Youth empowerment and information and communication technologies: a case study of a remote Australian Aboriginal community
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In spite of a ‘digital divide’, Aboriginal groups in Australia, as internationally, are increasingly using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to maintain their cultures, communicate, archive knowledge, empower their communities, develop skills and generate income. Each community uses the technologies differently in accordance with their particular needs and the opportunities available. The use of ICTs in Aboriginal youth empowerment is illustrated through a case study of an initiative undertaken by the Walkatjurra Cultural Centre in Leonora, remote Western Australia. A participatory process was used to engage the Centre’s young people and they were given individual assistance to develop their ICT related capacity. The community conceives this youth empowerment to be part of a broader youth participation process that will contribute to the Centre’s overall objectives.
KeywordsAboriginal ICT Information and communication technologies Participatory research Traditional knowledge Youth empowerment
The authors would like to acknowledge the following individuals and organisations for their assistance in this research project: The Walkatjurra Cultural Centre and its members, in particular the Walkatjurra Junior Rangers, for sharing their time and providing funding and support; Assistant Professor Dr. Jon Corbett, Dr. Mary Stockdale and Dr. Louis Evans for their time spent working with the Walkatjurra Cultural Centre during the initial project stages; Delgermaa Altangerel for her research assistance; the special editors of this themed issue for their insights, suggestions and considerable inputs in tightening the manuscript; and the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre Desert BizTM and Plants for People projects. The work reported in this publication is supported by funding from the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centres Programme through the Desert Knowledge CRC; the views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Desert Knowledge CRC or its participants.
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