About DLF

 

Art work commisssioned by Conrad Michael

In a nutshell
Michelle and Paul
Michelle Williams and Paul Sutton co-own  this company which they mostly run from the back of a 4WD camper and a home office. These two semi-retired educators travel throughout Australia consulting on Government and semi-Government projects in remote Indigenous communities, enjoying the people they meet and keeping close to the land they value and respect. They have also conducted projects for Educational Systems and universities. They have extensive experience in supporting Telecommunications Infrastructure projects in the bush and conducting training and learning programs to help communities make the most of the communications infrastructure everyone deserves, no matter where they live.

We have a unique learner-centered training style not at all like the lock-step usual training models imposed on Indigenous learners. We use relationships with people and their learning agenda to help people progress along their journey. They choose what they need to learn and we use projects and quality products as a motivation to learning. It is successful and effective. As ex-teachers we have a variety of learning styles to draw on and we are very comfortable in a multi-project, sometimes chaotic learning environment.  We love it. 

Since 2007, the company has successfully won many contracts in a variety of fields including educational design, computer and other training, assisting Indigenous councils to build environmental programs and assisting in the identification and ultimate installation of satellite telephones and Internet connectivity in very small outstations.

Deep respect of people and their country is the beginning of developing relationships for life and to achieve work and project goals.

Paul and Michelle are both members of the Australian Civilian Corps and participate in humanatarian and emergency projects in the Pacific.

More on Michelle

More on Paul

 Things we do

The skills and experience within the company enable Michelle and Paul to tender for interesting projects and provide a range of advisory and consultancy services to Indigenous communities.  Their specialisation is to be available for work in very remote places. They have experience in all Far North Queensland and 22 Northern Territory communities including the Tiwi islands. They have often worked as Indigenous Liaison Officers bridging communciations between Government project teams and communities.

Michelle and Paul have considerable education and training experience in curriculum development, assessment and use of Information and Communications Technologies in schools. They also have considerable project management, workshop and conference management  and project design experience. They conduct training/learning programs in Indigenous communities in using Communications technologies and Internet services.

Digital Learning Futures is interested in further work which provides opportunities to assist Indigenous outstation families, remote communities and schools and Government groups achieve their goals. They have experience in project design and management, submission development, training, mentoring and generally drawing on their experience and knowledge to support unusual and creative initiatives in remote communities.

Digital Learning Futures has undertaken curriculum design projects in Nauru and would be interested in further work developing practical curriculum approaches and professional training for teachers in Pacific nation countries. Their specialisation is to design a curriculum with the community and country to provide world class educational opportunities within the country’s resources using a rich task based curriculum.  Michelle and Paul have also worked in New Guinea.
 

Details of the major projects

Purchaser: Indigenous Remote Communications Authority and Ngaannyatjarra Media, Gibson Desert Region, WA
Project: Digital Skills Workshops

Activity:  Digital skills community workshops, establishing or improving facilities, mentoring local ICT leaders.

Outcomes:

  • Working Internet-connected media centres in 12 remote NG Lands communities
  • Identifying local ICT leaders
  • Hundreds of community workshop hours over 4 months
  • Digital Skills curriculum documents and projects for community and mentors developed.
     

Purchaser: Ngaannyatjarra Media, Gibson Desert Region, WA

Project: NG Media Community Teams Project

Activity:  Mentoring, Team building workshops, Program design

Outcomes:
NG media have a new project which aims to build and stand behind community-based media teams, as they run NG Media services in communities. This will employ additional Yarnangu people in their communities and help them develop skills to open the media centre and do radio shows.  Community teams will come together to help each other across the lands as one big team.

Purchaser:     Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)
Project:           Indigenous Communications Project Satellite Telephone and Internet elements - ongoing.
Activity            Desktop analysis and site visits
Outcomes      Strong relationship built with all Indigenous communities/outstations on Cape York, the Gulf Country and  many in central Northern Territory. Over 100 satellite telephones  installed in remote and very remote communities we located. Computer training in each community. Back up support and service. Timely and efficient project management despite challenges of working in very remote locations. Contribution of accurate and comprehensive data to national database of Indigenous land use.
 
Purchaser:      University of Southern Queensland (USQ)
Period:              May 2011 to June 2012 – part time
Role                  ICT Pedagogy Officer
Outcomes       Review of ICT use in almost all courses, work with all lecturers in all targeted courses (and some other volunteer lecturers) to enhance ICT use in courses, review of exemplar lessons, review and trial of national ICT dimensions of the National Teacher Professional Standards.
 
Purchaser:      Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - Sea Country Guardians project
Period:              Feb 2010 – August 2010
Role:                  Research and curriculum development to engage Indigenous people especially youth
Outcomes        Relationships that Educate report of preferred methods of passing on Indigenous Sea Country knowledge; 15 learning activities for Sea Country Guardians use.
 

 

Purchaser:      Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)
Project:           Backing Indigenous Ability (BIA)
Duration:        June 2008 – October 2008       Nov 2008 – May 2009
Activity:          Computer training element
Outcomes        42 very successful computer training workshops conducted with most oversubscribed and all exceeding required minimum number of participants. Almost all workshops included elements of financial literacy for Indigenous adults. Major and complex logistical project completed on time and within budget.
 
Purchaser:     Nauru Government
Project:          Education Reform: Footpath
Duration:        2004 – October 2008   
Activity:         Curriculum design, professional learning, policy development, resource development, conference management, strategic consultancy
Outcomes     A curriculum program for 13 years of schooling described as rich tasks. A major conference culminating 5 years of professional learning programs. 
 
Member of Australian Government supply panels for
  • DCBDE – Community Liaison Officers for various tasks in remote communities
  • DEWR (Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations)  – Youth Workshops and projects facilitation
  • ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Corporation) – Financial Literacy curriculum development and parent activity designs.


Personal stuff

Michelle and Paul have a house in Ipswich Queensland which they visit occasionally. They have an extensive native garden project to nurture if they go home.

They love mostly being in communities learning from Indigenous people and enjoying precious land and sea country.

They enjoy camping  and natural environments.

Family and friends are central to their spirit and life. There is always more room for family and new friends in their hearts.