For Comparison: Bridging the Digital Divide in Australia

28 Nov

Last semester I was lucky enough to go on exchange to the University of Newcastle in Australia. During breaks in the semester, I was able to travel to up the East Coast, visiting Melbourne all the way up to Cairns. I had a fantastic time and will remember the experience for the rest of my life. As a result of this life-changing experience, I have this lasting curiosity and have a tendency to compare Canada with Australia on how they  handle certain issues. While researching information for this project, I looked up community access sites in Australia and found this great piece in Parity Magazine about how Australia is trying to bridge the digital divide about Homeless Youth.

Public Access Sites are a great way to provide the internet to those who can afford it, but they do come with some concerns. the major concerns are:

  • expense of related costs such as printing
  • lack of privacy
  • inability to access all websites
  • limited access hours

As a result of these growing concerns, Front Yard youth services in Melbourne asked a group of young people what would make an effective Public Access Site. Here is what they suggested:

  1. Co-located services: have a variety of services at one location. This will also help with infrastructure costs which is a major deterrent for access sites
  2. Social Interaction: one of the most important things mentioned was having a social and friendly atmosphere. Many street youth come from negative home environments and would respond better to services in a friendly environment
  3. Flexible Training and Learning

One Response to “For Comparison: Bridging the Digital Divide in Australia”

  1. Nicole Alexander May 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm #


    I live in Australia and actually near the University of Newcastle, although I go to Macquarie University in Sydney. Funnily enough I am studying a subject at the moment called IT and Society and we just had some lectures on the Digital Divide! It is also an option that we can choose for our final research paper!

    The Digital Divide is so interesting and it is awesome to see that you are exploring the fact that it happens in developed as well as developing countries, awesome work (:

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The Digitial Divide Among Canada's Homeless

Exploring how the Internet is used by Marginalized groups in Canada

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