FNQ Roadshow Hits the Road on Cape York

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  May 28, 2018   admin

What do you get when you mix coding and robotics, virtual reality, drones, movie making and entrepreneurship workshops in remote communities on Cape York? A whole lot of learning and idea sharing disguised as fun happened when two teams, led by enVizion, delivered the Advance Queensland STEM I.AM Far North Queensland Roadshow in Wujal Wujal and Aurukun recently.

Dr Jamie Shields from Central Queensland University (CQU) showed the students from Bloomfield and Aurukun Schools how to instruct robots to make a jam sandwich, not as easy as it might first sound, with the poor robots ending up with jam on their face.

Highlights for the Aurukun kids were when an Advance Queensland Hot DesQ recipient Marita Cheng from Robogals and Aubot, took the kids on a tour of her office in Melbourne using a remote-controlled robot with camera and when fellow Hot DesQ recipient, Anna Guenther from PledgeMe, was chased by a drone she fixed at the Wik Mungkan Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

The entrepreneur workshops facilitated by Gill Mailman of FNQ Fibre Optics and enVizion’s CEO Julie-Ann Lambourne were a resounding success with nine potential businesses identified that have genuine potential to drive local economies into the twenty-first century.

enVizion’s CEO Julie-Ann Lambourne said, “Aboriginal people have always been entrepreneurial and have had to work cooperatively to survive - with employment hard to find in remote communities, starting businesses is a real opportunity for people to get into private enterprise.”

The visits, a collaborative effort between the Queensland Government, CQU, Ingeous Studios, the State Library of Queensland, FNQ Fibre Optics, the STEPS program and the two community councils, were designed to engage remote area communities in supporting their children in coding and robotics and related activities as well as providing entrepreneurial business and employment advice to the wider community.

Julie-Ann added, “The pilot roadshow gave communities a small taste of what the future can hold for people living in remote centres with new technologies – with the success of these first two visits, we are confident that there is the interest and initiative to broaden the program and bring business and technology to a hungry audience.”

The Far North Queensland Roadshow, undertaken by enVizion, is a component of the Advance Queensland STEM.I.AM program and aims to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enrolments in STEM university courses in Queensland by providing positive, hands on learning environments and experiences for young Indigenous people.

Advance Queensland Hot DesQ recipient Marita Cheng from Aubot sharing her knowledge with children in Aurukun.