Interactive scenario training for remote indigenous communities

It’s interesting. You get curious, what will happen to Joe?

Home and Community Care, participant in Bamaga community, Far North Queensland.





Video Introduction to George’s Story.

Video of school children starting Nola’s Diary in a remote indigenous school.

Award winning culturally-appropriate online training

 ‘Joe’s Story’  is a real-time interactive online story about Joe, an indigenous man returning to his community with a spinal injury. Over 6 months the scenario portrayed remote indigenous life and the community health and social issues.

In 2000, five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities participated in this interactive story to undertake health and community service training.

This statewide project piloted our model, Reality Learning Interactives. A success in culturally appropriate virtual training to engage reluctant learners living within ongoing crisis and competing priorities. Engaging challenged learners, linguistically, socially and professionally, building their capacity. 

When real life merges with a fictitious virtual story, interesting crossovers develop resulting in life-changing  health and well-being practices.

Joe’s Story was further developed for other audiences, including teachers and housing officers in preparation for working within these remote, marginalised communities.

Two online school programs were also produced from the story:

  • George’s Story promoting medical professions for indigenous school leavers; and
  • Nola’s Diary for primary school children facing the move to rural areas for accessing secondary education.

Mary, from Joe’s Story. She is both an actor in the scenario plus in real life, an indigenous community HAAC expert. This community video captures her mid-program, reflecting on her experience of managing the virtual fictitious patient called Joe.

ClientLifeTec and the Australian Government
Scope3 virtual programs for remote indigenous communities
Programs Disability management training; Career training; Preparation for school.


Delivering face-to-face education to remote Queensland communities is costly, often culturally inappropriate and has poor uptake by local people.

Community members who required training were diverse, from a womens group through to indigenous health workers. Training needed to reach and engage all.

Implementing real life change in these diverse, remote communities is a continual challenge.

Our challenge was to develop a model of online training that engaged local people in creating solutions that developed community self reliance, capability and health.


The solutions:

Learners participated in the program through adopting the new technology available in 2000, (video conferencing, webcam, computers). This was a time when email was non-existent in most of locations. Participants were supported in IT training.

All community sectors were actively engaged within the interactive scenario. This occurred as the stories were identified as their own.

New local solutions were identified by the participants in response to the scenario’s emerging issues in management of disability.

Community resilience increased with a greater capacity to locally manage health and community wellbeing.

Inter-community networking and mentoring resulted in a higher success of health services eg the Home and Community Care program in Palm Island.

Participants reported an increase in personal self-confidence.