Indigenous students completing Year 12 at Murri School in Brisbane have received refurbished notebook computers as part of BHP’s support for communities affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
BHP joined forces with charity Tech to Country to provide technology to students from the school in Acacia Ridge in South Brisbane, the largest First Nations school in Australia.
Mick Gooda, Murri School Board Chair and community Elder, said the initiative would reduce disruption and help students complete their studies online as they finished their final year of school.
Last week (26 March), the school’s 12 final year students received the lap tops after BHP’s technology division teamed up with Tech to Country to help Indigenous students at risk of falling behind in their education.
Mick said the Covid-19 crisis has the potential to disproportionally impact the health and education outcomes of the students.
“We started planning for this two weeks ago and we want to make sure the rest of the kids in the school have lessons uploaded to tablet devices,” he said.
“This means we can have ongoing engagement with the kids and their families and keep them engaged in education because we don’t know how long this is happening. We think the risk of kids being way from school for so long is too great and will lead to disengagement.”
Mick and School principal Russell Hawkins established a school council working party to develop a school outreach program for all 275 students and 55 staff.
Tech to Country empowers Australian enterprise and government to donate end-of-use IT assets to Indigenous communities. The donated computers are all data secure and comply with Australian standards.