• The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife, Lucy Turnbull, at the National IDX Summit in Sydney on Friday April 29. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
Malcolm Turnbull makes a surprise visit and announcement at the National IDX Summit.
By
NITV

Source:
NITV News
29 Apr 2016 - 5:44 PM  UPDATED 29 Apr 2016 - 8:40 PM

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told an Indigenous digital summit that his government will "fund the best technological solution to achieve an improvement in education outcomes."

Mr Turnbull made the announcement at the Indigenous Digital Excellence Summit in Redfern on Friday afternoon, closing a three-day summit at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE).

Participants at the conference say the PM's address focused on education, challenging them to come up with an app "that can help the community to achieve success in education."

 

"I'm hoping we can tap into your knowledge, networks, and innovative ideas to accelerate progress against those targets," said Mr Turnbull.

He arrived at the NCIE with Lucy Turnbull, and was greeted by the centre's CEO Kirstie Parker.

The summit which was attended by Indigenous technology experts from various industries across Australia, also heard the PM acknowledge that some of the education targets in Closing the Gap had not been met.

"We know there is a significant gap between school attendance for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students (83.7 per cent versus 93.1 per cent in 2015). There has been little change since 2014, when COAG set the target to close the gap in school attendance by the end of 2018."

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The next generation of Indigenous youth are educated and make up half of the nation's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, but employment outcomes are still low.

"We also know that literacy and numeracy skills are vital for students to succeed at school and move into employment. Yet results of the the Closing the Gap target in reading, writing and numeracy have been mixed - but the gap is surmountable."

The Year 3 reading target, according to the PM, would have been met in 2015 if a further 640 Indigenous children, nation-wide, had met the national minimum standard.

Mr Turnbull went on to say that his government would work with the IDX organisers, and fund ways to find and reach those children applying the principle of technological imagination.

"I look forward to coming back to see what you create. Think about what would happen if more enterprising Indigenous Australians were equipped with the tools to take the plunge into business or to help their communities?"

The summit is working to create an Indigenous digital excellence strategy, which will set the agenda for closing the digital divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.