State Govt launches Tech Savvy Seniors initiative

OLDER Queenslanders will have greater opportunities to connect with their family and the community through technology, with the launch of a new statewide program aiming to help seniors navigate the digital world.

Seniors Minister Coralee O'Rourke and Science and Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch launched the Tech Savvy Seniors initiative, in partnership with the State Library of Queensland and Telstra in late August.

"Queensland seniors who complete a Tech Savvy Seniors course will gain basic technology skills, including how to use an iPad, navigate social media, shop online and access government services," Ms O'Rourke said.

"Tech Savvy Seniors will provide older Queenslanders with the skills they need to access essential digital services and ensure they can participate more in the community and stay connected to family and friends.

"Developing the confidence and skills to use technology and be part of the digital community and economy has become increasingly important to our seniors."

Ms Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government recognised the diverse needs of older Queenslanders, and State Library of Queensland, Department of Communities and Telstra have partnered to provide $550,000 of funding to Queensland public libraries to help deliver the training course.

"Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland is one example of our Government's commitment to improving service delivery through the efficient use of information and communications technology," she said.

"This great program joins a suite of initiatives, introduced by the Palaszczuk Government, aiming to improve access, information and available services for older Queenslanders."

Telstra chief sustainability officer Tim O'Leary said Telstra was excited to be introducing the successful Tech Savvy Seniors program to Queensland as part of its commitment to helping all Australians enjoy the benefits of being connected.

"New communication technology gives people the opportunity to be more connected than ever, whether it be staying in touch with family and friends on social media or connecting with people and services in your local community," he said.

"Developing the confidence and skills to use technology and be part of the digital community and economy is increasingly important for seniors. We want to make sure no one misses out on the benefits of being connected and we're pleased to be expanding the Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland program to reach new audiences."

Ms O'Rourke said a Seniors Summit would be held directly after the launch to discuss the Palaszczuk Government's new seniors strategy - 'Queensland - an age friendly community'.

"We're proud supporters of our ageing population and have provided $7.5 million towards seniors support programs and services in the 2015-16 budget.

"Tech Savvy Seniors, the Seniors Summit and the new seniors strategy are important components of our overarching plan to create an age-friendly Queensland."

*For further information about other seniors initiatives, go to http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/communityservices/seniors

Fast facts

  • Ask at your library for the Tech Savvy Seniors Program
  • The program is aimed at seniors (people aged 65 years and older), with no previous computer experience or who have limited skills and are seeking to develop their confidence and skills in technology. The training will include courses on use of computers, tablets and smart phones, which promote social connections and facilitate easier access to information which can improve wellbeing
  • The program includes Grant Funding of $400,000
  • All Queensland Local Governments which operate a public library service or an Indigenous Knowledge Centre are eligible to apply for Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland Grant Funding
  • The program aims to reach as many seniors as possible across Queensland, particularly in regional, rural and remote areas. For this reason, key criteria, including the type of training currently available and the demographics of the Local Government Area will be assessed to identify priority geographic areas

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