Nicole Forrester, from Fujitsu Oceania, with Duncan Kerslake, Project Manager – Deadly Innovation at the Department of Innovation & Tourism Industry Development

April 5, 2022

Fujitsu Australia has formally launched its new First Nations Service Centre in Cherbourg.

The project, which aims to support the digital transformation of the Cherbourg community, has the backing of the Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, the Department of Innovation, Tourism and Sport, and TAFE Queensland.

The Service Centre is part of a three-year pilot program.

The public-private partnership will see the Service Centre staff gain on-the-job training and work towards obtaining Certificate III qualifications from TAFE.

In addition to supplying the equipment for the facility, Fujitsu will also offer its customers the opportunity to contribute by opting to have their support calls attended by staff from the Cherbourg Service Centre.

Fujitsu and Cherbourg Council hopes to grow and increase awareness of the value that First Nations communities have in the talent market.

As the foundation customer, Fujitsu encourages other corporates who are looking to create meaningful social impact and drive digital inclusion to consider the Cherbourg Centre.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, including those in Cherbourg, have continued to demonstrate unmatched strength and resilience, and it’s time this value is recognised by corporate Australia,” Nicole Forrester from Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand said.

“We’re immensely proud to collaborate with the Cherbourg Council and community to support them as they take hold of their future and leverage the industry-wide digital transformation brought on by COVID-19.

“As a place-based inclusion model, this pilot maps a new way forward for how corporate Australia and government can work in collaboration with First Nations communities to develop capability building initiatives, work towards reconciliation and create social impact through digital inclusion.

“We’re excited to offer this service to our customers and work with all parties to ensure the pilot model becomes a competitive and permanent offering in the service centre market.”

Cherbourg Mayor Elvie Sandow said Council was pleased to see Fujitsu taking the lead in recognising the social and economic value of investing and partnering with First Nation communities such as Cherbourg.

“The opening of the Service Centre is a natural extension of the digital journey we have already embarked on since the use of artificial intelligence at our waste recycling facility,” Mayor Sandow said.

TAFE Queensland CEO Mary Campbell said the partnership was “a tremendous acknowledgment of our commitment to training excellence”.

“(It) is a great example of how we are continuing to work with the industry to provide the skills needed to build lifelong careers and change lives. Whilst the pandemic has been challenging for everyone, it has also demonstrated how technology can create inclusion and equality irrespective of your location,” Ms Campbell said.

Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said that as digital connectivity for First Nations peoples improved, so would education outcomes, income potential and skilled jobs.

“This pilot is another example of how the government’s Deadly Innovation Strategy continues to create pathways for First Nations people to build wealth and create jobs,” he said.

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