Students encouraged into digital careers
James Cook University will host a new, dedicated position to promote digital careers to school students across North Queensland.
Pictured L-R: Dr Trina Myers, Allira Storey and Nicolette Venn
The venture is a collaboration between JCU’s Information Technology Academy, Digital Careers, and the Queensland Government.
Based in Townsville, Allira Storey has started as the North Queensland Schools Liaison Officer, and will be responsible for promoting IT careers and technology-based activities for primary and secondary school students in the region north of Rockhampton.
Associate Professor Trina Myers, Head of Information Technology Academy at JCU, said there is currently a national skills shortage in IT and particularly in regional areas such as North Queensland.
“Digital Careers has been integral to the growth of ICT professionals through engaging with schools, TAFE and JCU,” she said.
“Having a Northern-based representative the calibre of Allira Storey, will be fundamental to overcoming the skills shortage by building awareness and growth of IT professions in the North.”
Nicolette Venn, State Manager Qld & NT for Digital Careers said funding from the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation is vital to help engage Queensland students, parents and teachers to raise the profile of careers that use technology and for careers in the technology industry.
“Part of the work we undertake is attending careers expos, visiting schools and working with teachers on the implementation of the new Digital Technologies Curriculum.
In 2015, the Australian Government endorsed the Digital Technologies Curriculum for implementation across Australia. The curriculum has been designed to expose students to the skills that will be required in the future for Australia to have a robust and thriving economy.
“The Schools Liaison Officer will work with students and teachers in North Queensland to raise awareness of, engagement with and innovation through technology in a number of ways.”
Ms Venn said this involved two key activities that schools (and home schooled students) can participate in.
“Young ICT Explorers is a national technology competition hosted in Townsville by James Cook University, that provides students (Year 3 – 12) with an opportunity to use technology to solve a problem or share something they are passionate about. The Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge is a free online challenge that students, year 3-12, can participate in. It is designed to engage students in computational thinking skills in non-traditional ways.
“Teacher professional development is being established to support these activities.”
Ms Venn said as a long term partner with JCU's Information Technology Academy, Digital Careers looks forward to strengthening ties in North Queensland to ensure that students in the region have access to skills, events and activities that will develop their skills and aid them to innovators and creators with technology.
Ms Storey will be contacting schools and organisations across North Queensland soon.
To express interest in working with Ms Storey, or for more information about Digital Careers, visit www.digitalcareers.edu.au