16th Reintegration Puzzle Conference

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
1-3 March 2023

Changing Seasons,
Changing Lives

Digital Inclusion Training for Incarcerated Indigenous Youth

Technology is important to everyone’s lives even if it is not closely related to the ways in which they find work and the type of work that they do. Using technology has an impact on the ways that we all participate in society and how we build relationships and ultimately our lives.

A digital divide is emerging, which makes equal treatment and opportunity even more challenging to achieve. This is even more so for incarcerated youth, that are missing out on basic digital skills that is crucial for rehabilitation, reintegration, and social inclusion when they are released.

The training aims to equip incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth with essential job-readiness skills in current technology. It is designed to assist in organising information, collaborating, and communicating, thus creating better professional opportunities. Technology is identified as enablers to adequate income, stable housing, confidence, social connections, and good mental health. The tailored training will cover the unique needs and challenges of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth is needed, as many youths who are incarcerated are also marginally literate or illiterate and have already experienced school failure.

Moreover, correctional staff across all Australian states and territories also need consistent professional development opportunities in the field of digital literacy education for marginalised groups informed by an intersectional lens, and an understanding of the multiple, compounding forms of oppression typically experienced by incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.


Nilesh Makwana
, illuminance Solutions

Nilesh Makwana is an author, entrepreneur and CEO of illuminance Solutions, a national technology company and Microsoft Global Partner for Social Impact. With his business partner, he has built a high-performing team that is one of the most diverse workplaces in Australia. Nilesh has received many global and national awards, including the Western Australian Government’s Multicultural Business Awards 2021 for the most multicultural business; Business News 40 under 40 and the City of Perth Strategic Alliance award; the Australian Computer Society 2019 CXO Gold Disruptor award; and Business News Rising Star Diversity Award 2019.

Dedicated to making a social impact by focusing on workplace diversity, social inclusion, and digital literacy, Nilesh has formed joint partnerships with universities and relevant organisations, taking a community approach to eliminate digital poverty in Western Australia. He has been driving the conversation that recently resulted in the launch of the WA Government’s Digital Inclusion in WA Blueprint that lists strategies and measurable actions to achieve digital and social inclusion in the state.

Nilesh has been the driving force behind several digital literacy and social inclusion initiatives, many focusing on the inclusion of the Indigenous peoples of addressing the specific challenges they are facing. Past training programs include;

  • Office 365 Training Program, a series of training programs developed in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame Australia and their Broome Campus to provide greater digital literacy to First Nations Australians in Broome
  • Office 365 in the Workplace, a series of training programs developed in close collaboration with The University of Western Australia and UniHall to support indigenous communities
  • Office 365 training for the Deadly Sista Girlz, a culturally appropriate healthy lifestyle program by the Waalitj Foundation which aims to improve engagement and education amongst school-aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls
  • Drones – Principles to Flight, which is an accessible training program for people with mobility or dexterity impairment
  • Online Safety for Seniors, an on-site training program developed in collaboration with Switched On Seniors to help secure seniors’ online presence