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All aboard enVizion’s virtual reality bus for great career options

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An Indigenous woman in grey and white top sits on steps of bus while another Indigenous woman in apricot dress stands next to her. Words on the bus include Challenge Yourself, Believe, enVizion and Be Strong.
enVizion's Christina Togo and Julie-ann Lambourne outside the virtual reality bus
19 Apr 2017

A virtual reality bus developed to inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities is EnVizion’s latest education and employment training innovation. 

enVizion, a Cairns-based training organisation, wanted to give people a first-hand experience of working in industries like mining, horticulture and healthcare.

enVizion’s CEO Julie-ann Lambourne, a Torres Strait Islander with links to Mabuiag and Darnley Islands, says that technology like virtual reality can provide motivation and inspiration to people in communities.

“The idea of the bus came about two years ago when I was introduced to advanced technology and I thought ‘wow this is going to change things, it’s a game changer’,” Julie-ann said.

“So from there we developed concepts and came up with ideas like ‘how do we use virtual reality?’ and the best way to do it is to motivate people into using a different way of learning.”

The bus contains virtual reality headsets to explore five real-life stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their jobs and careers.

“The five stories are agriculture, health, mining, aquaponics and construction,” Julie-ann said.

“The reason we choose these five themes is because there is a really wide variety of employment in those areas and there’s pretty much a job for everybody.

“The five storytellers are all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders telling our mob about how they got into those areas of work, which really encourages them to follow the same path.”

While the bus will be initially taken to communities around Far North Queensland, Julie-ann plans for the bus to travel around the country.

And after just a few trial visits, Julie-ann can already see the positive change the initiative is having on community members.

“The reactions are really inspiring,” Julie-ann said.

“We’ve had people from ages ten to 85 experience virtual reality. At first they are saying ‘that’s amazing, how do you do that?’ Then they say ‘this is going to change my community’.”

Find out more

The Australian Government contributes funding to EnVizion through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

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