edge technology like augmented reality, animation and coding. The program is supported by Microsoft and Telstra.
About the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation
The Foundation has nearly 25 years’ experience and success in empowering Indigenous students across Australia to complete school and move into successful post-school pathways, including university, apprenticeships, traineeships, and direct employment. Today, there are 2000 students enrolled in 51 primary and secondary programs around the country.
The Foundation’s ‘Follow The Dream’ programs support secondary Aboriginal students across Australia to achieve at school, develop their talents, and pursue their ambitions. The Programs deliver tutoring, personalised learning plans, mentoring, career guidance, health & well-being support, and cultural celebrations. The wide range of experiences and opportunities broaden students’ horizons, demonstrate study & career options, build leadership, develop confidence, provide a sense of belonging, and promote cultural pride.