Image: Big hART

Today marks the final day of National Reconciliation Week, a time to celebrate what has been achieved through Australia’s continuing journey towards reconciliation. There is a lot more to do and Telstra is determined to play a role in creating a fairer, more equal Australia.

The theme for #NRW2020 – In this together – is resonating in ways we could not have foreseen when it was announced last year. It reminds us, whether in a crisis or in reconciliation, we are all #InThisTogether.

Much like Telstra’s purpose, our vision for reconciliation is an inclusive Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are connected and empowered to thrive. To help us realise this vision our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)  pledges to develop respectful relationships and create meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

In recognition of National Reconciliation Week, we want to share some of the programs we support to help achieve our vision and foster stronger relationships between the Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 

Extending our partnership with CareerTrackers

Career Trackers

Since 2015 we’ve partnered with CareerTrackers – a national not-for-profit organisation that aims to create paid, multi-year internship opportunities for Indigenous university students in Australia. During this time we’ve hosted 48 interns as part of our Summer Vacation program, with some going on to take part in our Telstra Graduate program 

We will now extend this partnership for the next 10 years and guarantee an intake of 20 students each year to help improve the participation of Indigenous Australians in the workforce and develop future technology talent.  

Deadly Digital Communities  

This program provides community-based digital literacy in remote and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Queensland. As more and more services and daily interactions move online, the ability to use digital technologies is increasingly critical to unlocking vital health, social and financial benefits – especially for people in regional and remote locations. Deadly Digital Communities is an initiative of the State Library of Queensland and Telstra in partnership with Indigenous Knowledge Centres and local councils. 

Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX)

IDX Virtual Gathering - Aunty Beryl

Co-founded and designed by the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) and the Telstra Foundation in 2013, IDX unlocks digital opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. IDX currently works with more than 30 Indigenous remote and regional communities across Australia.  

Due to COVID-19, the Annual Champion Camp at NCIE went online in May kicking off with a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome streamed live from the NCIE across all participating communities. The camp ran 15 sessions over five days with activities such as digital storytelling, 3D printing, coding and how to bring business ideas to life.

Big hART 

Big hART is Australia’s leading arts and social-change organisation that brings stories of injustice to mainstream attention through compelling content to drive change. With Telstra Foundation’s support, Big hART has been working closely with the Indigenous community in Roebourne, WA, to develop their NEO-Learning program – an engaging, future-focused education resource on Indigenous culture for primary schools across the country. Neo-Learning educational experiences were launched in early May, and the education team is currently delivering free lessons and digital drawing workshops via virtual classrooms and smart boards to schools across the nation. 

InDigiMOB 

inDigiMOB Zoom workshop

InDigiMOB is a pioneering digital inclusion project established by First Nations Media Australia and Telstra, which since 2016 has delivered hands-on training to more than 2,000 people through a series of workshops, mentoring, and culturally appropriate digital tools.  A recent project that was rolled out is ‘Indigemoji’  Australia’s first series of Aboriginal emojis, in partnership with the Alice Springs Public Library, the NT Government, CAYLUS and Ingeous Studios. 

Disconnect  

Disconnect podcast - RMIT University

This podcast series delivered by RMIT tells contemporary stories of how the internet is used in Aboriginal communities across the country. Disconnect is available on IndigiTUBE, YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and other podcasting apps. Each episode examines a unique aspect of internet use and its impact – good and bad, in Aboriginal communities.

On this journey towards reconciliation, Australians are all #InThisTogether  every one of us has a role to play as we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures. 


National Reconciliation Week is book-ended by the same dates every year, 27 May and 3 June, to commemorate two historical milestones in the reconciliation journey – the successful 1967 Referendum to amend the Australian Constitution and the High Court’s Mabo decision.   

Telstra recognises and acknowledges the original and ancient connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have to the lands and waterways across the Australian continent. We pay respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation.