Saturday, 24 April 2010

Brand New Blog

Dot Com Mob has a new all-in-one website and blog. Click here to check out our latest posts.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

First Year of Centre Makes a "Huge Impact" on Hope Vale

Cooktown News - August 2009

Click on the image below to enlarge.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Thread People Supporting the Dot Com Mob

Expensive designer clothing items that are released each season are only available in retail stores for approximately three months. Once the fashion season is finished, the unsold clothing items, are returned to the designers. At best, these items are stored for years in warehouses. At worst, the clothing items become general waste. Last year alone, there was over 87 000 tonnes of textile waste that became landfill in Australia.

One new social enterprise, Thread People, is re-cycling these previously unavailable fashion accessories and clothing items back into the market to reduce the wastage in the designer fashion industry and helping out the community at the same time.

Thread People is an Australian online fashion store that offers hand selected excess stock and sample pieces of top fashion and street wear designers to its members. Members have exclusive access to weekly event sales where clothing items are at prices of up to 75% off the original market price. The Australian and International brands that are available through Thread People are of the highest caliber and include both men’s and women’s clothing lines and men’s and women’s shoes.

Thread People members are also provided with fashion news, information on up and coming designers, artist appreciation forums, rewards programs, competitions, and invitations to industry events. They aim to create an engaged network of people that are interested in quality fashion and design.

Thread People are not only committed to reducing wastage in the fashion industry but they are also committed to giving back to the community. They are donating 10% of profits to their new community partner, Dot Com Mob. So if you are a supporter of Dot Com Mob please register for a free membership, visit

Hope Vale Elders Respond to the Apology

Click on the videos below to hear the Hope Vale elders give their response to the apology.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Celebrating the first year achievements of Hope Vale’s Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre

An Indigenous community in Cape York is making strides in enhancing educational, employment and social opportunities for Indigenous Australians, particularly through access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Established one year ago, the Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre provides a community space for learning, capacity building and strengthening cultural identity. With a range of training and informal learning activities, the centre helps community members to overcome barriers to learning and develops the capacity of individuals to participate in the social and working life of the community.

The Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre is at the heart of community activity and is frequently accessed by a wide range of community members. On average 50 to 60 community members access the centre daily. This provides a hub for community engagement - from a meeting space for Elders, to a way to engage young people that are unable to attend high school in Cooktown. Activities range from accessing the Internet and reading books to recording community history and culture.

Significantly, the centre seeks to address the social disadvantage created by the growing digital divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Bridging the digital divide has long been recognised as an important component in addressing Indigenous inequality due to the importance of technology in accessing economic, social and political opportunity.

Shirley Costello, as Centre Co-ordinator, has seen first-hand the positive impact that the Centre has made on Hope Vale, “It has made a huge impact to our community especially with the realisation that technology is the "NOW" factor, not only globally and nationally but now locally.”

Some key achievements in the centre’s first year include the establishment of a Hope Vale YouTube channel, a Hope Vale Wiki, and an Indigenous Knowledge Centre blog; providing an avenue for Elders to preserve their culture through recording life stories, language and history; and supported learning through the establishment of a homework club.

Fundamental to the centre’s success is in the approach that puts community ownership and building respectful relationships at the core of all activities. A particular focus is to affirm and strengthen Aboriginal cultural identity as a vital source of individual and community strength and pride. Much of the success of the centre must be contributed to the efforts of Shirley Costello, the Centre’s Coordinator, and the support of Hope Vale Council.

The centre was established in July 2008 with the help of Dot.Com.Mob, an organisation that strives to enhance the synergies between community development and community technology providers, in collaboration with SJB Architects, Work Ventures and the AMP Foundation.

Robert Magid, the sponsor of the Dot.Com.Mob, observes, “Technology has the potential to greatly improve the quality of people’s lives, especially in remote communities. Before Hope Vale, people had to move to a major town to get a job or do various things. Now with the Internet, they can be in contact with people in other communities and major centres, and learn and contribute remotely.”

The State Library of Queensland provided learning resources and furniture for the centre, and provides very valuable ongoing support through staff training and program delivery. The Qld Department of Communities provided funds for the first year of operations.

