Nathan Sentance at Tech Camp with
Kathy Reid from Linux Australia
The VALA Tech Camp 2017 Linux Australia Diversity Scholarship goes to Nathan Sentance.
Linux Australia sponsored the Diversity Scholarship for this event, which after a rigorous selection process was awarded to Nathan Sentance, a proud Wiradjuri man who works for the Australian Museum. Nathan will be able to share learnings from the event with his community.
Nathan is currently working as the Project Officer for Cultural Programs | Programs, Exhibitions & Cultural Collections at the Australian Museum.
Read Nathan’s report below:
Winning the VALA/Linux Diversity Scholarship and attending VALA Tech Camp was an invaluable experience for my career. I have long had an interest in being part of something like the VALA Tech Camp as I believe information technology presents exciting opportunities for Aboriginal communities to access, revitalise and disseminate our culture and knowledge. Just have a look at the many language apps coming out.
Libraries and similar memory institutions have long been considered gatekeepers in regards to records relating to Aboriginal culture and history, but in the digital space that control can be handed back to community and potential access barriers may be minimised.
Because of this, VALA Tech Camp sessions such as the introduction to Python were handy to my personal and professional development as it can help increase of understanding in regards to computer science which in turn I will use to help increase access to cultural heritage information for community as well as preserve it digitally. Additionally, the more I increase my digital literacy skills the more I will attempt to share those skills with my community and in this digital age those are not just useful, they are necessary.
There were many other great sessions too, especially the session that related data visualisation, which is important to make data visible, accessible and discoverable. This is important, not just for libraries, but many information services, as we need to aid people to understand the statistics, particular those statistics that relate to disadvantage or inequality. The more public awareness and understanding the more the underlining issues can be examined.
The podcasting session was also interesting and fun. It demonstrated the different ways libraries can engage the public. Moreover, the cryptoparties session was inspiration at the types of literacy workshops libraries can host and be involved in.
Lastly, one of the most valuable experiences I can take away from VALA Tech Camp was the people I meet during it. They were all willing to share their passion and knowledge. They gave me potential resources I can use to achieve my objectives as well as motivation to ensure I that I will.
Mandaang guwu (thank you) to VALA and Linux for the opportunity.