National Get Online Week 19-25 October: Supporting vulnerable Australians through digital inclusion on the Gold Coast

Senior woman using mobile phone

Now’s the time to get online with Get Online Week 2020 taking place from 19-25 October. The annual campaign aims to support 2.5million Australians who are not online through 700 digital skills mentoring events across the country.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the risks associated with digital exclusion across the country. It has made digital skills essential for wellbeing, safety and participating in day to day activities such as accessing government and health services, paying bills, online shopping, social interaction, applying for jobs and many more.

Get Online Week is organised by Good Things Foundation Australia, which also manages a network of 3,000 Be Connected community partners across the country.

These organisations have played a valuable role in supporting their local communities through a wide variety of digital mentoring in eSafety, social networking with friends and family, access to foreign language news and cultural programs, learning new hobbies and crafts through YouTube, and even online prayer vigils.

Local organisation, Gold Coast Innovation hub is getting involved in the digital inclusion campaign by hosting a Get Online Week event at 11am on 23rd October 2020.

“COVID-19 has really highlighted the enormous digital literacy gap for older Australians.  Travel restrictions and social distancing has been tough for all of us, but for those without the knowledge or skills to communicate with loved ones online or to use technology to complete tasks like banking and shopping it has been a really isolating experience.  The Gold Coast Innovation hub has been delivering innovation and technology education and support to people of all ages since its inception in 2017 and this will be the first of several initiatives to upskill this sector of the community.”

The over-65s are the least connected group in Australia and this has a severe impact on social inclusion and access to government and other services. According to the COVID-19 impacts on Australian adults’ online activities and attitudes report which was produced by the eSafety Commissioner, 89% of those surveyed agreed the internet was essential to them for at least one activity, with 27% of people surveyed sought extra help with technology.

The “Let’s Chat” event taking place at the CBD Hotel in Varsity Lakes is an introduction to instant messaging designed to help seniors to better connect with friends and family using some of the most popular messaging platforms “We’re hosting a Get Online Week event to show that everyone can learn and that we’re here to help,” said Ms Hunneybell.

People needing support to learn digital skills can find a local Get Online Week event by contacting Good Things Foundation on 1300 795 897 or going to www.getonlineweek.com  

October 16, 2020