Lee Robertson, CEO of Hope Vale Council, believes the partnership has been a resounding success thus far, “What can I say? This project has been truly inspirational and will hopefully encourage Government to embrace the idea of Partnerships between communities and other organisations, promoting initiatives for the betterment of the community”.
Dot.Com.Mob is interested in hearing from companies or individuals interested in establishing similar centres in other communities. Please contact Gaye White, Dot.Com.Mob, at

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Hope Vale Celebrates NAIDOC with Style

The Dot.Com.Mob was very fortunate this year to visit with their partners at the Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre during NAIDOC week in July and were lucky enough to be in time for the NAIDOC community parade.

Shirley Costello, the co-ordinator at the Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre was also the Master of Ceremonies for the NAIDOC celebrations.

The photos below will give you a sense of what a great occasion it was for all involved.

Wujal Wujal - Welcomes Dot.Com.mob

Mayor Desmond Tayley and Deputy Mayor Talita Nandy welcomed several international dignitaries this week, including visitors from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indians.

Amongst the visitors were the Dot.Com.Mob, who is seeking corporate partners to help the Wujal Wujal council to upgrade the computer room in the Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

The State Library of Qld already supports the community with books and training events as well as supporting the centre co-ordinator Carol Toby but currently the community only has access to one public computer.

The Mayor presented the Dot.Com.Mob with a copy of the book "Yalanji, Warranga Kaban", which details the history of the Yalanji people.

The children and youths of Wujal Wujal treated the visitors to a wonderful display of traditional dancing.

Many thanks to the whole community for such a warm welcome!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Hand in Hand: Aboriginal and Jewish People Working Together

Limmud-Oz is a major Australian Jewish community-wide conference and festival celebrating Jewish learning and creativity, which began in 1999 and alternates between Sydney and Melbourne. It is a unique, volunteer-led, cross-communal and multi-generational event, catering for the broad diversity of opinions within the wider Jewish community. Hand in Hand: Aboriginal and Jewish People Working

Jennifer Hillman, Josef McDonald, Raymond Minniecon, Anne Sarzin, Lisa Sarzin, Jennifer Symonds, Gaye White Aboriginal and Jewish people in NSW are working together on man
y inspiring projects. The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies commissioned Dr Anne Sarzin and Lisa Sarzin to research and write a book about these projects and the people involved. Anne and Lisa spoke about the book and introduced some of the Aboriginal and Jewish people involved in some of these uplifting projects such as the Dot.Com.Mob founded by Robert Magid.

Limmud-Oz is just one of over 50 similar events under the umbrella of Limmud International , which is at the forefront of a revolution in global Jewish education and
thinking, and is creating a learned, open, dynamic and respectful community. Limmud worldwide attracts over 32,000 people annually and continues to see unprecedented growth, even while more traditional community institutions suffer from decreasing numbers.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Tour of Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre

Join in on a personal tour of the Hope Vale, Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre with Shirley Costello, centre co-ordinator.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Dot.Com.Mob launches YouTube Channel

The Dot.Com.Mob wants you to check out their new YouTube Channel:

Watch Robert Magid explain the history of the Dot.Com.Mob as well as a selection of other videos by the Mayor of Hope Vale, Greg McLean, the State Library of Qld and videos made by members of the Hope Vale community and uploaded to YouTube.

Please subscribe to our channel, so you can keep up with the latest progress of helping Indigenous people, living in remote locations, have access to the Internet so they might participate in opportunities that simply did not exist before.

ICBF and the Dot.Com.Mob

Double click on the image to enlarge.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Free Online Support for Students in Remote Communities

The Dot.Com.Mob is actively supporting the resourcing of technology centres in remote Indigenous communities in partnership with the State Library of Qld. These centres are called Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centres.

The Internet can help overcome the disadvantage experienced by students living in remote locations and the latest offering from the State Library is an example of this.

The State Library of Queensland has recently purchased a state-wide licence for Yourtutor.

Any member of the public with a library card can log-in with their library bar-code to receive free online support completing homework, assignments or preparing for exams.

IKC administrators are encouraged to promote this free service to members of their communities.

Simply follow the links and choose your IKC location (e.g. Torres Strait Island Regional Council) and you will be placed in line to receive support from a live tutor - a real person!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Interested in Helping to Bridge the Real Digital Divide?

On behalf of the THE ROTARY CLUB OF SYDNEY COVE - INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY BENEVOLENT FUND INC ( ICBF), the DOT COM MOB is seeking donations from third parties to support the development of Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centres (IKTCs) at a number of remote area communities in Queensland. The centres aim to introduce the members of these communities to training and education opportunities through familiarity with computers and the Internet.

