Telstra Foundation commits $5 million to create digital opportunity with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

Media Release, 03 July 2013

The visionary partnership between the Telstra Foundation and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) has been taken to a new level with a $5 million five-year injection from the Telstra Foundation to help create a new generation of digitally savvy Indigenous learners, leaders and entrepreneurs across Australia.

The partnership builds on the existing two-year relationship between the NCIE and the Telstra Foundation and Telstra Foundation’s 10 year legacy of Indigenous social investment. The new funds will create an ‘Indigenous Digital Excellence Hub’ at NCIE’s Redfern premises, where developers and designers will co-create Indigenous online platforms, apps and events to improve community well-being.

Telstra Foundation Chairman Geoff Booth said the flagship partnership was a significant investment to create opportunities for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to thrive in the digital world.

“We’ve been in consultation with Indigenous leaders - young and old - to get a deeper understanding of how we might better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as part of our broader Everyone Connected strategy,” said Mr Booth.

“This partnership seeks to build both an online and offline environment that supports Indigenous people to take their next step – whether it’s enjoying the strength of online connections through purpose-built digital communities, learning digital literacy skills, running an online business or building leadership skills.

“The Telstra Foundation funding will create culturally appropriate opportunities for online communication, empowerment, learning, leadership and commerce.”

Australia is at an inflection point; two of the biggest dynamics include the growing pervasiveness of digital technologies and the growing population of Australia’s First Peoples. Digitisation is entering almost every aspect of Australian’s lives and the Indigenous population growth rate is set to double the national growth rate in the coming years.

“This announcement and the extension of our partnership with the Telstra Foundation couldn’t come at a better time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Progress towards Indigenous digital excellence is vital for Indigenous peoples’ wellbeing, it is also a crucial part of our shared prosperity as a nation,” said NCIE CEO Jason Glanville.

“This far-sighted partnership will contribute to the NCIE’s ability to change the opportunity profile of a generation of young Indigenous Australians and lay important foundations for us to build a better nation,” he said.

Submissions and ideas for the National Indigenous Digital Excellence Strategy are welcome through social media and the IDEA website.

About the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) is an independent not-for-profit social enterprise that develops and delivers life-changing programs to improve the wellbeing of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The state-of-the-art Centre is located in the heart of Redfern. In three years, over 15 thousand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have stayed at the NCIE and/or participated in events and development opportunities.

About the Telstra Foundation

For over a decade, the Telstra Foundation has partnered with community organisations with appetites for social innovation projects. Underpinning this work is the belief that all Australians - regardless of age, income, location, disability - enjoy the social and economic benefits of being connected. The Telstra Foundation has two flagship partners to support the Everyone Connected strategy:

  • The Alannah & Madeline Foundation to deliver eSmart Libraries
  • The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence to improve digital excellence for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples

The Foundation also funds a range of innovative projects that leverage “tech for good” via its social innovation grants program. Visit the Telstra Foundation website for more information.