Community IT - asking the tough questions
16 February 2004 at 12:02 pm
The ‘digital divide’ facing cash-strapped community organisations will be a major focus of Connecting Up, a national information and communication technology (ICT) conference to be held at the Hyatt Regency in Adelaide May 3-4.
The conference will showcase the best examples from around Australia of communities, governments and businesses working together to improve access to information and telecommunications.
Doug Jacquier, CEO of conference organiser Community Information Strategies Australia, said the conference would address hot topics such as open source software, the availability of broadband services and wireless networks, bulk purchasing arrangements, and online support for community organisations.
“Having the equipment and software isn’t the whole story,” Mr Jacquier said. “There are ongoing challenges such as the need for continual upgrades, training and support.
“Some people are thinking ‘OK, we’re networked, on-line and cool. But what now?’ On the other hand, many groups have come up with innovative low-cost solutions to complex problems.”
Community groups trying to keep up with the fast pace of technological progress will have an opportunity to air their views, alongside the government and commercial organisations with whom they do business.
South Australian Minister for Science and Information Economy Jane Lomax-Smith, and Social Justice Minister Stephanie Key will deliver keynote addresses.
Sponsorships for the conference have come from the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE), the Science, Technology and Innovation Directorate of the SA Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Social Justice, as well as organisations that conduct business in the not-for-profit sector.
Further details, including 25% early bird discount bookings, are available online at www.communIT.info/conference