Computers in Homes New Zealand have come across the sea to visit Making Links this year to share with us the trials and tribulations of deploying low cost computer solutions to remote and disadvantaged communities. There was a great deal of emphasis placed on working side by side rather from the top down in these communities. NZ (or this group at any rate) seems to have a grasp on how imposition of new ideas or interventions made in the social structure is so very condescending for an Indigenous culture with thousands of years of history. It took them over ten years to get where they are today and now with a line in the budget they certainly aren’t going away any time soon. While the politics and the geography are very different to Australia’s, the inspiration behind the ideas were valuable. For more information on the project you can head over to http://www.computersinhomes.org.nz
The WA Community Resource Network was another inspiring story that has obviously done a great amount of good for rural and regional communities in Western Australia. Generally focusing on communities between 200-3000 in population, they have ensured services like banking, Centrelink, vehicle registration and other government services are available to these areas. The polar opposite of waiting in line at Centrelink would be attending one of these community centres to enjoy a live cast of an orchestra performance in Perth. Which they also organise! From essential services to cultural enrichment, WACRN is providing these and more to a lot of grateful people. Find out more about the organisation at http://www.crc.net.au
More to follow….