Advance Queensland is our state driver of innovation, and launched the inaugural Community Digital Champion program in 2016, the National Year of Digital Inclusion.I was delighted to be nominated by the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, for my work with Shop My Town.My private enterprise, Shop My Town, provides a localised Internet advertising service for regional & remote business. Our vision is to save small towns for the future of our children, and we regularly undertake training and social media promotions with business & community groups to achieve that. At the Advance Queensland Community Digital Champions Roundtable, I had the pleasure of speaking about the things I believe can be done to take regional Australia forward. It’s pretty simple really – be realistic about what is required to bridge the digital gap – then go build the tools & training that will close it.
Rural Australia doesn’t have another choice. The digital gap is already so wide, we seriously risk a social & economic divide, with a digital underclass being left behind.
CEO of Tinder Foundation, and OBE recipient Helen Milner, describes the effect of digital training in workplaces.
“Basic Digital Skills are required to complete a range of tasks in the workplace, such as using email to communicate with customers and colleagues, using social media to promote products and services, and for conducting transactions with and payments to customers.
As individuals with Basic Digital Skills are equipped with the IT skills and knowledge to move into higher skilled positions, achieve more, and contribute to the success of their business, they are rewarded with higher salaries.” (The Economic Impact of Basic Digital Skills and Inclusion in the Uk).As a Community Digital Champion, I have become convicted to widen my approach to regional digital development. The need to enable regional people to succeed in the digital world is now answered with the Shop My Town Superstars Training Program.
This program combines personal, one on one training with an interactive online course, delivered through a portal, emails and Facebook Livestream Webinars. The program has a particular focus on educating “web gurus” to grow their business through social media & ecommerce.
The program is designed specifically for regional business owners and their teams, and we currently have 42 active members.
My vision is to see the program rolled out Nationally over the next 12 months, while also launching into New Zealand in early 2017.I would encourage anyone who is interested in improving their digital literacy to take hold of the many opportunities present and simply start upskilling today. There are some great resources for you on the Go Digi website – a national program to improve digital literacy. https://www.godigi.org.au
Go to www.shopmytown.com.au to stay up to date about our next free educational events and how you can get involved in Southeast Queensland.