Bridging the Gap

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In an era where technological advancements are rapidly evolving, questions often arise: How can society preserve the world’s oldest living cultures? How can we prepare the next generation for tech-centric futures? The partnership between Indigital Anglo American and the Barada Barna Indigenous Community provides an inspiring answer to these questions.

Launched in 2022, this ground breaking initiative is a multi-stakeholder collaboration involving Anglo American, Moranbah and District Support Services, and Indigital—the pioneering First Nations technology company. The program aims to weave together Indigenous cultural preservation with 21st-century digital skills.

During the course of eight months, six Traditional Custodians, 23 students, and a group of Anglo American employees immersed themselves in the Indigital program.

Central to the program’s impact was the involvement of Indigenous Elders, who shared invaluable cultural insights, history, and language. After listening to the elders’ stories, students used Minecraft Education Edition, Microsoft Paint 3D and Indigital’s voice recording software to create their own AR experience. The content is then brought together using the free Indigital app which allows each participant to share what they have developed during the program.

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Aunty Linda teaches Minecraft World Building

Tiare Kelsall, Indigital’s Delivery Manager, shared the significance of Barada Barna’s involvement.

“It is vital that we first work with the community to understand their story and teach them the technology skills that students will be learning.

“The Barada Barna community learned about Indigenous Intellectual Cultural Protocols and were able to recreate characters from their stories using Augmented Reality. This has allowed them the opportunity to share their story, lore and language in a meaningful way through the program as well as build the skills to teach others their story through technology.

“The program was an important opportunity for the Barada Barna community to share their story, one that had been passed down from generation to generation. In the training, we had four generations descending from Aunty Linda through to her great-granddaughter Claudine, all learning technology together and through a First Nations lens. It was magnificent.”

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Elder Les Nebo story in Dot Painting

Mikaela Jade, Indigital CEO and founder, shed some light on the broader picture.

“Through this partnership we are excited to support the aspirations of the Barada Barna community to build the digital skills and capacity of their young people, guided by their Elders.

“Nine out of ten jobs that exist today are underpinned by digital skills. Learning digital skills in critical technologies is so important for First Nations communities. It leads to work that our people can do on Country, so we can maintain our cultural connections and responsibilities while actively participating in the jobs and industries that are developing and evolving around us.”

By fusing traditional Indigenous knowledge with modern technology, this Indigital initiative represents a compelling model for both cultural preservation and educational innovation. The oral traditions and cultures of First Nations communities are at risk, so mobilising the power of technology and putting it in the hands of young people and their Elders is a way to tackle both these needs.

Sharon, the great-granddaughter of Aunty Linda, expressed her enthusiasm for the future.

“I’m looking forward to being a Barada Barna Indigital Educator to teach on Country our Barada Barna Stories. That’s just too good.”

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