Technology for social justice

No shame when you Ask Izzy

Finding nearby support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, who make up almost a quarter of those supported by Australia's homeless services, is often a struggle.

That’s all about to change with the release of the enhanced Ask Izzy mobile website that now allows users to search for dedicated housing, health, food services and much more.

The mobile website has also been redesigned to help Aboriginal people feel welcome and included when they are seeking support.

Since it was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the original Ask Izzy mobile website has had more than 500 000 searches for help with over 10 percent of users identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Almost 80 percent of people who are homeless own a smartphone, and, Infoxchange CEO David Spriggs understood that mobile technology would provide an easy way to help people find available support.

“We believe Ask Izzy is a vital tool for individuals and organisations working with Aboriginal communities,” David said.

“It will help to find the right services to support people facing challenges.”

Dan Laws, Coordinator of the Aboriginal Homelessness Network at Ngwala Willumbong, has assisted Infoxchange to engage local communities and said this project has been a long time coming.

“Feedback from community has been one of ‘at last’ in terms of Ask Izzy’s helpfulness,” Dan said.

“As an Aboriginal person and one who works in the homelessness and family violence sectors, I have found the website to be beneficial to me as a reference guide, but more importantly to the people we support.”

New improvements to Ask Izzy include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service listings can now be prioritised across a number of categories, including housing, health, support and counselling, legal and finding work.
  • Over 1500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services have been added or updated this year, meaning there are now over 16 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services listed on Ask Izzy.

Ask Izzy was developed by Infoxchange in partnership with Google, REA Group and News Corp Australia. Ask Izzy for Victoria Aboriginal Communities was funded by the Victorian Government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund. 

For someone who is in a crisis, the last thing they need is their mobile phone running out of charge right when they need it most. Your donation of a $15 Ask Izzy power card will give someone enough mobile charge to find help them find a meal, somewhere to stay, financial assistance and much more.


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