chong 003 958x370
sunset
sunsetjan12_958x248

Mornington Island is a small remote community. Mail arrives by plane, but is always days later than what most are used to. Newspapers and magazines don't really make it to the Island.  There is no mail delivery, people must go to the post office to collect their mail.  Not many people have internet, and few use the available computers in the public library, maybe because the library is not really in the township.  There is not much information about the Wellesley Islands available online or otherwise.  This really is a remote community in many ways, and that may even be said for the way information is provided within the community itself.  Junkuri Laka wants to make changes to all of that through a couple of projects.

Junkuri Laka / Mornington Island newsletter

Following the successful Junkuri Laka newsletters thus far (see examples on this site, under "kiosk"), it is clear that there is a need for a structured printed information exchange medium.  Junkuri Laka considers itself to be an appropriate community organisation to organise and produce such a news medium, but it does yet not have the technical infrastructure to produce and distribute it with a regular frequency.  A previous funding application was unsuccessful as a result of which the activity continues in a somewhat ad-hoc fashion.  Junkuri Laka has enough ideas and enthusiasm for the project, but currently lacks the resources to turn it into a structured and frequently appearing medium.

The content of the newsletter would initially mainly derive from Junkuri Laka itself, but it would also promote its use by other organisations, while there could also be a section for the traditional items such as “letters to the editor” or “buying & selling” categories.

Distribution would initially be by placing stacks of newsletters at the local store, council chamber and other service providers that have high traffic, such as the hospital and court house (on court days) and Centre Link office.  The newsletter will also be placed on the website and thereby made available to Mornington Islanders that are not residing on the Island, e.g. those serving time in penitentiary institutions.  If a current application for funding is successful there will also be a means available for distributing the newsletter door to door, which would significantly contribute to making information available to the community.

The newsletter will be produced by using office equipment and standard software.  The capital requirements are therefore limited.  The Information Services Group will consist of a committee of community members, supported by a coordinator, who will also be the editor for the newsletter and for all information media that are part of the activities of this group.

Junkuri Laka / Mornington Island website

Junkuri Laka is in the final stages of developing a website (you are looking at it!), which will contain information about the organisation and its activities.  The site will also contain a public repository of material about the island and other relevant documents.  There will be a separate photo gallery, which can also be used to promote events or privately produced artworks.  An E-commerce aspect will be added in relation to the sale of art and crafts.  The website will have two restricted use areas.  One will be aimed at Junkuri Laka members.  This will be used to contain relevant association documents; self help guides membership information etc.  The second restricted area will be a portal to access a service-provider network and information system.

 

The website will also have a section on which jobs can be advertised by all agencies on the Island.  The site will also contain a service directory and a telephone and address directory for individuals.

The site will go online by the end of April 2012 (www.junkurilaka.org), initially with limited content and functionality, but gradually expanding as additional services and content pages are added.

Mornington Island information distribution service

As noted, there is no regular mail service on Mornington and none of the residences actually have a mail box.  Junkuri Laka will attempt to develop an initiative in this respect, which aligns with that of providing a regular newsletter with increasing news coverage and other content and improving distribution frequency.  The proposed project involves installing mail-boxes at all residential properties and starting a delivery service for the Junkuri Laka newsletter.  The availability of mailboxes will no doubt be used by other service providers by having employees deliver notices, invitations etc.  By creating this infrastructure it will then become viable for Australia Post to start a mail service also.  There has been some discussion with the proprietor of the Post Agency and this person would be supportive of this initiative, albeit being rather sceptical about its viability.  This scepticism is apparently based on the observation that aboriginal communities typically do not have post services.

Junkuri Laka’s role in starting an actual regular mail service is limited to advocacy to Australia Post, or an attempt to have the current post agent include mail services in his contract with Australia Post.  Obviously, a mail service will provide further employment opportunities in the private sector.

Mornington Island information kiosk

This initiative involves placing electronic information kiosks in the community.  These are readily available items that can be purchased in a wide range of models, including some of extremely rigid construction.   Inside these machines is a computer, connected to the internet, which drives the information screens and their content and content management system.  All information is uploaded via the internet.  Junkuri Laka can take responsibility for such units and its content delivery as part of the work of the Information Services group.  A current funding proposal is based on starting with two units in the course of 2012, and to install three more units in 2013 if the project is successful.

Service provider IT network

Despite many attempts at “coordination”, the exchange of information between agencies and service providers is rather poor.  This relates to available services and programs, but also to information exchange on case by case basis.  Whilst there are confidentiality barriers to some information exchange, there is a large opportunity for improving the quality and efficiency of regular communications, which ultimately will be to the benefit of the community.  Junkuri Laka wishes to perform an analysis of information needs across all service providers and will then produce the necessary online databases and systems to create a service providers network.  There will be a subscription system in order to make this effort sustainable and in order to create the necessary “buy in” from the service providers.  This revenue aspect of this service has not been included in the funding application proposal.