Artwork: tarmunggie-woman (detail) Artist: Cheryl Moggs

Yesterday marked the beginning of NAIDOC week, and this year’s theme “because of her, we can” celebrates the essential role that women have played – and continue to play – as active and significant role models at the community, local, state and national levels.

As long-term supporters of NAIDOC – which stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee – we acknowledge the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians.

Through our programs, we’re privileged to work with many outstanding Indigenous women across the country who are all making a difference in their communities. Meet three of them below.

Delilah MacGillivray

General Manager of Programs and Partnerships, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

We first met Delilah, a proud Kalkadoon and South Sea Islander woman on Darumbal Country when she participated in an Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) program in Rockhampton, Queensland.

IDX is a partnership between the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) and Telstra Foundation that connects the ideas, perspectives and talent of Australia’s First Peoples to explore new technology: from robotics, coding and 3D printing to preserve language and culture for future generations; to using drones to capture imagery of country.

Experiencing this program first-hand, Delilah caught the digital bug and became IDX’s biggest advocate and today, leads the national IDX Initiative as part of her role as the General Manager of Programs and Partnerships at the NCIE.

A committed and experienced change agent, Delilah and her IDX team work with more than 20 regional and remote communities to unlock the opportunities the digital world can provide to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Pamela Kngwarraye Lynch

inDigiMOB Digital Mentor

Pamela is a strong Arrernte woman who works at the Yarrentye Arlterre Learning Centre in Larapinta Valley Town Camp in Alice Springs. As an inDigiMOB Digital Mentor, Pamela co-delivers digital projects, activities and workshops to build the digital skills and confidence of residents living in the Town Camp.

For many Indigenous Australians digital inclusion remains a significant challenge and that’s why Telstra partnered with the Indigenous Remote Communications Association (IRCA) to deliver inDigiMOB. The program aims to bridge the digital divide in remote locations through informal peer-to-peer digital skills training that values the experience and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

For Pamela, using digital tools to research and map her family history has been an important part of her involvement with inDigiMOB. With this knowledge she’s been able to help other people in her community reconnect with family and country and find out about ancestors they never knew they had.

inDigiMOB currently operates in 13 locations, supports 21 Digital Mentors and has been attended 4,700 times across the Northern Territory. For more information visit inDigiMOB.

Regina James

Co-ordinator, Bwgcolman Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC)

Regina James is a proud woman of Mamu and Dyribal descent and coordinator of Bwgcolman Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC).

She is a leader in digital preservation and has utilised a toolkit to build her capacity in digitising local archive collections so the history of Palm Island is preserved for the wider community and future generations.

Through Telstra’s partnership with State Library of Queensland, Regina is a community champion for the Deadly Digital Communities initiative and actively works with island residents to build their digital skills and confidence. Through the program, she has also significantly strengthened her own skills, which she applies to her research documenting Palm Island’s history and culture.

Deadly Digital Communities will run over two years at 31 locations across Queensland. Find out more about the program and Regina’s story by watching the Deadly Digital Communities video.