Collaboration: the Key to Establishing Community Networks in Regional Australia

Wal Taylor, Stewart Marhsall
InSITE 2002  •  Volume 2  •  2002
Despite the promise of community involvement, cohesion and empowerment offered by local community networks (CN) using Internet Technologies, few communities in regional Australia have been able to demonstrate sustainable and vibrant CN which demonstrate increased social, cultural or self-reliance capital. The Faculty of Informatics and Communication at Central Queensland University (CQU) and a local council have established a formal alliance to establish the COIN (Community Informatics) projects to research issues around this topic. This paper presents the initial findings from this work and draws conclusions for possible comparison with other international experience. The research focuses attention on community understanding and cohesion, local government priorities in a community with relatively low diffusion of the Internet and the competing demands in a regional university between traditional service provision in an increasingly competitive market and the needs of establishing outreach research for altruistic, industry establishment and commercial rationale.
Community networks, community informatics, University outreach, ICT adoption
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