November 09, 2020 • 1 min read

Using augmented reality to preserve Aboriginal culture

How we’re supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as they learn about their history and culture

How can you help a story to live on forever? A story that tells the world about a history and culture that’s been around for over 65,000 years?

That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring as part of our three-year commitment of funding – supported by the Worley Foundation – to the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation and its Follow the Dream program. This program empowers Aboriginal students to pursue their dreams at school and beyond.

Group of students from Governor Stirling High School.

At Governor Stirling High School in Western Australia, we’re supporting the Indigital Custodian’s Pilot project. This aims to contribute to the safeguarding of Aboriginal culture and language using augmented reality and develop digital skills within the Aboriginal community. Students work together to create artwork derived from local Aboriginal stories and culture, which they learn from Elders. Embedded in that artwork is augmented reality capability. When scanned with a smartphone, it reveals stop motion animation or a full 3D animated version of the story.

“This program ensures that Aboriginal stories can continue to be shared for years to come not just in the local community but in the wider community, too,” explains Belinda Campbell, Group People Director. “It also gives students access to and training in a range of software and Microsoft computer programs. They get to learn skills like basic coding, storyboarding and animation. All skills that could be useful in the future.”

“The Follow the Dream program helps students find a sense of belonging and identity that they can celebrate and feel proud of. It helps them become role models in their family and communities,” says Shirley Boddington, Aboriginal Advisor and Project Administrator. “It also gives students one-to-one support and the chance to see what education and career options they have.”

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