Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Automation, Wellbeing and Harms in a COVID Age

24 October 2022 @ 9:00 am - 2:15 pm AEDT

COVID-19 app

An interactive symposium with Associate Professor Virginia Eubanks, author of prize-winning book Automating Inequality.

Digital technology is rapidly automating vast areas of everyday life, from interacting with government and businesses, undertaking learning and work, entertaining ourselves and maintaining social relations. Such technologies offer great opportunities for enhancing wellbeing, but can also produce harms, that Australia’s Robodebt well illustrated. We have long known about a “digital divide” that loosely fractures along socio-economic ones, and these social disparities have been overlaid with the inequitable experiences of COVID on people’s wellbeing.

In dialogue with Associate Professor Virginia Eubanks, this interactive symposium between leading Australian researchers, social service organisations, and service user advocacy and representative groups will explore the challenges and opportunities of digital technology for vulnerable and marginalised peoples.

This event will be held in-person at RMIT University, Melbourne and online.


9am- 9.10am Welcome to Country
9.10am- 10.30am Keynote address by Assoc Prof Virginia Eubanks (University at Albany)
Chair: Prof Paul Henman (UQ)
Discussants: Dr Daniel Featherstone (RMIT University) and Jay Coonan (Anti-Poverty Centre)
10.30am- 10.45am Morning tea
10.45am- 12pm Thematic Roundtable 1: Challenges and opportunities of digital technology for marginalised people
Chair: Prof Jeannie Paterson (University of Melbourne)
Panellists: Ivana Jurko (Humanitech at Australian Red Cross), Dr Simone Casey (ACOSS), Dr Aitor Jimenez (University of Melbourne), Dr Georgia van Toorn (UNSW) and Dr Elizabeth Deveny (CHF)
12pm- 1.15pm Thematic Roundtable 2: Designing digital technology for and with marginalised people
Chair: Prof Mark Sanderson (RMIT University)
Panellists: Dr Ruth De Souza (RMIT University), Ben Shaw (Infoxchange), Sean Fitzgerald (C3 Solutions) and Daniel Levy (AUWU)
1.15pm- 2.15pm Lunch


This is a hybrid conference, taking place in-person at the Green Brain, RMIT University (Level 7, Building 16, 336/348 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000) and online via livestream.


If you have registered for this event, you will receive an email with a link to the livestream prior to the event. If you haven’t received this, please contact


Registration has now closed.


24 October 2022
9:00 am - 2:15 pm AEDT
Event Categories:


Green Brain, RMIT University
Level 7, Building 16, 342 Swanston St
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
+ Google Map