Batchelor Institute » Batchelor Institute and Telstra tackle education barriers in remote communities
default logo
Date:November 21, 2014

Batchelor Institute and Telstra tackle education barriers in remote communities


Batchelor Institute, one of the largest providers of Indigenous education in the Northern Territory and Australia, is working with Telstra to give students greater access to online education and training opportunities as they transition into the workforce.

For the past five years, Batchelor Institute has been investing in and developing its online learning capacity, successfully establishing its presence as a provider of digital learning for some of the most remote students in Australia. The Institute now works with more than 3,000 students online across eleven regional and remote sites in Australia.

Trevor Osborne, ICT and Remote Infrastructure Manager from Batchelor Institute says that providing online education services and connecting with the remote communities the Institute hopes to support, is fraught with challenges.

‘The tyranny of distance dramatically affects Batchelor’s ability to influence positive long-term outcomes for some of Australia’s most vulnerable communities. Without the connection, there’s very little provision for students in these far-flung areas to access online programs that can support education pathways.’ Trevor Osborne, ICT and Remote Infrastructure Manager

Over the past six months, Telstra has worked closely with Batchelor Institute to find a solution that would provide high speed fibre and copper access across their remote sites.

Will Irving, Group Managing Director of Telstra Business said he hoped the work with Batchelor meant that now no students would be left behind. ‘This partnership reinforces our commitment to create a brilliant connected future for everyone. Connectivity plays a vital role in achieving positive education, health and economic outcomes for all Australians, but especially those in geographically isolated areas,’ said Irving.

Kirsty Kelly, Head of Strategic and Corporate Services at Batchelor Institute says, ‘Batchelor’s end goal has always been to give our regional and remote students the same opportunities as those students in metro areas. Our partnership with Telstra is an important step in achieving this goal, and we’re looking forward to seeing what our remote students are able to realise through greater access to education and training.’

Building on the power of connection, Batchelor is investigating other exciting projects over the next 12 months, including deploying Wi-Fi networks across all its’ campuses and sites, so students can bring and use their own devices, regardless of which campus they are on. The organisation is also looking at new online learning tools and cloud services that can deliver face-to-face video tutoring or meetings, training content and assessment tools that can be delivered to students over the Batchelor portal.

In the coming weeks Telstra will work with Batchelor to deliver the new high speed fibre services to its primary sites at Batchelor and Alice Springs. The other nine remote and regional sites will be upgraded over the coming months. This year Telstra also completed a $5.76 million joint investment with the Northern Territory Government which delivered mobile coverage to eight remote communities and fixed broadband services to six remote communities. This project connected more than 8,000 people across NT.