We call ourselves the lucky country. The land of dreams. The sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains. Yet Indigenous Australians die 10 years earlier than the rest of us. 97% of Indigenous Australians experience racism on a weekly basis. Their kids are more likely to go to jail then they are to university. How do we reconcile the Australian dream with these hard facts?
Research tells us that there is next to no trust between Indigenous people and their non-Indigenous counterparts. This is a result of biases, prejudice, and stereotypes, and highlights a lack of mutual understanding within our society.
We cannot progress when people are stereotyped, discriminated against, and judged. Indigenous Australians are misunderstood within our communities.
We want to change this.
We are Black Swan, a group of two high school app developers from the ACT. Our project, Mind the Gapp, is an iOS app designed to educate young Australians about the history of Indigenous Australians, the barriers they face, and what we can do about them. In doing this, we will foster a greater understanding of Indigenous Australians, eliminating prejudice and creating a more harmonious future.
Mind the Gapp tells a digital narrative about the history of Indigenous Australians through a series of 12 interactive and chronological chapters, each corresponding to a particular era or issue affecting Indigenous Australians. Our app is designed to be an immersive storytelling experience, exposing the user to interactive items such as quizzes, videos, and images - all powered by GovHack datasets.
Once the user finishes a chapter, their progress is recorded in their personal profile, allowing them to collect achievements and incentivizing further engagement with the app. This tracking will also allow us to remotely monitor the societal impact of the app over time, providing trends which will enable us to optimize our initiative. It is not enough to just give young people information; we use digital technology to make it engaging.
We have created a structural framework which we are making open source. Through changing the contents of a single array, other developers can adapt and change our app for their own purposes.
In making this app, we hope to bridge some of the differences that stand between young Indigenous Australians and their non-Indigenous counterparts through fostering an increased awareness of one another. In time, we hope that this will break down society’s prejudices and stereotypes towards Indigenous Australians, increasing trust and promoting more effective collaboration amongst the community in closing the gap.