MobileCorp has been announced as the winner of the CRN Impact Workforce Empowerment 2023 award, for our 5G drone project with Gidarjil indigenous land and sea rangers in the Bundaberg Gladstone region.
The full list of winners is
- Business Transformation: S5 Technology Group
- Workforce Empowerment: MobileCorp
- Modernising Infrastructure: Cevo
- Trusted Systems: Ericom
- Network Evolution: IP.Glass
- Customer Experience: Kiandra
- Emerging Innovator: NextGen oSpace
- Platform Innovator: Work Perfect
- Distribution Innovation: Ingram Micro
- Distribution for Social Good: Crayon
- Large Distributor of the Year: Dicker Data
- Medium Distributor of the Year: Westcon-Comstor
- Small Distributor of the Year: Pax8
- Distributor of the Year – Channel’s Choice – Highly Commended: Ingram Micro
- Distributor of the Year – Channel’s Choice: Dicker Data
MobileCorp CTO, Phill McSherry, receives the award at the Gala dinner in the Sunshine Coast, August 2023.
MobileCorp Workforce Empowerment award-winning Project
The Challenge - Connecting Elders with country
The Gidarjil Development Corporation has a well established aerial and underwater drone program operated by its land and sea rangers. The rangers deliver various 'Caring for Country' programs across an area which is almost 10x the size of the ACT taking in the southern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef and the turtle breeding conservation area at Mon Repos Beach, Bundaberg.
The GDC wanted to connect Gidarjil Elders with the work of the Rangers to facilitate knowledge-sharing and generational storytelling, and for exploration of cultural heritage sites offshore.Physical barriers including topography and distance made it virtually impossible for Elders to attend aerial and underwater drone expeditions, or to participate in knowledge-sharing and exploration activities being undertaken by the Gidarjil rangers.
The Solution - 5G streaming HD video from dronesThe project brought together the capability of drones and the increased bandwidth and low latency of 5G. It allowed the streaming of HD video from the drones across the Internet, and also allowed remote control of the underwater drones from a remote location over the air. This had not previously been trialled or achieved in Australia, nor as far as we know, globally.
The Outcomes - Connection, Community and Country
This project was one of the first cloud-managed 5G network deployments in Australia combining the Telstra public 5G network and Cradlepoint 5G gateway adapters. However, its significance was measured by the customer not in technological progress but in community outcomes. These were:
- Connection to Country – allowing Elders to ‘walk’ on Country wherever they were located. Many Aboriginal Elders no longer reside on Country or have physical barriers preventing them from attending on Country events. This project opened up a new way of connecting Elders to Country and to the work of the Indigenous land and sea ranger mission.
- Caring for Country – the HD video streaming, particularly from the underwater drone, will enhance existing caring for Country programs including the potential for drones to carry out sea grass propagation, coral health monitoring, and marine life conservation without having to put divers in the water. The Yirrganydji rangers thought this would be particularly useful when searching for crocodile nests!
- Upskilled Indigenous Rangers – “And the best thing about it, is it is our people doing it.” This was the comment from Elder, Aunty Melinda Holden. This project was deployed with the goal of imparting knowledge and best practice to the local rangers so they could replicate it for commercial use cases, and also share the technology with other indigenous ranger groups.
- Job creation – The project enabled the creation of a new role for an Underwater Drone Co-ordinator, which was filled by a young indigenous woman, Rebecca Reeves. “It is important to me, to see young indigenous females, getting out there and having a go. This program, using 5G and drones, makes me feel connected with my Country.”
- Commercial growth – the increased technological capability of the Gidarjil Rangers has opened the door to new commercial opportunities especially around cultural burn management, and Great Barrier reef conservation.
- Replicable technology – This project successfully demonstrated the superior bandwidth and low latency of 5G and the opportunities to utilise video streaming from drones over the internet can be replicated across any number of use cases. This could include marine biology and conservation, hospitality and tourism, security and emergency services.
MobileCorp is an enterprise ICT solutions company with a mission to deliver our customers a communications technology edge. We provide 5G, Managed Mobility Services, Enterprise Mobility Management, Complex Data and IP Networks, and Unified Communication solutions. We have a proven track record providing managed services for Australian enterprise and business, and we are a Telstra Platinum Partner.
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