The purpose of this project was to undertake a scoping study into the establishment of a web based solution to increase access to information that supports Aboriginal economic development and participation in Victoria.

Our approach covered analysis of possible options for an Aboriginal Economic Development online solution. A comparative analysis of local, national and international sites was also conducted to identify a set of user engagement and participation best practice criteria (features) for sites with similar aims to use as a basis for discussion. They covered: Scope, Participation, Quality, Service delivery, Design and content.

The project adopted a consultation and research approach to identify current service gaps, user expectations for a web based solution, the feasibility of different options for the site and innovative solutions:

  • A creative brainstorming workshop was held with a cross section of Indigenous organisations involved in Aboriginal economic development
  • A government workshop was held with representatives from a range of government departments involved in programs with Aboriginal economic development outcomes
  • Nine interviews with representatives of community organisations and Indigenous businesses working towards Aboriginal economic development outcomes

The results identified three options:

  • Option 1: Develop a ‘one stop shop’ website.
  • Option 2: Develop a portal
  • Preferred option 3: Develop a partner network with central ‘hub’

The preferred option 3 to create an Aboriginal Economic Development network of partner sites with a central ‘hub’ or entry point is considered to be the most appropriate solution for stakeholders and Indigenous people.

The online solution is based on a selection of key ‘network partner’ websites across six core ‘zones’ of expertise. In this model, network content is developed by various network partners, content and media partners and Government program content providers for dedicated ‘zones’ and users can move easily between the content zones on the hub and network partner sites.

In this ‘networked’ model, an Aboriginal Economic Development Network is established and maintained by those Indigenous organisations with expertise in core ‘zones’ to ensure a successful online solution that meets both the employment and business needs of a broad Indigenous audience.