1DATA is an initiative working to improve the data and information sharing practices between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations to Close the Gap.
1DATA addresses these needs and gaps through 3 target areas:
1. 1DATA’S ‘MOB FRIENDLY’ DATA COLLECTION AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
This is a means of creating accessible, culturally informed, respectful and inclusive data. It takes a ‘for mob, by mob’ self-determination approach, where data collation, analysis and interpretation is completed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, to account for inclusivity and insight of cultural context which may affect or inform data. This way, first Nations peoples may act as a ‘cultural broker’ during mediation between Australian data management, and assist in the adoption of culturally responsive policies within these organisations.
2. 1DATA’S DATA EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT INTERVENTION ROLL OUT
This target focuses on implementing greater tech and data-handling subjects in remote schools, to fill the gap for ‘technology’ in STEM learning. This may be completed in collaboration with CSIRO’s STEM Education Project, which has implemented a combination of STEM learning with traditional First Nations ecological knowledge. In 6 years 24 000 students and 600 schools have been reached. Furthermore, the 1DATA ‘Mobhack’ initiative is a means of creating awareness and ownership over data. This presents as a quintessential opportunity to provide data education and awareness within communities, and to open the doors to data to all.
3. 1DATA COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM
The 1DATA Community outreach program is a means of promoting awareness, involvement and action through community. It includes an user-friendly platform which showcases data statistics in an empowering manner, with minimal technical jargon, for viewing and use for those without specialist knowledge in data and technology. This readily available information will be accessible for First Nations community-led groups, councils and researchers to access and use.
The current climate of the data industry as a space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has a great cultural disconnect, in terms of implementation of Western ideologies used to understand and interpret data relevant to First Nations peoples. A prominent sentiment is present amongst Aboriginal communities, of being studied ‘under a light’ by non-Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander counterparts.
In the area of data management and community action, First Nations peoples have reported a need for community-controlled, strengths-based organisations, increased involvement in the data management process, and ownership and accessibility of data.
In the area of education and employment - research has highlighted that not only is there a gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment rates, but this gap increases as remoteness increases, flagging a greater need for employment in remote areas. The 2014-2015 ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey identified some of the greatest self-reported barriers to employment were: shortage of available and suitable jobs, geographical barriers and insufficient education. In terms of education, the 2018 PISA identified a decrease in Australian students’ performance in mathematical and scientific literacy.