The Northern Territory has acknowledged its digital leaders at the inaugural Digital Excellence Awards night.

ACS, alongside other industry bodies, was a major partner of the event, which aims to create a pathway for major national awards such as the Digital Disruptors Awards.

Winner of both the Kinetic IT Community Benefit Award and the Minister’s Gold Award was Manager of Library Services at Alice Springs Town Council, Georgina Davison.

Davison received recognition for her work leading the ‘STEAM into Alice’ program, which aims to engage local students using digital resources.

“The STEAM into Alice program is taking the robotics programs we run in the library and taking them into the town camps around Alice Springs,” Davison told Information Age.

“A lot of the children who live in the town camps don’t have access to this type of thing at all, so we thought it would be great to show them what it’s all about, while also teaching them critical thinking and problem-solving skill development.

“It's gving them access to digital technologies that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to and helping close the digital gap.”

Commencing in October 2017, the program only received funding for an initial four months.

Davison believes that the recent recognition could be enough to ensure the program is given the support to continue.

“The funding that we’ve received is only until the end of January so I’m hoping that it [the awards] will build momentum and increase interest across all funding bodies, whoever that might be, so that we can sustain the program.”

The awards were made using a special metal 3D printer.

Among other winners on the night was local enterprise, Area9, which took out the Local ICT Business of the Year award, for its market leading work in cloud computing.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be recognised as the ICT Business of the Year 2017 for the Northern Territory,” said Area9 Director, Simon Watt.

“Over the last 10 years, Area9 has firmly established its place as a leading business technology, product and services provider in the region. This award endorses the efforts of the many talented people within Area9 who work hard to deliver value and make a difference to our clients.”

It was the Minister for Corporate and Information Services in the Northern Territory, Lauren Moss, who selected Davison as the recipient of the Minister’s Gold Award.

NT Branch Chair, Benjamin Smith, addresses the crowd.

She highlighted the importance of such initiatives in showcasing the local ICT talent.

“The Territory Labor Government is making smarter use of ICT to grow jobs, support our kids, deliver better opportunities in the bush, build safe and vibrant communities, and help restore trust in Government,” she said.

“The nominations received indicate that we have the talent here in the Territory to progress us along our journey towards a Digital Territory, a Territory that helps support a better quality of life for all Territorians through better use of digital technology.”