Microsoft innovation award
Story by Paul Clarke, Microsoft Australia, 7th April 2008
We received runner-up in this very challenging competition.
UP Innovation Competition - Winners Announced!
The Microsoft UP Innovation Competition sought to uncover exceptional and innovative UP centre programs and to give public recognition to some outstandingly innovative and creative programs.
The winner of the UP Innovation Competition 2007 is:
Nick Van de Peer
UP Centre: WorkVentures' Bowraville CTC
Project: "Indigenous Youth PC program"
This project hosted 17 Indigenous youth on a two-week long IT skills development program. It provided the participants with an opportunity for skills development and pathways to employment, outside the rigorous structure of traditional education. A hands-on, flexible and interactive education program was used to build capacities within the Indigenous students and enhance their problem solving aptitude and self-esteem.
The key concept of Nick's program was to implement and conduct training within the student's local community so that senior members of their community support them. The courses were run to a curriculum that was developed specifically for this target group.
During the process of training, the participants refurbished / rebuilt a PC, filmed and edited a digital movie, and on successful completion of the course took ownership of that PC as well as receiving a Certificate of Proficiency.
The judges selected Nick's project because it demonstrated a real innovative use of technology, achieved its objectives and had a lasting impact on the local community.
Dianna Newman & Daryn McKenny
UP centre: Awarbukarl Cultural Resource Association Inc. (ACRA)
Project: "Modern Ways for Ancient Words"
Through its community network, ACRA has commenced taking computer training to eager learners. Through the use of the UP Curriculum, Microsoft software and their own developed software (Miromaa) ACRA has been able to provide the necessary skills to Aboriginal communities around Australia to assist in the preservation and dissemination of the endangered traditional languages of Aboriginal Australia. Communities are realising the importance that technology can play by giving them the tools and skills to embark on reclaiming, preserving and disseminating these 250 plus native languages of Australia.
The judges wanted to recognize the fantastic work that ACRA had achieved and to acknowledge the enormous social impact this project has.
Special Judges' Choice Award
UP centre: The Winifred Fisher - Indigenous Knowledge Centre
Project: "NAIDOC PowerPoint Competition"
This UP centre is housed in the Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) in Cherbourg, an indigenous town in SE Queensland. Their aim in the Cherbourg IKC is to encourage people to engage / re-engage with technology and learning in a creative and sustained way. This required the UP centre staff to overcome historical and cultural barriers and find ways to make learning meaningful to people. Robyn's NAIDOC PowerPoint Competition is one such strategy.
The judges felt that a special mention had to be made of this important project.
Finally, our thanks to everyone who participated in the UP Innovation Competition. There were many innovative and highly beneficial projects in the submissions we received, and we appreciate the effort that went into creating all of them.