Back in the summer, we were awarded a contract to build a new digital inclusion network in Australia, as part of the wider Be Connected programme, managed by the Department of Social Services. Since learning we’d been successful, we’ve set up a new office in Sydney, begun recruiting our team, and are already growing the Be Connected network.
Our work in Australia builds directly on the work we’ve been doing in the UK over the past 10 years, currently through the Department for Education’s Future Digital Inclusion programme. The lessons we’ve learnt and the expertise we’ve grown, in building networks and supporting excluded people to improve their lives through digital, are now having a direct impact on an international stage.
The program was launched on Tuesday by Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter.
Be Connected is a new Australian Government program aimed at increasing the confidence, skills and online safety of older Australians when they use the internet. There is $20 million in small grants given to community organisations over the next three years so that local organisations can get involved.
Minister Porter said: “Be Connected is another important step towards the Government’s goal to foster digital skills, access and inclusion to empower everyone to thrive in a digital world.
“I encourage older Australians who want to learn how to use digital technology confidently and safely, or who want to improve their current skills, to participate in the Be Connected program.
“Families, friends and community groups can also join the program to help older Australians realise the benefits of going online.”
“Community organisations that join the Be Connected Network will deliver free personalised face-to-face training and support to help older Australians engage with and embrace digital technology,”
We’re pleased that Good Things Foundation is playing a key role in the programme, recruiting and developing the Be Connected network, a movement that will support older Australians to engage with digital technology in their local communities.
Alongside the network, Be Connected also includes a learning portal, developed by the Office for the eSafety Commission, which includes a range of free courses and resources to help older Australians improve their skills. You can take a look at the website at www.beconnected.esafety.gov.au.