In particular, the objective is to give younger community members a useful occupation to divert them from problematic pastimes and to re-engage them with mainstream education. If the success to date is maintained, it is likely that such centres will form the model for developing IKTCs in Indigenous communities Australia wide.

Your donation will be spent directly on bolstering technology resources in the IKTC of your choice and all donations are tax deductable.

Communities to choose from are:

Cape York and the Northern Peninsular Area
Hope Vale

Lockhart River

New Mapoon
Wujal Wujal

Torres Strait
Badu (Mulgrave Island)
Boigu (Boigu Island)
Dauan (Mt Cornwallis)
Erub (Darnley Island)
Iama (Yam Island)
Kubin (Moa Island)
Mabuiag (Mabuiag Island)
Poruma (Coconut Island)

Southern Queensland
Brisbane (kuril dhagun)
Cherbourg (Winifred Fisher Knowledge Centre)

Alternatively, you may wish to make a non-designated donation to support the overall program.

The ICBF has been set up as an independent entity by the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove to provide an effective means of receiving and distributing donations to meet the special needs of Indigenous communities in Australia in order to improve the living situation and standards in those communities. This entity has DGR and PBI status under the Tax Act.

Please contact the Dot.Com.Mob at

Hope Vale Community's YouTube Page

How exciting to see the Hope Vale community now has its own YouTube page!!

Young people from the community have created a series of digital stories which they have posted up on the page.

Listen to their songs or hear their personal stories which provides a fantastic insight to life in Hope Vale - from a community perspective.

The community page is here:

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Dot.Com.Mob supports Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre

"Suddenly we have been inundated with so many people and I am wondering what did we do before...." ask Shirley Costello, Hope Vale IKTC Co-ordinator.

Watch th
e video to hear Bob Magid explain the story of the Dot.Com.Mob's support at Hope Vale to assist in the opening of the Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre.

The centre is run and managed by the Hope Vale Council with support from the State Library of Qld and the Qld Department of Communities.

Thank you to the State Library of Qld for use of some video footage
Camera work - Sarah Scragg

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Putting the Hope into Hope Vale

Putting the Hope into Hope Vale
Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor / November 15, 2008

THREE little boys, aged about eight or nine, are sitting in front of a computer. One is manipulating the mouse, one operating the keyboard and one is half-reading a picture book while he also looks at the computer. What are they looking at?

It's a series of video clips - presumably available on YouTube or some similar site - of former Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league player Sonny Bill Williams.

The clip should have been titled Sonny Bill's Greatest Hits. For Sonny Bill, in his earliest years especially, had a trademark shoulder charge that was absolutely lethal. And that was what was showing on the computer screen, one bone-jarring, teeth-rattling hit after another.

Without introducing myself, I say to the boys: "He's pretty good, that Sonny Bill, isn't

"He's great," the trio's leader, a bright kid with a mohawk hairdo, yells back without looking up from the screen.

Using rugby league, the common tongue of Queensland, especially far north Queensland, we have established a tiny connection.

This encounter takes place in the Aboriginal community of Hope Vale, about 45km north of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula. Apart from the ubiquity of rugby league in Queensland, what strikes me most about it is the kids' mastery of the computer.

"I'm a Bulldogs fan," I offer to the boys. "I go for the Tigers," mohawk says. "But my uncle goes for the Bulldogs."

By now the boys have already switched to a clip called Billy Slater's trio, which shows a brace of tries scored by the Queenslander who plays for Melbourne and Australia.

The boys' ease with the technology is impressive. They can slow it down, replay it, switch from one player to another. The boy with the mouse and the boy with the keyboard seem to work in perfect sync. Truly, kids are incredible. Their ability to adapt and to learn, when they are interested, is epic.

This little encounter takes place in the Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre in Hope Vale.

It has been open only a few months but it is one of the most impressive and marvellous things you could see.

In a field where all seems so often to be bad news, the IKTC is unadulterated good news. It is overseen by Shirley Costello, the centre's co-ordinator. Costello is a great woman. I can tell you that after two days' acquaintance. A former schoolteacher and a former member of the Hope Vale Council, she runs the IKTC every day. Her rapport with kids of all ages, her common sense
and creative approach to getting the best out of the centre are entirely admirable.

I am deeply aware that I am no expert on this matter and that I work for a newspaper that has several of the best experts in the business working for it or writing occasionally. I am merely the pygmy who sits on the giants' shoulders to see farther. I have been to a lot of Southeast Asian and other Third World aid projects, and as a foreign editor I wanted for a long time to visit some of my fellow countrymen whose experience is perhaps most foreign to mine. Hope Vale is only the second Queensland Aboriginal community I've visited.

