Media release: Support for Refugee Week
Good Things Foundation Australia calls for elderly refugees to ‘find freedom’ through greater digital inclusion this Refugee Week.
TUESDAY 20 JUNE 2023: Good Things Foundation Australia calls for elderly refugees to ‘find freedom’ through greater digital inclusion this Refugee Week.
Older refugees who lack digital skills, access to technological devices or the money to pay for data are becoming increasingly excluded from society as Australia becomes more connected.
According to the social change charity Good Things Foundation Australia, this glaring ‘digital divide’ between older refugees and the rest of the population, is negatively affecting their quality of life and ability to fully participate in society.
Members of Australia’s senior refugee population who are digitally excluded are unable to confidently access essential services like health, transport, government, banking, utility and telecommunications. They are also prevented from living a quality life, full of social opportunities and a sense of connectedness.
CEO of Good Things Foundation Australia, Jess Wilson, says digital inclusion today is just as important to older refugees as housing, education and food.
“Digital exclusion is a serious social issue facing many older refugees,” Wilson says. “It’s a glaring problem and one that’s becoming larger as Australia becomes more connected.
“Older members of our community who sought refuge on Australia’s shores decades ago have helped to build our nation. They deserve better. They deserve to live a good life, connected to the people and services around them. It’s essential they don’t get left behind as Australia moves digitally forward.”
Research suggests that while culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) migrants have a relatively high level of digital inclusion, humanitarian entrants and those who are newly arrived often experience digital exclusion. Former refugees who are older may also experience greater levels of digital exclusion when compared to the rest of the population.
“The good news is that we can solve digital exclusion and close the digital divide,” says Wilson. “We know how to do it and we know what’s needed. Good Things Foundation manages the Be Connected digital skills program, supporting thousands of community organisations on the ground to help seniors become digitally included.
“For the many older refugees who have been supported to get online through our Be Connected program, the results have been life-changing.”
Yasmin Noone, Communications and Advocacy Manager, Good Things Foundation Australia
Ph: 0432 654 467
Linda Berrigan, Director of Brand & Storytelling, Good Things Foundation Australia Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph: 0478 119 066
Notes to editor
- Good Things Foundation Australia is a social change charity helping people to improve their lives through digital. Good Things Foundation Australia upskills, manages, and provides grant funding and support to a nationwide network of over 3,500 community organisations to run local digital inclusion programs.
- Good Things Foundation Australia manages the Australian Government’s Be Connected digital skills program for older Australians, the Get Online Week digital inclusion campaign, and other programs that support digital health literacy and people with intellectual disability.
More information about this topic
- Supporting the digital inclusion of new migrants and refugees, December 2020
- Inquiry into Support for Older Victorians from Migrant and Refugee Backgrounds submission (from Good Things Foundation Australia), December 2021
- What needs to be done to solve digital exclusion among refugees
- Information on Be Connected program, run by Good Things Foundation