Thursday 15th September 2022
Public Announcement (Joint Statement)
It is with much excitement that Leanne Sanders and Julie Gibson announce their intention to move forward with the transition of Hitnet to Visual Dreaming.
This significant milestone has come about after a national search, a number of months of strategic discussions and Hitnet’s visit to Visual Dreaming’s home of Wagga Wagga on Wiradjuri Country. ‘Yindyamarra’ has been at the heart of Leanne and Julie’s developing relationship, going slowly and respectfully through deep listening and connection.
Leanne Sanders, Delilah MacGillivray (Hitnet’s cultural advisor), Julie Gibson with the Wagga Wagga Elders, June 2022.
Hitnet is a platform closing the gap for digital exclusion in rural and remote communities by sharing information as well as engaging the community to co-create knowledge, participate in the digital economy, and celebrate culture.
Visual Dreaming works with First Nations people, particularly youth, to restore cultural connections and develop relationships within the community to achieve better health and mental health outcomes.
As the founder of Visual Dreaming Leanne is passionate about improving health and mental health outcomes using technology. She is excited about the opportunities the Hitnet technology platform will bring and sees Visual Dreaming as being a ‘vehicle for change where all First Nations people across the world have social, cultural, economic and digital inclusion, no matter where they live.
Hitnet’s co-founder Julie Gibson is proud of the social business that she helped build over the last two decades with Helen Travers and Dr Ernest Hunter. The platform has supported a national network of over 100 First Nations communities, with over 600 co-created culturally-rich video stories. They strongly believe that Hitnet needs First Nations innovation, knowledge and entrepreneurship to take it to the next stage. Julie will remain involved to enable the transition and be part of the governance of the new entity to be announced at a later date.
Hitnet co-founders Julie Gibson, Dr Ernest Hunter and Helen Travers, with Nickeema Williams. Nickeema is a Kuku Yalanji/Koa/Meriam woman who worked with Hitnet to establish the innovative ‘My Place’ community channels and then became an important part of its advisory board. Photo was taken in Cairns in 2016 where Hitnet originated.
In Regional NSW, the home of Visual Dreaming, there is a lack of First Nations digital employment and training opportunities. This is not just about digital inclusion but also digital employment pathways. We need more people, especially First Nations, developing technology to create grassroots solutions.
To begin with, the Visual Dreaming team will run two pilots, one in their hometown in Regional NSW, Wagga Wagga, and one in a remote NSW community. These pilots will offer hubs to help the hardest to reach be connected, be informed and engaged with the digital economy. This will deliver trusted, culturally appropriate health and social information directly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their mobile devices.
Leanne Sanders: 0404 596 791 - email@example.com
Julie Gibson: 0400 501 186 - firstname.lastname@example.org