The auDA Foundation has announced the award of 15 community grants, each of AUD $40,000, aimed to enhance digital inclusion and innovation. These projects are designed to benefit key cohorts, including rural, regional and remote Australians, individuals living with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australians aged 65 and older, and young Australians aged between 12 and 24 years.
The auDA Public Benefit Program Committee Chair, Sandra Davey, acknowledged the vital role the foundation plays in societal wellbeing. "The auDA Foundation has been fortunate to contribute to various community initiatives aimed at enhancing societal wellbeing through the internet, including by improving access to digital health and education resources in regional Australia, as well as enhancing online safety for people living with disabilities. I extend my sincere congratulations to this year's recipients, and I'm looking forward to seeing the lasting impact of their initiatives."
Rosemary Sinclair AM, CEO of auDA, reaffirmed the organisation's dedication to enhancing digital inclusion and innovation for Australians. She highlighted their support for over 172 projects, totalling AUD $4.5 million in funding. Sinclair said, "auDA is committed to improving digital inclusion and digital innovation for Australians as demonstrated by our support of more than 172 projects with over AUD $4.5 million in funding. The auDA Foundation community grants form a central pillar of our vision to drive social and economic value for Australians through the internet."
The successful projects range from increasing access to digital health and education resources to innovative initiatives promoting online safety. Some of the recipients include the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), Enterprise Learning Projects, First Nations Foundation, Ishar Multicultural Women's Health Services, Monash University and MJD Foundation and Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yanunytjatjara (NPY) Women's Council amongst others. The grants were officially announced at an event in Melbourne.
Among the winners' projects, ACCAN plans to create a national digital capacity and skills hub for disabilities named 'Digital Skills Finder.' At the same time, Aspect aims to build a digital maternal healthcare platform for women on the autism spectrum. The First Nations Foundation project focuses on the digital expansion of Indigenous Women's Financial Wellness, while Enterprise Learning Projects is geared towards empowering remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurs. Other initiatives are targeted towards education, business literacy, promoting safer internet usage, and improving the digital literacy of various demographics.
Every project is positioned to bring vital change, and the awarded grants will significantly empower these organisations in their endeavour to enhance the utility of the internet. Whether through actions to improve pathways to better financial health, create more inclusive online environments, or foster digital literacy amongst varied communities, these initiatives will use the power of the digital world to create a more inclusive society.