ACCAN’s Indigenous Steering Committee has provided a response to the National Indigenous Australian Agency’s consultation on the development of an Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan (the Plan). The Plan is intended to focus on access, affordability and digital ability as the three key elements of digital inclusion. It will also consider what data is needed to measure improvements in First Nations digital inclusion.

ACCAN’s Indigenous Steering Committee has recently been formed to guide ACCAN’s work to close the digital divide for First Nations peoples. Dr Heron Loban of Griffith University chairs the Committee, which is comprised of First Nations peoples with expertise and interest in telecommunications issues.

In response to the consultation, ACCAN’s Indigenous Steering Committee welcomed the development of the Plan and expressed their strong position that digital inclusion efforts must be developed and led by First Nations peoples and community-controlled organisations. The Steering Committee offered a range of suggestions to ensure the Plan and digital inclusion initiatives established by the Plan meet the needs of First Nations peoples and communities. These included recommendations that:

  • All First Nations peoples, regardless of where they live, be included in the Plan.
  • Appropriate funding be provided to First Nations communities and community-controlled organisations for them to lead digital inclusion efforts.
  • The Federal Government must invest in local-level, place-based and co-designed solutions to resolve connectivity gaps.
  • The Federal Government consider new regulatory requirements on telecommunications providers to offer affordable services targeted to people on low incomes.
  • Funding bodies must ensure that digital ability programs are offered on country, are long term, and provide ongoing support in communities.


Download: Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan submission

Download: pdfIndigenous Digital Inclusion Plan submission188.4 KB