Wright, Lauretta and Pease, Wayne and Rowe, Michelle (2003) Hervey Bay: beyond the Bay connect hook-Up. In: Building the E-Nation: A Social Science Symposium, 23-24 April 2003, Sydney.
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[Abstract]: In regional Australia there is a growing interest and investment in ICTs and this is beginning to be formalised in a desire to integrate information communications technology opportunities with other forms of community development. This preparatory paper explores the opportunity for greater social integration based on the formation of community-based information technology driven organisations. It is suggested that whether disseminating information, collaborating with other communities, assisting the development of new industries, or simply by sharing the lessons learned along the way, community–based IT can assist and support a community’s economic and social development. Further, the paper supports the view that, where understanding and developing new forms of information technology through community informatics is accepted as an integral part of such development, communities will not just 'improve the old' but will more radically restructure themselves towards a knowledge-based future. The Case Study that underpins these observations is that of the development of Bay Connect, a community based Internet development and training project based in Hervey Bay, Queensland. Funding from an Australian Commonwealth Government scheme ‘Networking the Nation’ set it up in 1998. Bay Connect is now expanding into adjacent communities like Maryborough and surrounding Shires, and by establishing significant partnerships to create and nurture an IT skills base within the region.
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