I wish I had more Aboriginal friends, more contact with the communities. Like every other Australian, I don't know the solutions to Aborigines' problems. But I do know that the IKTC is making a real contribution.

I understand that when a lot of people are drunk, Hope Vale can be a very distraught place. I don't want to minimise the difficulties people there face and the damage that can be done to them.

Nor are they the only problems. Over several hours one night the mayor and the council administrator tried to explain the complexities of the workings of native title. After a time my brain ached. No Australians should have to confront this level of complexity in carrying out normal economic activities. But I can report that my two days wandering around Hope Vale were friendly,
enjoyable and not without hope.

The IKTC is an innovative centre based on the idea that the Internet can play a role in liberating remote communities. In particular it can spark interest in otherwise bored kids. Good policy for Aborigines, I opine humbly, is policy that connects them to the rest of Australia. The good people of Hope Vale want to be connected. For all the money that has been spent and all the
reports and consultants and all the rest, sometimes we fail to do the most obvious things to connect Aborigines to the rest of Australia.

For example, Hope Vale is about 45km north of Cooktown. This is already quite a bit of isolation. I drove up to Cooktown from Cairns with some friends and it's a pretty long drive even by Australian standards.

Going up through the Daintree, you are struck by how utterly empty and beautiful the area is. It's a demanding four-wheel drive across some low rivers, at one point requiring a ferry crossing, up a lot of steep hills on winding, dirt roads.

It took us five hours. I should think it's almost impossible if it's raining.

A friendly greenie - a nice person even if I didn't agree with his views - put it to me that native title had been great for north Queensland because it protected the land. It meant there had been no development at all. Well, that's just great unless you happen to be a human being living in north Queensland who would prefer a life of work, fulfilment, happiness and affluence to one of idleness, alienation, poverty and despair.

Coming back to Cairns we drove the inland highway, which is sealed all the way and a much easier drive. But it, too, is just eerily empty, except for dead wallabies all along the unfenced road and an almost India-like parade of unrestrained cattle grazing at the road's edge. Roads are very, very important in Queensland.

Hope Vale has its own primary school. But for high school, Hope Vale's kids have to get a bus to Cooktown. They often arrive a bit hot and bothered after their long journey, but that is the least of their problems.

The road between Cooktown and Hope Vale has long stretches that are unsealed. In the wet, the school bus can't get through, so no matter how devoted you are to school, you just can't get there.

Now governments have a lot of trouble solving deep inter-generational disadvantage. But surely they can pave the damn road. Hope Vale's leaders, its mayor Greg McLean and the other councillors and folks I met, don't want to isolate Hope Vale from the rest of Australia. They're building an arts centre and want to attract tourists. There's already a business taking guided tours
around the caves and cave paintings.

At the IKTC there are 20 or so computers, donated from businesses that don't use them anymore. Hope Vale residents have been trained to maintain and repair them. The Queensland Government sponsors more than a dozen such centres across the Cape but I think Hope Vale is the only one with a full time director in Shirley Costello. Her salary is secured for only one year.

During the day the computers are mostly used by adults. But if a primary school pupil is suspended from school they will come to the centre and Costello, co-ordinating their work with the school, will make them do three pages of school work, then let them have a half hour on the computers. YouTube clips of US president-elect Barack Obama have been a hit with the kids.

The younger children use computers where harmful sites have been blocked as far as possible. I saw some teenage girls working on MySpace and sending emails to friends.

The Hope Vale council believed in the project so much it vacated its own council chambers to house the IKTC. Can you imagine Canberra's MPs giving up parliament's chambers for an
innovative school?

The IKTC has also attracted the support of philanthropists and other government agencies. While I was there, men from the local language group were learning how to film their own language instruction sessions. Some of the community are interested in putting a lot of cultural knowledge on websites they are developing. IKTC's backers hope kids will use it eventually for distance education and finding job opportunities. Maybe local businesses will market products on the web.

It's not the solution to everything but it's a real contribution, a connection for Hope Vale to the wider world that is full of opportunity, full of hope.

Video and Photo by: Sarah Scragg

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Hope Vale IKTC Used by all Ages

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Community Hub

Mayor of Hope Vale, Greg McLean, said the IKTC is a place for the entire community to converge and is emerging as safe places for people of all ages to meet, share, learn and strengthen community culture...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Technology Meets Tradition in Hope Vale

See inside Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centres

From the very top of Australia in the Torres Strait Island of Boigu down to Cherbourg in south-east Queensland, Indigenous communities are enjoying computer and library activities. Watch this video for a personal tour inside these centres and to meet the people supporting this initiative.

