National digital inclusion strategy

To close Australia’s digital divide and become a world-leading digital economy, National Digital Inclusion Strategies are necessary.

The digital divide in Australia is a pressing social justice issue of our time that can be solved. This requires guidance and support enshrined in policy through the creation of a national Digital Inclusion Strategy.

Our Blueprint to Close the Digital Divide calls for:

National Digital Inclusion Strategy needed for a strong digital economy

1 in 4 Australians are digitally excluded

To close the digital divide and create a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable economy digital economy, digital inclusion must be incorporated into policy as well as funding decisions. If Australia is to reach its Digital Economy Strategy goal of becoming a top 10 digital economy by 2030, a national Digital Inclusion Strategy must be put in place.

A national Digital Inclusion Strategy will provide a common set of goals for all levels of government to plan, support and fund digital inclusion initiatives in a coordinated manner. An effective national Digital Inclusion Strategy must be developed and implemented in consultation with federal and state governments, technology and community sectors, and those most at risk of digital exclusion.

Putting First Nations voices first in the Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan

While Australia’s overall digital inclusion is improving, for First Nations peoples the digital divide is unchanged.

Equal digital inclusion of First Nations people is essential, being recognised as one of the 17 targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Investment and co-design with First Nations peoples is needed to ensure that this target is achieved.

The Australian Government’s Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan is a much-needed strategy being developed in consultation with First Nations communities and organisations towards solving digital inequality. However, the Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan must go beyond consultation and instead involve active decision-making from First Nations at every stage of co-design and implementation. This means engaging First Nations people experiencing digital exclusion and the community organisations that support them to create a culturally appropriate and specific national digital inclusion strategy that is supported by national funding and support.

NOTE: We recognise that although Good Things Foundation Australia has expertise in digital inclusion, we are not a First Nations-led organisation. It is critical that First Nations communities, leaders and organisations have priority being consulted for the Indigenous Digital Inclusion Plan.