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Free digital skills training for Australian's aged 50 and older


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The Ballarat East Neighbourhood House is a Network Partner of the Australian Government's Be Connected program.

We are excited to be partnering with the Ballarat North Neighbourhood House and Wendouree Neighbourhood Centre to deliver a 'Be Connected, Building Digital Skills' program in 2022. This is a grant of $20,000 to support 300 Older Australians aged 50+ to develop their digital skills and confidence through free face-to-face contact (if feasible), either one-on-one or in small groups, utilising the learning courses available on the Be Connected Learning site.

Our experienced Digital Mentors, Greg and Fiona, will be working closely with both Neighbourhood Houses to develop and deliver the program.

If you are aged 50 or older and would like to improve your digital skills, please contact us to register your interest.

Be-Connected-Ballarat-East_crop.jpgBe Connected - Term 4, 2022

Individual sessions

Greg is available for two one-hour sessions on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons (with the potential for other times if he is available) to offer 1:1 sessions for people requiring a little more support getting to know their digital devices. Each participant is eligible for up to two 1:1 sessions.

Starting on Tuesday 11 October:

Please contact us to register.

Group Sessions

In Term 4, we will also be running a group Digital Essentials course on Wednesdays from 9.30 am - 11.30 am, starting on 12 October and finishing on 30 November. This is separate to the Be Connected Program and is open to everyone. 

The 8-week Digial Essentials Course will cost $40 in total.

Topics will include:

  • Getting Started Online
  • Using Your Smartphone
  • Using SMS
  • Connecting and Working Safely
  • Navigating the Internet
  • Using Email
  • Using Social Media
  • Using Apps and Software
  • Everyday technology
  • Staying Safe Online

Free online safety presentations

There are a host of free online safety presentations available on the Be Connected website.

Free digital skills courses

There is also a long list of free online videos on a wide range of digital skills topics on the Be Connected website. 

Be Connected at Neighbourhood Houses

Digital Nation Australia 2021 Report

On 4 August 2021, the Good Things Foundation released the Digital Nation Australia 2021 Report.

GoodThingsFoundation DigitalNation Infographic Final Tagged

Source: https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org.au/news/digital-nation-australia-2021/

Key information included:

During the pandemic, the rate of people completely offline fell from 10% to just 1%. However, still fewer than 40% of Australians felt confident that they could keep up with the rapid pace of change in technology.

When pulling together this research, we found that the most at-risk groups for digital exclusion in Australia include:

  • First Nations people: In remote First Nations communities, 30% of people have no household internet or phone connection.
  • Rural and remote Australians: Even with the roll-out of the NBN, only one third of Australia’s land area has mobile connectivity. This is despite regional and remote areas making up 30% of the Australian population.
  • Low-income households and those with a mobile-only data connection: Half of low-income households had difficulty paying for home internet. Meanwhile, one third of those with a mobile-data only connection are low-income families with school-aged children.
  • Women: Low digital literacy means women are more vulnerable to online abuse.
  • New CALD migrants and refugees: Low digital skills and access are a barrier to accessing services during the pandemic and job opportunities more broadly.
  • People with disabilities: People with disabilities are lower users of digital and social media and are more likely to experience cyberbullying and digital abuse.
  • Those over 65 years of age: 80% find it difficult to keep up with tech changes.
  • People outside of the labour force: Confidence in digital skills decreases as length of retirement increases.
  • People with low levels of education: 44% have no media literacy support.

This can have a big impact on people’s lives across employment, education, and safety. Research presented in Digital Nation Australia 2021 shows:

  • 87% of jobs in Australia now require digital skills.
  • 46% of employees were working from home in April 2020, and 58% of people said that the internet was essential to work during the pandemic.
  • Since the pandemic, 81% of respondents in a survey by The Smith Family were concerned about students struggling to do schoolwork without reliable access to a laptop and internet.
  • 61% don’t feel confident that they can identify misinformation online.

People who don’t have the essential digital skills to be safe and confident online and those who do not have affordable access to the internet are at risk of being left behind as the world moves further online.

eSafety Commissioner

Australia's eSafety Committioner, Julie Inman Grant, leads the world's first government agency committed to keeping its citizens safer online. eSafety is an independent statutory office supported by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). eSafety has powers relating to cyberbullying, image-based abuse, and illegal and harmful online content.

Related research from the office of the eSafety Commissioner.

Conditions of participation

  • Please read the Ballarat East Neighbourhood House Activity Terms and Conditions. You will be asked to agree to these upon registration for this activity.
  • All participants in Ballarat East Neighbourhood House activities must follow the current Statewide COVID-Safe principles.
  • If you are feeling unwell and/or have cold/flu symptoms please do not come to the activity.
  • Please sanitise your hands upon entry to and exit from Barkly Square. Hand sanitiser will be available.
  • Keep at least 1.5 metres from other people in the activity.
  • Bring your own drink bottle. A Pot of Courage cafe at Barkly Square will be open if you would like to purchase hot drinks and food.
  • Arrive 5-10 minutes before the activity starts to allow time to complete any paperwork.
  • If you have any injuries or issues which may affect your ability to partipate fully in the activity, please arrive early and discuss with Greg.
  • A maximum of 10 participants will be able to take part in this activity.
  • Tickets are not transferable.

Questions?

Please call Ballarat East Neighbourhood House on 0422 612 052 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are having trouble booking or paying for this activity, we are very happy to find a solution that will work as we want everyone interested to be able to participate.