Video by: Sarah Scragg

Monday, 3 November 2008

Hope Vale is one of 16 Councils Supporting Indigenous Knowledge Centres

Meet the groups the DOT.COM.MOB is working together with to open and operate Indigenous Knowledge Centre's in Queensland's remote Indigenous communities so that members of these communities can have access to the same services as every other Australian.

The Administrators from 16 IKCs across Cape York, Torres Strait and Cherbourg attended a conference in Cairns in Sept to share ideas and learn about new activities they can run in their centres.

The Mayor of Hope Vale, Greg Mclean called for more funding so councils can continue to offer 'long-life' learning opportunites in Indigenous communities.

Watch the video to see and hear the difference these centres are making.

Video: Sarah Scragg

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Hon Lindy Nelson-Car visits Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre

Hon Lindy Nelson-Car, MP, Minister for Communities, Disability Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Multicultural Affairs, Seniors and Youth visited the recently opened Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre in Hope Vale to meet with elders and hear about the language recording project.

The Minister was accompanied by Michael Hogan, the Assistant Director-General, Dept of Communities.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

New Indigenous Business Initiative

A new model for Corporate Australia to Engage with Indigenous Australia

Corporate Australia has long demonstrated a desire to contribute towards improving the future of Indigenous Australians who are now gaining the confidence to engage in the wider economy and are seeking the opportunity to become economically sustainable – breaking the cycle of welfare dependency for the Indigenous community and creating role models for Indigenous Australians to follow.

The question is: how can corporate Australia contribute to this process in an effective and sustainable manner?

Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) gathered together world leaders on the topic of minority business engagement together with ten Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs to discuss the topic in an Australian context.

A US concept that enables minority businesses to successfully sell to large corporates
is called the National Minority Supplier Development Council ( There are equivalent organisations in Canada and the UK. A similar organisation is being created in Australia called the Australian Indigenous Minority Supplier Council (AIMSC) which has as its founding members Citi, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, IBM, Cisco and Coca Cola.

If you are an Australian Indigenous business and would like to know more about this project send us an email.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

IKC - Administrator's Workshop 2008

The Qld State Library is committed to supporting the personal and professional development of the people selected by local councils to undertake the role of IKC Administrator. This support will see IKC Administrators better equipped to engage and grow their respective communities through the delivery of education, social and economic services and activities. The conference was held at Cairns Colonial Club Resort from 8 - 11 September, 2008.

Also attending the conference was the Minister for Community Development from Papua, New Guinea - Dame Carol Kidu.

Dame Carol, speaks about the merits of IKCs in the video below.

Video by: Sarah Scragg

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Roads, Rates, Rubbish and Reading says Hope Vale Mayor

Hope Vale Mayor, Greg McLean, gave the key-note speech at the IKC Administrator's Conference in Cairns this week.

"The Hope Vale Council is funded to provide roads, rates and rubbish collection in our community, but we must also be funded to provide reading so our community members can enjoy the same services as every other Australian" said Mayor McLean

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

ABC Radio Interview with Fiona Sewell

The IKC Administrators Workshop "Together We Make it Happen" was held for all Administrators in communities around Queensland. During the Workshop ABC recorded an interview with Greg McLean - Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council, Gaye White - DOT.COM.MOB and Dame Carol Kidu - MP Minister for Community Development, Papua New Guinea.

Click on the link below to listen to the interview.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

State Library Obtains Rare Images Charting Hope Vale History

State Librarian Lea Giles-Peters today announced a major new acquisition by the State Library of Queensland of a significant photographic collection charting the development of the Hope Vale community from 1958–83. Ms Giles-Peters said Lutheran Pastor Ivan Roennfeldt’s donation of his collection of 2,000 photographs and slides coincided with the 50th anniversary of Hope Vale’s Lutheran Church.

Pastor Roennfeldt, 83, who is now retired and living in Brisbane, was on the Board of the Lutheran Church which oversaw the Hope Vale Mission. He visited the Mission many times over 25 years from 1958, and photographed the community and local landmarks.

