Having only been introduced to the digital equity space recently, I went into my internship at DECA quite naive. My eyes have now been opened to the hidden disparities that exist within Aotearoa as a result of digital exclusion. I am someone that seeks to understand the inequities that populate our society and find ways in which I can tackle them. This has made me eager to get involved with DECA and discover the best approach to take in supporting efforts to promote digital equity.
It has been great applying what I have learnt in my first year of university, where I am studying International Relations and Public Policy, to my work at DECA, particularly in the importance of approaching digital exclusion issues from an intersectional perspective. I am certain that the mahi that I am doing at DECA partnered with my studies will prove to be mutually beneficial in the future.
This past year of flatting and full financial independence has exposed the importance of digital inclusion to me. Conversely it has exposed the great disadvantages faced by those excluded from the digital world. For example, having a modern device and access to a good connection puts me in a highly privileged position to study, manage my finances, and pay bills. Having these assets has been fundamental to my progression in life, and why every person in Aotearoa has a right to that opportunity.
Anissa Ljanta, DECA Community Manager and Equity Advocate, has been instrumental in educating me on the complexities pertaining to the digital exclusion in Aotearoa, and connecting me with key people involved in the digital equity mahi. Learning of the saddening realities of digital exclusion has been balanced with meeting the immensely inspiring, passionate, and diverse group of people that work within this community. One of the things that first impressed me about DECA is the importance that is placed on making sure that the people most affected by digital exclusion are represented and are the driving force behind digital equity operations. Additionally, the elevation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi that DECA advances makes me excited to be a part of a growing movement towards decolonizing Aotearoa.
Coming from a digitally privileged background and as part of a group in society that faces minimal digital exclusion compared to others, I hope that my time with DECA involves me supporting representatives of communities most affected by digital exclusion. I am excited to use my position as a young person in society to help create systems and processes that will help uplift rangatahi voices in the digital equity movement. I have started this journey with DECA, where I am currently researching and creating a proposal that hopes to support more rangatahi into governance.
by Miro Fisch - DECA Intern