On Tuesday 21 May, 30 representatives from organisations across the not-for-profit, community, corporate, government bodies and university sector gathered in Sydney for the Digital Mentoring Practice and Program Forum.
The Forum, delivered by Australia Post and Good Things Foundation, aimed to bring together key digital mentoring practitioners, researchers and program managers in Australia to map existing digital mentoring activities, exchange knowledge and insights and to create connections across sectors to advance understanding and collaboration around digital mentoring.
With presentations from the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW, Bundaberg Libraries and Vision Australia, Forum attendees heard on-the-ground learnings of programs in practice and methods used to attract, retain and support digital mentors. The Queensland University of Technology also presented findings and recommendations from their ‘Digital Mentoring in Australian Communities’ research report, which was launched at the Forum.
Speaking on the Forum’s outcomes, Australia Post Community Relations Advisor Jessie Fountain said the impact these organisations have made to bridge the digital divide is significant. “Their willingness to share best practice insights and knowledge to inform change is inspiring.”
Jess Wilson, National Director of Good Things Foundation Australia, said, “As Network Manager of the Be Connected program, we speak to digital mentors every day. But this was a fantastic opportunity to hear other voices from government, service delivery and academia to continue the conversation about how we ensure everyone in Australia has the confidence and skills they need to thrive in our increasingly digital world.”
Key insights from the event will be shared across the digital inclusion sector, to inform and accelerate cross-sector activities in digital mentoring. Further events and opportunities to collaborate, network and share information were identified as priority areas for future activities by attendees.