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ConnectID, Hold Access partner to promote digital inclusion for First Nations peoples

Dechlan Brennan -

A new partnership between ConnectID and Hold Access to develop a digital wallet (WUNA) has been announced, with the benefit of further empowering First Nations people who suffer digital exclusion.

The partnership is designed to overcome this exclusion by improving verification.

Jason-Urranndulla Davis, a Kalkadoon and Waanyi man of the Kalkadoon and Waanyi Nations of Northwest Queensland and the Gulf Country, founded Hold Access after experiencing the impact of digital identity firsthand.

"When many people in some First Nations communities do not have an email or electronic documentation, the move to online services creates an incredible barrier and expands inequalities," Mr Davis said.

"For First Nations people, there is a clear digital gap in being able to access opportunities and assistance that needs to be overcome with culturally inclusive Diji (digital) agency.

"The continuity of cultural identity for First Nations people is extremely important. It shouldn't be something that can be left at the doorstep, it should be able to travel with you."

WUNA, which means to make informed choices, says it rebuilds the freedom of Indigenous identity for purpose, and by using WUNA, Indigenous people can have better control over their personal information.

In turn, this makes it easier to store and hold documents online, as well as accessing essential services such as healthcare, government services, employment, education, and banking.

WUNA also holds First Nations specific identification, including: Indigenous cultural-heritage iD; Native Title iD; Indigenous connected family-lines; and confirmation by Indigenous communities.

Managing Director at ConnectID, Andrew Black, said accessing digital services is vital for Australians, many of whom live remotely.

"For those living in these communities or those without the means to access digital documentation, identity verification can be a major barrier to these important and often critical services," he said.

"We're also quickly realising the potential Digital ID technology can have on other digitally excluded communities, such as under-served regional populations, refugees and those experiencing homelessness, in safely and securely verifying their identity."

ConnectID was recently launched with the back of industry partners - including NAB and the Commonwealth Bank - as a solution for people to make it easier to verify who they are with organisations they trust.

It's the first non-government digital identity exchange accredited under the Australian Government's Trusted Digital Identity Framework.

ConnectID and Hold Access have said that in partnership, they are accelerating the deployment of WUNA in order to close the digital gap and solve the issue of digital exclusion for First Nations people.

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