PROJECT SUMMARY

Two women sit in chairs. The woman on the left is wearing a dark blue tank top and is holding an iPad and they are both looking at. The woman on the right is wearing a black T-shirt with a white graphic on it
Co-researcher Guruwuy Ganambarr doing survey with resident Alissia Wirrpanda in in Gäṉgaṉ Community, NT

Mapping the Digital Gap

Focus Area: News and Media
Research Program: People
Status: Active

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.

The Mapping the Digital Gap project is a four-year research project conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society in partnership with Telstra. Working with 10-12 remote First Nations communities over three years, this project will:

  1. Generate a detailed account of the distribution of digital inclusion across Indigenous communities;
  2. Track changes in measures of digital inclusion for these communities over time;
  3. Inform the development and evaluation of appropriate local strategies for improving digital inclusion capabilities and services enabling informed decision making; and
  4. Provide evidence to inform policy and program resourcing by government and industry.

Research sites have been identified based on criteria to ensure a diverse national sample, and the research team is working 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.

The data collected through the Mapping the Digital Gap project will enable comparison with national results collected for the ADII. This will enable measurement and tracking of the scale of the digital gap for remote First Nations communities. With a new Closing the Gap target of equal levels of digital inclusion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by 2026, this project aims to provide data to inform policy and programs to help close the digital gap.

PUBLIC RESOURCES

Australian Digital Inclusion Index

Target audience: Government agencies, researchers, general public

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index uses data from the Australian Internet Usage Survey to measure digital inclusion across three dimensions of Access, Affordability and Digital Ability. We explore how these dimensions vary across Australia and across different social groups.

View Dashboard

First Nations Digital Inclusion Dashboard

Target audience: Government agencies, researchers, general public

This First Nations page provides a snapshot of the scale of the Digital Gap for First Nations people compared with other Australians, by remoteness categories. It includes results from 10 remote and very remote communities surveyed under the Mapping the Digital Gap project (2022-2024).

View Dashboard

2023 PUBLICATIONS

Mapping the digital gap 2023 outcomes report

2023 Outcomes Report

27 September 2023

This first outcomes report provides an overview of the first year findings from 2022 research visits. It covers key survey results and indicators of the digital gap; context and findings for each of the ten research sites; and analysis of results across the three ADII dimensions of digital inclusion – Access, Affordability and Digital Ability – as well as the crucial role of service delivery and news and media access in these communities. Case studies, photos and quotes from interviews highlight the on-the-ground experience for residents and service providers across the research sites.

Read on APO
Watch Report Launch on Youtube

Wilcannia Community Update Report 2023

Wilcannia, NSW community update report

29 Nov 2023

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Wujal Wujal, Queensland community update report

5 Dec 2023

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Warakurna 2023 Community Outcomes Report

Warakurna, WA community outcomes report

21 Dec 2023

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Erub Community Update Report 2023 cover

Erub (Darnley Island), Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait) community update report

9 Feb 2024

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2023 Kalumburu Community Update Report

Kalumburu, WA community outcomes report

15 Mar 2024

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Djarindjin Lombadina Community Update Report 2023

Djarindjin / Lombadina, WA community update report

17 April 2024

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Yuelamu 2023 Community Update Report cover

Yuelamu, NT community outcomes report

3 May 2024

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Mapping the digital gap: Galiwin'ku, NT 2023 community update report cover

Galiwin’ku, NT community update report

4 June 2024

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Mapping the digital gap: Gangan NT 2023 community update report cover

Gäṉgaṉ, NT community outcomes report

14 June 2024

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2022 PUBLICATIONS

Wilcannia, NSW community outcomes report

23 June 2022

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Mapping the digital gap - background paper

Background paper: project objectives, context and method

6 Oct 2022

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Wujal Wujal, Queensland community outcomes report 2022

4 Oct 2022

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Mapping the digital gap: Erub (Darnley Island), Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait) Queensland community outcomes report 2022

4 Nov 2022

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Tennant Creek, Barkley region, Northern Territory community outcomes report 2022

17 Nov 2022

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Yuelamu, Northern Territory community outcomes report 2022

6 Dec 2022

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Mapping the digital gap Galiwinku report image

Galiwin’ku, East Arnhem Land NT community outcomes report 2022

21 Dec 2022

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Gangan, Arnhem Land NT community outcomes report 2022

22 Mar 2023

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Kalumburu report 2022

Kalumburu, Kimberleys, WA community outcomes report 2022

27 Mar 2023

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2022 Djarindjin Lombadina report cover

Djarindjin and Lombadina, West Kimberley, WA, community outcomes report 2022

4 Apr 2023

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Wadeye, NT community outcomes report 2022

11 Jun 2023

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INQUIRIES

Please contact mtdg@rmit.edu.au with any inquiries

RESEARCHERS

Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas

Chief Investigator,
RMIT University

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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,
RMIT University

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Lyndon Ormond-Parker

Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker

Principal Research Fellow,
RMIT University

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Jenny Kennedy

Assoc Prof Jenny Kennedy

Associate Investigator,
RMIT University

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Indigo Holcombe-James

Dr Indigo Holcombe-James

Affiliate,
RMIT University

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RESEARCH SUPPORT

Leah Hawkins

Leah Hawkins

Project Officer,
RMIT University

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Lucy Valenta profile image

Lucy Valenta

Research Coordinator,
RMIT University

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PARTNERS

Telstra

Telstra

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