Australian Community Technology Awards
Thursday, 28th May 2009 at 2:40 pm
Refugee children, the unemployed, disaffected youth, stray dogs and grant applicants are the winners in the 2009 Australian Community Technology Awards.
A Victoria University project that uses avatars in virtual worlds to engage refugee and disadvantaged children in education has won Innovator of the Year in the Australian Community Technology Awards.
The awards are presented by Connecting Up Australia to recognise significant achievements by business, charities and governments using telecommunications and the internet to benefit Australian communities.
The winners of the 3rd annual awards include:
– Mission Australia’s workflow management system, which frees up social workers to spend more time helping people
– Vodafone Australia Foundation’s mobile phone system, which helps save young people’s lives
– Status Works’ website, which better connects employers and job-seekers
– RSPCA (ACT)’s online pet adoption system, which saves the lives of moggies and mutts
– FlowConnect’s grants management system, which streamlines applications for government funding for children with special needs
– The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Austlang website, which re-connects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to their Indigenous languages.
Victoria University’s Avatar Project uses ‘virtual world’ technologies to keep refugee and disadvantaged secondary students engaged in education. The project uses sites such as Second Life, collaborative media creation tools and Web 2.0 publishing platforms.
The project operates in partnership with teachers at Debney Park Secondary College, a government school with a large number of newly arrived students from the Horn of Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia due to its location in Melbourne’s inner West near a large Housing Commission apartment complex.
The South Australian based Not for Profit Connecting Up Australia operates Donortec ( www.donortec.com.au),which has channelled over $40m in technology donations to Not for Profits in the past two years; the annual Connecting Up conference on NFP technology issues; and the annual Australian Community Technology Awards.