Digital skills in a crisis

Recent natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the need for every Australian to have the digital skills to find reliable information online and connect with friends, family, and essential recovery services.

The bushfire crisis followed by the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted digital inclusion as an issue for all Australians. People in our communities need to have the digital skills and confidence to find reliable information online and connect with friends, family, community and essential recovery services.

Australian adults increased their internet usage during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 and saw it as essential for paying bills, accessing news and information, staying in touch with loved ones, working and entertainment. The pandemic has also seen a rapid digitisation of many workplaces and services.

But, not everyone in Australia has equal access to the internet, and many do not have the skills to use it confidently and independently. This has put many people at a disadvantage when it comes to participating in online education and remote work arrangements, keeping socially connected with friends and family, and accessing services such as online shopping.

The combination of the Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic increased the risk of misinformation spreading quickly online, which can cause real-world harms and be a barrier for people trying to find accurate and reliable information quickly in a crisis.

We believe that those who are most at risk of digital exclusion plus those with low levels of understanding of misinformation could benefit from tailored programs and supports.


Keeping people connected

We've been supporting our network of community organisations to keep people connected during the pandemic with Digital Device grants, offered through the Be Connected program. These grants enabled organisations to provide loan devices and data to hundreds of isolated seniors.

What we're doing

Find out more about how we are supporting communities during crises and advocating for digital skills support.

27/04/2021 · Be Connected | Communities we work with | Health My Way | Our projects

Support for our Network in natural disasters & COVID

Our national network have been through bushfires, COVID lockdowns, floods and more. No matter what happens, we're here for you.


09/02/2022 · Announcements | Research and reports

Federal Pre-Budget Submission 2022/2023

We have four key recommendations for the Australian Government to address in the 22/23 Federal Budget.


28/04/2020 · Research and reports

Bushfire Royal Commission response

Read our recommendations in response to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.


01/06/2020 · Announcements | Be Connected | COVID-19

Media release: $1m grants awarded

Good Things Foundation welcomes the Australian Government announcement on digital devices grants awarded to Be Connected Network partners.


19/08/2020 · Announcements | COVID-19 | Research and reports

Reinventing digital literacy support in a crisis

Read our research on the impact of COVID-19 on community-based digital inclusion programs.


Insights & Stories

  • A woman is guiding another woman to use a mobile phone.

    24/05/2021 · Be Connected | Communities we work with | Our projects

    The Tec Exec

    Learning digital skills for emergency situations.

  • Lorina and Hayden at Grafton Library

    01/02/2021 · Be Connected | Communities we work with | COVID-19 | Insights | Our projects

    Loan devices to those in need

    Grafton Library's digital devices program is helping their community stay connected while in-person support is limited.

  • Combatting isolation with tech

    12/08/2020 · Be Connected | Communities we work with | COVID-19 | Insights | Our projects

    Combatting isolation with tech

    Cire Services is loaning internet-connected tablets to their community members to help them virtually combat isolation.