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20NTC Session

Volunteers: The Heart of the Digital Revolution


Australia has 4 million people not online and many of those who are online are not functionally digitally literate.  Leep has been running digital mentoring programs for 4 years. After struggling to establish a coordinated community response to digital literacy needs, Leep changed its approach and established an outreach program, running a network of hyperlocal one-on-one digital mentoring hubs. The secret to resourcing the network with limited funding was harnessing the power of volunteer digital mentors! 

Our program spans more than 1,000 kms and covers communities in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas in New South Wales.

We will share our failures, successes, strategies, experiences, tips and tricks for a thriving volunteer powered digital inclusion program.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify indicators for change and strategies for responding to it
  • Learn a variety of strategies for recruiting, managing and retaining volunteers
  • Understand community engagement strategies and the power of volunteers.

Target Audience

Program managers, coordinators, volunteers, leaders


Case StudyChange ManagementEngagementVolunteers


Cecily Michaels

Volunteers: The Heart of the Digital Revolution

Leep NGO

CEO at Leep, a forward thinking and fast growing disruptive group in Australia, creating digital citizens to reduce their marginalisation, and support their full participation in a digital world.

As a transformative leader, Cecily is committed to excellence and values driven. She has over 30 years’ experience in leadership, foreign aid, management, learning and development across Australia, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Cecily is a champion for those forgotten in our digital work and an agent for change. She holds an MA in Public Health, an MA in Development and Community Organisation and a Bachelor of Music in Education.

Wendy Pearson

Strategic Initiatives Manager

Kansas City Public Library

Wendy Pearson, Strategic Initiatives Manager at the Kansas City Public Library, leads the development and implementation of services for patrons in pursuit of digital life skills, sustainable employment, and lifelong learning. Since joining the Library in 2016 as the Digital Inclusion Fellow, a position sponsored by Google Fiber, Wendy has cultivated numerous new community partnerships and created Tech Access to expand the Library’s impact on KC’s digital divide. Tech Access, a collection of resources to support library patrons in pursuit of digital literacy and workforce skills, includes Tech Coaches-community volunteers who provide digital training at the library, a mobile computer lab to provide training within and beyond library walls, community partnerships to expand impact, and learning pathways that include skills assessments, curriculum, and learner feedback.

Wendy is also the project director in Accelerating Promising Practices: Digital Inclusion, supported by the Institute of Museums and Library Services, through which KCPL serves as the mentor institution to 10 small and rural libraries across the nation as they develop digital literacy and resources for their communities.

Wendy has served her community through a variety of nonprofit roles for over 11 years including fund development, marketing, volunteer management, and program development. Her professional objective is to promote self-efficacy within individuals of her community and support lifelong learning.





March 25, 2020


1:45pm – 3:00pm



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