“The photographic collection donated by Pastor Roennfeldt depicts the daily activities of the mission, such as farming, constructing irrigation systems and wood turning,” Ms Giles-Peters said.
“There are also a number of
images acquired by Pastor Roennfeldt dating from the 1800s, which show the earlier traditional life of the community, including rare shots of fishing, camping and shelters.” Pastor Roennfeldt’s photographs will become part of the State Library’s Heritage Collections.

The State Library is investigating digitising the collection so it can be viewed by people across the state and throughout Australia online through the Picture Queensland database.
Ms Giles-Peters said the State Library is committed to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities and preserving their unique culture and stories.

“In partnership with the local council, the Department of Communities and private donors, the State Library opened an Indigenous Knowledge Centre in Hope Vale last month,” she said.
“The Hope Vale centre provides a place for people to come together, socialise, learn and celebrate the community’s cultural heritage and is part of the network of 17 Indigenous Knowledge Centres located across the state.”

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Hope Vale Indigneous Knowledge and Technology Centre off to a Great Start

Shirley Costello, the centre co-ordinator is very excited about the number of community members using the new Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre (IKTC).

Since the official opening the centre has been averaging some 50 to 60 people coming into the centre a day.

Students from Cooktown High school are being transported to the Hope Vale centre to enable them to source material for their history projects on Hope Vale.

Well done to Shirley and her assistants.

Contact details

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Monday, 21 July 2008

Highlights of Official Opening for Hope Vale IKTC

Camera work by James Leech

Hope Vale Council Officially Opens Indigneous Knowledge Centre

The Hope Vale Council officially opened the doors of the combined Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre in their remote aboriginal community in Cape York this week. By doing so, they not only launched a state-of-the-art learning and meeting space that will benefit all community members, but also successfully completed an innovative private/public partnership.

The newly refurbished facility, housed in the Jack Bambie building, is set to become an integral community hub and an opportunity to promote a culture of life-long learning in the township. It houses a fully resourced library, public access computers with broadband Internet connectivity, a supervised homework club for students, a space for the local women and men to meet in their community groups and a safe place for kids to play and learn.

What is unique about the Centre in Hope Vale, apart from the abundance of computer facilities, is how many local people, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and government departments have banded together to bring this project to fruition.

The Centre was the brain-child of Sydney philanthropist, Bob Magid from the DOT.COM.MOB. He set out to promote Internet based experiences for Indigenous children after witnessing the success of a similar project involving Ethiopian refugees in Israel.

“The Internet can be such a powerful tool for children to learn through having fun” said Bob Magid. “They can learn to read and write while looking up things that really interest them. The computers and Internet will give them opportunities that they simply didn’t have before”.

SJB Architects developed layout plans and many Hope Vale residents helped refurbish the building. The Queensland State Library, through their Indigenous Knowledge Centre Network, will be providing resources such as books, DVDs and journals to the Centre as well as mentoring and training for the centre manager. The Queensland Department of Communities has contributed funding recognizing that the Centre will provide a safe and stimulating learning environment for young children from the community.

The Sydney based not-for-profit, Work Ventures has provided refurbished computers and has conducted training programs to teach young people at Hope Vale how to build computers so they can locally repair units quickly and easily. Lastly, Frost Design is developing a website for the Centre that will act as a community notice board and a cultural heritage resource.

While the Hope Vale Council is delighted with the Centre they do have one concern. Unlike other councils, they do not have a rate base to provide the recurrent funding necessary to provide a community learning centre and they are looking for ongoing support of this project so that it is sustainable.

The Council believes by promoting a culture of life-long learning throughout all the community the overall education standards will be raised. Therefore, the Centre will also conduct programs for parents and pre-schoolers as well as events involving Traditional Owners through the State Library’s “Keeping Culture Strong’ project.

Photos by Sarah Scragg

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Dot.Com.Mob contributes to Keeping Culture Strong at Hope Vale

To achieve the Indigenous Knowledge and Technolgy Centre’s (IKTC) vision to be a repository for all of the intellectual property held within a community, then knowledge in all its forms must be well represented in the IKC.

Artworks, tools and ceremonial objects are imbued with such knowledge. The maker of these items embeds their own understanding and interpretation of the world into the pieces. In a society which depends primarily on oral information transfer, these objects provide an alternative to the written word as physical representations of indigenous history and culture.

Currently the main route for capture of these physical elements is their purchase and display by institutions such as museums, galleries and libraries. In making such sales, the artists and artisans do realise value for their efforts to allow them to continue to practice their particular craft. However, at present, these pieces invariably leave the community to join a collection, often far removed from the community and the people to whom they relate.

