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Wednesday, 29 June 2022 10:58

Thoughtworks offers scholarships for First Nations people to diversify talent in tech

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Technology consultancy Thoughtworks is offering a new scholarship for First Nations people together with private school General Assembly and not-for-profit Indigitek.

Two recipients will receive a full scholarship for General Assembly’s (GA) extensive software development course along with a Thoughtworks internship opportunity.

The initiative aims to empower more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with opportunities in technology as they make up 3.3% of the overall Australian demographic and an even smaller percentage of the industry.

The scholarship will broaden the recipients’ horizons in learning and professional application for the Indigenous community, helping to overcome accessibility obstacles.

"Diversifying tech talent is core to General Assembly’s mission to empower more people to pursue work they love,” General Assembly vice president and chief operating officer APAC John Fong said.

Thoughtworks alongside Indigitek are part of growing industry efforts to transition discussion of access into tangible impact for Indigenous Australians and other communities underrepresented in tech,” Fong added.

The Indigenous New Developer scholarship also aligns with Thoughtworks Australia’s vision to increase representation and bridge gaps for the First Nations community.

In 2019, Thoughtworks launched a First Nations Delivery Centre, an Indigenous-led initiative consisting of a local fully-remote team staffed at least 50% by First Nations technologists.

The company envisions building its First Nations Delivery Centre to a team of 100 within the five years to achieve over 3% representation for First Nations Peoples within the business.

“Our mission at Thoughtworks and the First Nations Delivery Centre is to create careers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. But it’s not enough for us to create job roles - we need to create new pathways into technology, too,” said Thoughtworks Australia First Nations delivery centre lead Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker.

“Few of us go to university, and even fewer study computer science or software engineering degrees. That’s why supporting non-university pathways into tech careers is so important. Having a diverse team of developers in the room when we are building new technologies is fundamental to building ethical and responsible technology.”

For Thoughtworks graduate consultant Michael Velsigne, undertaking GA’s Software Engineering Immersive course gave him the opportunity to change careers.

“Joining Indigitek and talking with the community of other indigenous people who were already working in tech inspired me to apply for the scholarship. It has really opened up so many career possibilities that are only limited by my own imagination. The skills learned at GA were a key part of unlocking these growth paths for me.”

The scholarship is exclusively available to young adults 18 years and older from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

Applicants require only foundational digital capabilities and aspirations for learning in the field - no tertiary background is needed. Scholarship award decisions will be made by General Assembly and Indigitek after an interview process.

Applications are now open and can be submitted via General Assembly’s website.

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Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.


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Kenn Anthony Mendoza

Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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