The digital divide is by no means limited to developing countries as tens of thousands of students across Australia, particularly in rural and remote regions, do not own a personal digital device at home. This is an enormous constraint to students and their schools and it truly came to the fore during the height of the COVID-19 crisis which sent education into global disarray. Thousands of students across Queensland were left stranded without a digital device as education moved onto online platforms. LiteHaus International answered the call, distributing digital devices across North Queensland immediately through the Remote Learning Program.
Since March 2020, our Remote Learning Program has improved equity of access to digital technologies
across Queensland by empowering 141 high school students with their own personal device. Beyond
providing access to digital learning, a personal device gives young people ownership over their own learning and allows them to access information about careers, universities and life in general. For our many recipients living in very remote Australia, digital inclusion allows them, their families and their dreams to be better connected to opportunities to fulfill their ambitions.
The Remote Learning Program has provided digital devices to students in Townsville, Cairns, the Burdekin, Tablelands, Gulf Country and Cape York regions. Some schools we assist have digital ownership of less than 20%. With the support of donors, we hope to take the program nationwide.
Our commitment to rural, regional and remote Australia goes beyond providing digital access to its students to helping transform them into leaders. Our Digital Leaders Program launched across North Queensland in 2020 providing start-of-the-art digital devices to 30 ambitious but marginalised high school students. Complementing their personal devices, the program also offers them the opportunity to participate in hands-on experience sessions with exciting tech leaders such as Next Gen Dreams 3D. Our mission is to digitise dreams, so we want to help our Digital Leaders on the journey to achieving theirs.
We do not mind admitting that the Digital Leaders Program is a work in progress and constantly growing. By 2025, we envisage the Digital Leaders Program having gone international with highly competitive nominations coming from all corners of the developing world. All Digital Leaders will have lifetime membership to the alumni association where we have no doubt that connecting talented leaders in a global network will facilitate incredible possibilities for social entrepreneurship and collaboration.