Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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NSW Government and Telstra partner to bring more seniors online

30 January 2013



Minister for Ageing Andrew Constance has today announced a new partnership between Telstra and the NSW Government to roll out the Tech Savvy Seniors training program to encourage more seniors to embrace technology.

“By partnering with Telstra we are able to extend the reach of the Tech Savvy Seniors program to older Australians and ensure no one gets left behind,” Mr Constance said.

“Developing the confidence and skills to use technology and participate in the digital community and economy is increasingly important for seniors.”

The Tech Savvy Seniors program is a key initiative of the NSW Ageing Strategy and aims to help bridge the gap between those seniors who use technology and those who are yet to embrace it.

Telstra’s Chief Customer Officer, Gordon Ballantyne, said Telstra is committed to ensuring all Australians enjoy the benefits of being connected and helping everyone in our community understand and benefit from technology goes to the heart of what Telstra stands for.

“New communication technology presents wonderful opportunities - such as staying in touch with family, friends and making new friends through social media. The convenience of smartphones and computers connected to Telstra’s wireless or broadband network means access to online shopping, paying bills and banking, planning holidays and connection to the wider community has never been easier.”

“We will also be driving large scale training with a particular focus on regional and rural areas,” Mr Ballantyne said.

The Tech Savvy Seniors program provides low cost or free training through community colleges to older people. It will cover courses on computers, tablets and smartphones which promote social connections, easier access to information and improve wellbeing.

“Libraries and community colleges throughout NSW will be better equipped to support older Australians with more face to face training, self-teaching videos and DVDs and other training content,” Mr Constance added.

Tech Savvy Senior, Pam Richards, 71, was a part of the pilot program and said she can’t imagine how she ever lived without her connected devices.

“My husband Bob and I did the program and now technology is a part of our everyday lives. We do our banking online, I look up recipes and enjoy doing the daily crossword digitally now so we don’t have to fight over the printed version,” Mrs Richards said.

Bob Richards, 73, said he was keen to do the training to get up to speed with social media.

“I am very involved with my local Rotary Club and as the world moves more and more online we want to stay connected and find new and younger members. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter provide us with the perfect channel for keeping up to date and connecting with the Rotary network around Australia and the world,” Mr Richards added.

To find out more about the Tech Savvy Seniors program and to view the NSW Ageing Strategy visit www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/ageing.

Want to find out more about course locations, times and dates?  Refer to the list of participating colleges for their contact details.

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