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Growth drives a need for Stronger Smarter information management


The Stronger Smarter Institute (SSI) has recently experienced rapid growth of activities.  The QUT Caboolture based institute turned to CEED to recruit a student to help analyse their data and information needs, in order to connect better and track relationships with the many community members, school leaders and other people that SSI work with.

Rex Mano Mpala, a Master of IT student from Queensland University of Technology commenced the project in mid-July.   Rex brought with him a useful set of skills having worked as an IT consultant in Russia for four years and in his home country of Zambia.

Rex Mano Mpala (CEED student) during his time working in Moscow, Russia 
 Above: Rex Mano Mpala (CEED student) during his time working in
 Moscow, Russia.  Rex is pictured outside the Kremlin.

SSI operates in a unique field through its Stronger Smarter Leadership Program (SSLP) and Stronger Smarter Leadership Communities project (SSLC) whereby it connects with many community members and school leaders, who are leading and influencing a much higher educational standard for young Indigenous students. 

Through the programs, teachers learn how to incorporate the Stronger Smarter philosophies into the learning process for students and then participate in ongoing dialogue with others to exchange ideas, motivate best practice and influence change in educational practices for Indigenous youth.  The SSLC project will see the creation of a network of 60 hub schools across Australia each with 3 to 4 affiliate schools, as well as a national research program.

As such, SSI has quite complex data gathering needs as a lot of the information about the programs and impacts on community are qualitative in nature and there is a need to build a greater quantitative store of information which can be measurable over a longer period of time.  Information about each of the business processes is currently in different places which represents a challenge in providing an integrated solution for SSI’s needs..    The challenge is to find a solution or solutions that will bring together such items as contact details, performance information, digital media, social forums and statistical data into a format which will allow the institute to easily and more efficiently manage their operations and to supply their key stakeholders with meaningful and timely reports.

Since starting the project Rex has helped the client define the project scope.  He is working with SSI to develop an information management strategy and find the most appropriate software on the market to fit the requirements.  He expects a solution will require some customisation to fit SSI’s specifications too.

From Rex’s point of view, he is enjoying the project on two levels. 

It has been a fantastic opportunity to apply my consultancy management skills to a project with a big vision.  So far, I have also been exposed to a real working situation and I have been part of the process with SSI to define the project scope,” said Rex.

I was also drawn to this project due to SSI’s ambitions for Indigenous education.   I support raising the expectations of education for young Indigenous people and am pleased to see such programs being run in Australia.”

It’s a dream role for me while I am completing my studies as I am interested in the use of IT for business management.  Whilst this project may deliver a database from a technical point of view, it will also support SSI’s desire to collate information methodically and enable the relationships and interactions and Indigenous academic achievements that are captured through video, audio, text and images to be referenced and found easily.  This will allow SSI to share and measure outcomes over time,” said Rex.

 

More information about the Stronger Smarter Institute's programs and activities are available on their website - http://www.strongersmarter.qut.edu.au/

 

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