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Indigenous Digital Excellence Hits Newman

Cutting edge digital technologies were the talk of the town in Newman last month as IDX (Indigenous Digital Excellence) ran their Flint program forMartumili, Newman Youth Centre and Indigenous students and teachers from Newman Senior High School, Newman Primary School and South Newman Primary School.

A Newman Futures-organised event, the IDX initiative (co-founded and designed by the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and the Telstra Foundation) seeks to unlock the opportunities the digital world can provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

IDX manager Grant Cameron said program participants learnt a range of skills, including coding robots, using drones to care for country and explored virtual worlds using VR headsets.

“IDX’s Flint objective is to plant seeds for future engagement with digital technologies in regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities while also leaving behind tools, technology and practical know-how to transfer interest into tangible outcomes and projects,” Grant said. In addition to the sessions withschool students, the IDX team also spent two days

training community members to be local facilitators and champions of the program.

Of the 26 remote communities IDX has visited, Newman provided the largest turnout of local facilitators, with 19 local champions doing the training. This speaks volumes about the interest in technology and innovation in town. The local facilitators are also keen to set up a Newman tech network to build on the connections they made through the training.

BHP’s Chris Cottier said the Newman Futures project aimed to build a diverse and inclusive Newman economy.

“Training and education programs like IDX are a key part in providing opportunities for the community to get ready for the future of work.” Chris said.

In November, a group ofNewman primary and high school students will have the opportunity to take part in a similar future tech training program run by Firetech before a select number of students head to Perth for the first Resources Technology Showcase (go to for more details).

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