James Leech, who is heading up the Keeping Culture Strong Project in Hope Vale, would like to see councils, institutions or other interested parties supporting the purchase of such local works by the IKC’s so that they can be retained within the community for all to see and admire. As part of this process, we would also like to see the artist’s interpretation of the work recorded for posterity either by written interview, audio recording or video recording.

Capturing the artist’s description of the artwork or object, and their association with the information embedded within it, would provide a lasting record within the community that helps others to understand the subtleties of these works.

To kick-start this initiative, Bob Magid has purchased the ‘Living Reef’ work by Roy McIvor and Gaye White has purchsed Evelyn McGreen's basket print will be presenting it to Greg McLean at the opening to be hung in the IKC.

Roy McIvor explains the story behind Living Reef, click on the video below to view.

To purchase Hope Vale art Online, click here

Photos and video by Sarah Scragg

Thursday, 10 July 2008

New Sign for Hope Vale Indigneous Knowledge and Technology Centre

Dot.Com.Mob today donated a new sign for the Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technolgy Centre so that Shirley Costello (Centre Co-ordinator) can advertise uncoming events.

Photo by Sarah Scragg

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Hope Vale Council Appoints Co-ordinator for IKTC

The Hope Vale council has appointed Shirley Costello as the coordinator for the soon to be opened Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre which will be housed in the Jack Bambie Centre.

Shirley has served as a councillor at Hope Vale and prior to that a teacher at the local primary school.

The Dot.Com.Mob would like to congratulate Shirley on her new appointment.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Preparations for the Opening

It was all systems go this month when the Hope Vale Council vacated the Jack Bambie building, Shirley Costello was appointed the Centre manager and the centre was painted in preparation for the arrival of furniture, shelving and computers. Shirley and Lee Robertson (CEO of Hope Vale Council) had a lot of fun choosing the colours and the Centre has now been transformed from a dull yellow (see “before” photo) into a lollipop wonderland.

I would like to personally thank Mayor McLean, the Hope Vale Councillors,Lee Robertson, S
hirley Costello, Terena Hopkins (Dept of Communities) Renee Colless (State Library), James Leech (State Library) and the community painters and furniture removal team for all their hard work this week.

I would also like to express my appreciation to a number of p
eople who have contributed to the success of this venture:
  • The Hope Vale Mayor and Councillors, from both the past and present council – thank you for your vision and support for this concept and also to the advisory committee for their time and ideas. Also, Leanne Rayner, Lyn Jantke and Maureen Liddy from Education Qld for your patient and continued support.
  • The Qld State Library management team of Lea Giles-Peters, Robert Bardy and Amanda Jolly, Renee Colless - thank you for your generous support and for finding all those surplus chairs in your basement to be sent to Hope Vale for a second life.
  • The WorkVentures management of Ralph Gatt and Arsenio Allegro and your backers of AMP Foundation and Microsoft – thank you for the generous computer donations.
  • Michael Hogan and Terena Hopkins (Dept of Communities) - thank you for your support through what can only be described as a ground breaking private/public partnership.
  • The Hon Rod Welford MP Minister for Education, Training and the Arts, Jason O’Brien Member for Cook and the Hon Lindy Nelson-Carr, Minister for Communities, Disability Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Multicultural Affairs, Seniors and Youth– thank youfor making this all possible.
  • Charles Justin from SJB Architects for your layout plans.
  • Special thank you to Bob Magid, who is in the UK at the moment and is missing all the fun. Bob’s dream started all this....
The furniture and books will continue to arrive over the next couple of weeks and the official opening will be organised by the Hope Vale Council at a time to be advised.

Photo by: James Leech

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Press Release from Hope Vale Shire Council

Hope Vale Mayor, Greg McLean, and the Councillors of Hope Vale Council are preparing for the opening of a combined Community Technology Centre and Indigenous Knowledge Centre which will be housed in the Jack Bambie Centre in Hope Vale. The Council has established an advisory committee to guide the development and operation of the centre to ensure it meets community needs and interests.

This community hub will be a stimulating, recreational and learning space, housing a library with books, magazines, DVDs, music and games, public access computers with Internet and free training programs for all ages. A supervised homework club will be run in the Centre after school for high school students attending Cooktown High School. Other existing community groups will also benefit from the proposed new resources.

Cr June Pearson said “By developing the skills of the local people to take advantage of the information and learning opportunities available through the Internet, we can help overcome some of the disadvantages Indigenous people experience living in remote locations. The Centre will provide the resources for people to develop their own interest areas whether it is art, music, sport, higher education or business”.

