Innovating to bridge the digital divide

Welcome to our final quarterly newsletter for the year.  Here is some of what we’ve been working on; moving us towards our vision of building vibrant, healthy and digitally capable communities engaged in the digital economy.

We hope you have a restful break with family and friends and we look forward to reconnecting in 2019.

Julie, Tom, Sam, Jimmy & Jeet.

New Advisory Board

As Hitnet is continually evolving, our governance has to update and change as well. Consequently, we’ve recruited a new advisory board made up of five values-aligned, diverse and skills-based members, who will be actively engaged as Hitnet grows. I’m delighted to announce that our new board comprises Cameron Neil, Nickeema Williams, Ange Ferguson, Colette McInerney and Ian Patterson.

We kicked off our first meeting in October and the level of interest and enthusiasm was palpable. I look forward to working with each and everyone of them over the next year. A big thank you for the service of Cameron Burgess and Helen Travers who have stepped down as previous board members.

New Hubs being shipped

Our latest Hub order is nearing completion with lots of new innovation and features. It’s been a challenge to install new operating system, new software and new formatted content onto the Hubs along with in-built WiFi hotspots offering free Hitnet WiFi for the first time. A true collaboration with our trusted tech partners, HumanIT, Sustainable Software, Neoproducts and Easyweb Digital.

A big thanks to our new clients the AH&MRC of NSW, YMCA Victoria and reconnecting with GRAMS in WA. We look forward to working with you and your communities to activate the Hitnet Hubs.

Mobile Max at Alice Springs library, the story continues…

After three months in the field, it’s good to visit where our latest innovation ‘Mobile Max’ is up to. We designed Max so that we can remotely monitor his performance from anywhere, at anytime. We can see that he’s had around 650 purposeful uses over the quarter compared to 250 uses in an average indoor site, so people using Max at the Library are viewing more often than our indoor hubs. We’ve also had regular updates from the supportive staff at Alice Springs Public Library. You can read more about how he’s fairing, in Julie’s article here.

Woorabinda visit

“Tell people about Woorabinda” my host implored after I spent a couple of days in the remote Aboriginal community in Central Queensland. Woorabinda is the home of Nickeema Williams who we are fortunate to have as a new board member, and a Hitnet Hub.  The Hub is our most used in the country and it was important to finally get back there now that its been in action for two years.  The most popular viewed content is the locally produced video stories made with the kids in the community.

Woorabinda recently got involved with #GetOnlineWeek activities organised by The Good Things Foundation. The events encouraged community members both young and old, to #try1thing new on their digital devices. Woorabinda has lots of creativity and culture to celebrate and be proud of.

What’s new on the Hitnet Hubs

We’ve been working creatively with the team at Menzies Health Research in Darwin to develop their Trakz comic book series into an interactive digital story. These stories are used to teach young Indigenous people how to deal with teasing and bullying. This is a true community co-created production with the comic book stories developed by young people, drawn by a local artist and voice overs recorded by TEABBA in Darwin. Another new innovation is that these stories have been developed into an offline capable app that are soon to be released in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

We’re thrilled that we have further content partnerships formed with Aboriginal social enterprise, BushTV and the Central Australian Youth Link Up Service (CAYLUS). They now both have their own channels with their cultural videos, distributed across the Hitnet platform for all the communities to enjoy.

Latest usage stats

We collect and collate usage data from all of our hubs each quarter.  Here are the top 5 most popular channels on our network, for the past quarter.

  • Wayz – videos created by the young people of Kuranda highlighting positive ways of interacting.
  • Kids Matter –  animations with a focus on kids mental health.
  • Music channel – music videos from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander bands.  Videos are regularly updated with the latest songs from across the country.
  • Desert Pea media –  Music videos produced collaboratively with young people and communities in remote and isolated areas to create change
  • Money Channel – 6 short animations to promote financial literacy.  Topics include the dangers of loan sharks and credit cards, buying a car.

Downloads Available

Click on the links to download or interact with the following information about us:
Hitnet Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021
Hitnet Annual Highlights 2017
Interact with the Hitnet Hub
Hitnet Hub Packages
Hitnet WiFi Hotspot Packages
Hitnet Content Services
Hitnet Evidence Base
Hitnet Content Catalogue

Thanks for checking in to see what we’re up to.  Please feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues and networks to help us realise our vision.

– Hitnet