Participant Information

4% of survey complete.
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN)

School of Indigenous Australian Studies, Charles Sturt University

Researcher: Dr. Holly Randell-Moon, Senior Lecturer, School of Indigenous Australian Studies, Dubbo Campus


                                                          PARTICIPANT  INFORMATION  STATEMENT

You are invited to participate in a study on the digital experiences and smart literacy of regional and rural telecommunications consumers to better understand how smart services can be applied.

This study is being conducted by the above researcher from the Charles Sturt University School of Indigenous Australian Studies. This project was funded by a grant from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN).

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.

Before you decide whether or not you wish to participate in this study, it is important for you to understand why the study is being done and what it will involve. Please take the time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish.
What is the purpose of this study?
Focusing on regional and rural communities in the North West of New South Wales, this project will identify consumer understandings of smart technologies and their applications, engagement with digital infrastructure, increasing digital trends towards data monitoring, and the impact of smart services on social relations. This data will provide information on the digital experiences and smart literacy of regional and rural telecommunications consumers to better understand how smart services can be applied.

Why have you been invited to participate in this study?
5 towns have been identified for the project: Dubbo and the surrounding areas of Narromine, Gilgandra, Wellington, and Peak Hill. All residents of these towns have been invited to participant in the study.

What does this study involve?
If you agree to participate, you will be asked to answer a questionnaire consisting of approximately 20 questions that will take you around 5-15 minutes to complete, depending on how many questions you want to answer! You will not be required to identify yourself. You will be asked about your knowledge of smart applications and technologies, how often you use them, how they can benefit consumers and the community, what you know about remote data monitoring, how you would assess your digital literacy, and how you engage with civic and community planning. Don’t worry if you don’t know much about these topics, we want a diversity of views and perspectives.
Are there any risks and benefits to you taking part in this study?
We anticipate there is no risk to participants associated with this research. This study has been endorsed by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and approved by the Charles Sturt University Human Research Ethics Committee. The study will place regional and rural consumer experiences and perspectives front and centre in smart policy and telecommunications development. These experiences and perspectives are particularly important because regional and rural communities are typically excluded from the evidence base for smart technologies and services.

How is this study being paid for?
This study has been funded in full by ACCAN and with in-kind support from Charles Sturt University. All researchers involved in this study are staff members of the University.

Will taking part in this study cost you anything, and will you be paid?
There are no financial costs to you associated with participating in the questionnaire. Participants who complete the entire questionnaire (i.e. every question) will go into a draw to win either a $200 Woolworths or JB Hi-Fi voucher. To go into the draw, participants must provide a valid contact email or phone number.

What if you don’t want to take part in this study?
Participation in this study is entirely your choice. Only those people who give their informed consent will be included in the project. Whether or not you decide to participate, is your decision and  will not disadvantage you.   

What if you participate and want to withdraw later?
You are being asked to contribute your data anonymously, so it will not be possible for you to have the data you contribute withdrawn from the study. Once you click ‘NEXT’ on the questionnaire, all data is automatically recorded. Any questions answered and not answered after you click ‘NEXT’ will be included as data for the study. If you do not wish to be part of the study, please do not click ‘NEXT’.

How will your confidentiality be protected?
You will not be asked to identify yourself by name so all questionnaire data is anonymous. There is an option in the questionnaire for participants to be informed of any research being written for research publication. There is also an option for participants to participate in a follow up interview with the researcher. In both cases, where participants have supplied their email address, these sections will be automatically de-linked and separated from the rest of the questionnaire. This means the researcher will not be able to view the completed questionnaires with any email addresses included as the latter will be automatically be sorted into a separate file.

What will happen to the information you give us?
The information you share through this questionnaire will be combined with the results of all other components of the study such as interviews and case studies (which focus on the telecommunications policy and infrastructure in each of the 5 towns) to support the generation of a report on the digital experiences and smart literacy of regional and rural telecommunications consumers. This report will be used to better understand how smart services can be applied. Peer-reviewed journal articles on the report and project findings will be submitted to journals such as Regional Studies and Geoforum. If you would like to be notified of the project results there is an option in the questionnaire for the researcher to notify you when the results are published. You can also contact the researcher at any time at

Who should you contact if you have concerns about the conduct of this study?
Charles Sturt University’s Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this project [Protocol number: H20316]. If you have any complaints or reservations about the ethical conduct of this project, you may contact the Committee through the Ethics and Compliance Unit via the following contact details:

The Governance Officer
Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics and Compliance Unit
Locked Bag 588
Wagga Wagga NSW 2678
Tel: (02) 6933 4213

Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully and you will be informed of the outcome.

Support services
Although we do not anticipate that participating in this questionnaire will cause any distress, should you require support as a result of your involvement we identify the following services that may be of use:

·         Beyond Blue – or 1300 224 636 (24 hours, 7 days)
·         SANE Australia –
·         MensLine Australia – or 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours, 7 days)
·         Your local General Practitioner

Thank you so much for considering this invitation. We really appreciate your time and interest in the questionnaire.
You may print this sheet if you wish to keep a copy.