The Centre will provide employment for Hope Vale residents with the Centre Co-ordinator receiving mentoring and training from the State Library and opportunities to attend professional development sessions in Brisbane.

Arts Minister Rod Welford said the State Library currently supports 16 Indigenous Knowledge Centres, primarily in the Cape York Peninsula and Torres Strait regions. “These Centres are valuable assets for our Indigenous communities. They provide both traditional library services as well as a means and a place to capture and preserve local history and traditions,” Minister Welford said. “No doubt this will be a welcome addition to the Hope Vale community,” he said. Lindy Nelson-Carr, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, congratulated Mayor Greg McLean and councillors, Bob Magid and the other parties in developing this partnership. “This is a great initiative for HopeVale, creating opportunities and strengthening connections to the world beyond. There is an exciting future ahead as more Indigenous communities, the private sector and public sectors partner in this way”, said the Minister.

Ralph Gatt, the Division Manager of Sydney ITeC Repair Centre will personally provide the first technology training event in the new centre in April. Ralph will teach young people in Hope Vale how to build and repair computers, as well as how to film and edit their own movies. To facilitate Internet access WorkVentures has donated 10 refurbished computers and networking equipment to the new centre.

Cr Shirley Costello said the Council will soon be launching its own website, which will provide information about the history of Hope Vale, its cultural and natural heritage, including information on the different clans. It will also function as a community noticeboard. Frost Design, a Sydney based company, will assist in the website design.As soon as the weather clears, the centre will be decorated by local artists. Computers and other resources will be unpacked for the planned opening soon after.

Cr Des Bowen said the Council has worked on the project for two years and it was a great example of a partnership of local people, business and government combining to develop an exciting facility for the Hope Vale community. The partners include philanthropist Bob Magid from the DOT.COM.MOB, the State Library of Queensland, Dept of Communities (DoCs) and D.E.S.T, SJB Architects and WorkVentures.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

WorkVentures Conducts Computer Maintenance Course

WorkVentures in association with the AMP Foundation and Microsoft, sent the Divisional Manager of Sydney ITeC Repair Centre, Ralph Gatt, to Hope Vale to teach a group of young people how to repair and build computers. Ralph returned in April, 2008 to complete the course and the participants who could successfully build and repair the computer were rewarded with a computer to keep for their own use.

With the aim of the project is to assist the community along the road of self reliance, WorkVentures donated 15 refurbished computers to the Council for the new Indigenous Knowledge Centre and left a supply of spare parts for ongoing maintenance. Microsoft through the Unlimited Potential program supplied the Council with software licences for the machines.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Bob Magid hosts dinner for Hope Vale Council

Bob Magid, hosted a meeting with the Hope Vale Shire Council at the Cairns International Hotel to discuss the location of the new joint Indigenous Knowledge Centre and Community Technology Centre in Hope Vale.

The Council members agreed at that meeting to make available the Jack Bambie centre, which was purpose built as a training centre, but due to the shortage of buildings had become a temporary council chambers.

SJB Architects in Melbourne offered to assist with plans for the layout of the centre.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Dot.Com.Mob Website

We are the Dot.Com.Mob

The Internet, World Wide Web, information superhighway, and cyberspace are all words used to describe an exciting and fun learning tool.

At the touch of a keyboard or the click of a mouse it is possible to listen to music, find assistance with your science projects, watch a movie trailer, or send electronic messages by e-mail, instant messages, or chat, to a friend across the street, in another town, or another country.

Check out our links to deadly web sites. These sites are sites we like and we hope they will get you started on your journey through the Internet.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Support from The Honourable Rod Welford MP

March 2007 – The Local member for Cook, Jason O’Brien and the DOT.COM.MOB, sought support from the Minister for Art, Education and Training to open an Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) in Hope Vale where the Community Technology Centre could be part of a more comprehensive Community Learning Centre.

The aims of the Hope Vale Indigenous Knowledge and Technology Centre will be to:

  1. support recording, sharing and secure access for local Indigenous knowledge,
  2. provide access to knowledge from the wider world via the Internet and other materials,
  3. raise literacy, information literacy skills and Information and Communication Technology (ITC) skills across the community by providing exposure and access to training and materials,
  4. offer training and support to community members engaged in gathering and recording cultural knowledge,
  5. create opportunities for the kind of recreational activities that can be encompassed in a library setting, for groups across the community.