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Digital Arts Program

Digital Arts is a national research project funded by the National Research and Data Working Group through a National Disability Research and Development Grant. The program is led by Professor Denise Wood of Central Queensland University (also called CQUniversity).

This project builds and extends on the success of the Digital Enterprise project, which was funded as an initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Education to provide skills and opportunities to enhance the capability of children and young people with disability to participate in activities, support their development an early stage and at key life transition points and support their families and carers by strengthening their informal support networks. The CI and three of the researchers involved in the Digital Enterprise project are collaborating researchers on the proposed new project.

The emerging evidence from the Digital Enterprise project has demonstrated the benefits for the young people, their families and carers as reported by participants, their families and carers, and supporting partner organisations. Parents of participants have also benefited from the mutual support from other parents, mitigation of isolation, and technical advice/support on their own home family use of technology. Find videos of the research findings here.

Despite the success of the model, the funding has limited the benefits of the project to youth (primarily non-Indigenous) with disabilities located in metropolitan areas. This proposed new project will extend the scope to include youth with disabilities living in regional and remote areas of Australia and Indigenous youth in metropolitan and regional/remote areas.

Digital Arts programs are being established in four locations around Australia and will start in August 2016. The twelve month program aims to improve participants’ opportunities for further education and employment in areas relating to media and digital arts.

Participants will complete a Cert II in Visual Arts from CQUniversity while attending drop in sessions where they will be provided with the support of mentors who are skilled in creative technologies and art media and who will lead them in learning digital skills including film making, photography and graphics. The course materials have been specially developed to be culturally safe for Aboriginal students.

There is the option of attending sessions and learning digital arts technologies without submitting work for assessment towards the Certificate II if preferred. Those living outside metropolitan areas can complete the program completely online with the support of online mentors.  Either way, participants will be asked to nominate learning goals and work on creative projects with the assistance of mentors.

Participation Procedure

The program is being offered free of charge to young people, aged 16 to 29, who self-identify as having a disability or difficulties with some school subjects and who are interested in learning about digital media and completing a Certificate II qualification in Visual Arts with mentor assistance.

 If you would like to join the Digital Arts program, please read our information sheet and contact the site coordinator at one of the following sites to express your interest in joining the program.

The Digital Arts program will be offered for young Aboriginal people at the following locations:

Corrugated Iron Youth Arts in Darwin will be providing a program for young people in Arnhem Land. Contact Samara@corrugatediron.org.au

Reservoir Neighbourhood House in Melbourne Contact coordinator@reservoirnh.org.au

Tutti Arts in Adelaide Contact jillian.arthur@tutti.org.au

CQUniversity in Rockhampton Contact k.butler2@cqu.edu.au

We are currently in negotiation regarding a fifth site in the APY Lands in South Australia.

The online program is being provided for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants. If you live outside a metropolitan area and would like to join the online only program, please contact the program coordinator: Email: e.jackson-bowers@cqu.edu.au or Tel 08 8378 4548

The Digital Arts program is new and, so we can find out how well it works for you. We are interested in the difference it makes to your life and to your family. We will be asking you to respond to some questions when you first apply to join the program and two times during the year. You will asked to discuss your experience of the program and provide feedback in a group. Your parents or guardian will also be invited to talk to us about how they think the program is going.

Please see our Information Sheet for more information. Also see our brochure.