Telstra Foundation |

Code Club Australia’s First Nations Cultural Framework

By Luke Briscoe August 15, 2021

Telstra Foundation is currently exploring the opportunity to partner with First Nations people to develop new coding lesson plans and teacher resources for the Code Club Australia website.

Code Club Australia lesson plans are online resources used by teachers and librarians to teach code to young people in a fun and engaging way via a network of volunteer-led code clubs. Typically, they feature a fun project based around a story or theme and a lesson guide for teachers that explains both the thematic content and the instructions to complete the coding lesson.

Code Club Australia recently worked with Indigenous artist and STEM advocate Tess Reading and Indigenous knowledge holders to develop a project based on the Dhinawan in the Sky. Students could learn about the Gomeroi story of the Dark Emu by building their own animation in computer code. The lesson plan was tested before release by First Nations children for their feedback and has been a popular lesson in the global Code Club community.

Telstra Foundation is keen to apply a human rights-based approach to develop a First Nation’s Cultural Framework that will guide its future Code Club Australia work with First Nations people. A discussion paper has been developed to align with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to ensure Indigenous Rights are front and centre in the development of The First Nations Cultural Framework.

The discussion paper can be accessed here.

Seeking your views

Key stakeholders are invited to consider the ideas and aspirations in the discussion paper and provide input and views are sought on the following key foundational human rights principles for First Nations peoples:

  • self-determination
  • participation in decision-making
  • respect for and protection of culture
  • equality and non-discrimination

First Nations STEM educators, academics, cultural educators, scientists, and technologists are encouraged to participate in the public consultations. Consultations will occur during September – October 2021. Targeted discussions with key stakeholders will also occur during this time.

The discussion topics

The First Nations Cultural Framework will focus on rights, and will support protocols when developing and delivering Code Club Australia projects. The framework once finalised, will guide the future development of Code Club Australia education content and the final Framework will be accessible via the Telstra Foundation website.

The survey is accessible here.

Following consultation, consideration of submissions and the results of the survey will inform the themes which will be further discussed with STEM education stakeholders. Your comments on this discussion paper will assist in enabling human rights-based approach to developing the Code Club Australia’s First Nations Cultural Framework.

Please note: The data and information obtained through this survey will be kept private and confidential. The purpose of the survey is to ensure Code Club Australia’s engagement with First Nations people remains informed and culturally respectful as we work together to get kids coding. More information about Telstra Foundation’s privacy statement can be found here. For further information, please contact INDIGI LAB by email.

Acknowledgement from Telstra Foundation: Telstra Foundation acknowledges the First Nations Peoples of the Land, and we pay respect to the Elders both past and present and extend that respect to other First Nations people this document may come across. We also acknowledge the existing work by First Nations individuals, communities, organisations and government agencies that has contributed to developing protocols and building relationships to advance digital excellence of First Nations people, including coding skills for young people.

Telstra Foundation |

Inspiring kids to rethink agriculture and technology

By Nicola Curnow December 4, 2020

Did you know there are satellites that monitor crop growth from space? Or a tomato farm in the desert of South Australia that’s completely self-sufficient and sustainable?

The lucky kids from Murwillumbah heard all about these examples firsthand in a recent virtual session with National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson.

The event comes off the back of the launch of Code Club Australia’s recent lessons focused on the importance of agriculture and technology. These six coding lessons aim to inspire primary school aged kids to rethink agriculture, as a vocational pathway and a way to build a sustainable future.

“Connecting kids with where their food and fibre comes from is so important. Through the new Code Club ag projects, thousands of students around the country will get a taste of Aussie agriculture. Hopefully we’ll see a new generation of ag innovators emerge from those classrooms!”

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) shows that there is still a significant gap when it comes to digital equality in this country. Regional students have been disproportionately affected by Covid and this will have an ongoing effect on their educational outcomes.

Code Club and the Telstra Foundation are committed to improving the inclusion rate of students in regional and remote areas of Australia. These lessons showcase perspectives and experiences of these students in the hope that they will further engage with tech skills and see the relevance and centrality of tech on the farm.

If you’re interested in getting coding at home these lessons (and more) can be found on the Code Club website.

Watch the video of our Virtual Club with National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson here.

Interested in volunteering one hour a week to help kids learn to code? Head to the Code Club website to learn more.