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Supporting older Australians to get online

Joint media release

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts

The Hon Michelle Landry MP
Assistant Minister for Children and Families

The Morrison Government is extending its highly successful Be Connected program that helps older Australians navigate the online world safely.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the Government is providing $9.3 million to extend the Be Connected program for an additional 12 months.

“Through face-to-face and online training, Be Connected builds the skills and confidence people need to access digital services and stay connected to friends and family online,” Minister Fletcher said.

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 1.6 million Australians aged over 65 who do not use the internet at all. With more services, including some Government services, moving online there’s a clear need to continue the support provided through the Be Connected program.”

Delivered by the eSafety Commissioner and the Department of Social Services, Be Connected provides training to Australians aged over 50 years who are in need of support to participate online.

Assistant Minister for Children and Families, the Hon Michelle Landry MP, said “We know just how important it is to be connected to the digital world in 2020. That’s why we are committed to this important program to assist older Australians to learn the basics of getting online, stay connected with family and friends and also tackle issues of loneliness and social isolation.”

The program is delivered by a nationwide network of community organisations that provide training to build digital skills and confidence, encourage online participation and advice to remain safe online.

In March 2019, eSafety began a pilot for Be Connected Young Mentors, an intergenerational mentoring program between high school-aged youth and older Australians. It provides older Australians the opportunity to learn from digitally-savvy young people while equipping young people with valuable communication and leadership skills.

For more information visit: www.beconnected.esafety.gov.au

Media contact:

Fletcher:
Brad Hatch | 0448 162 679 | Brad.Hatch [at] communications.gov.au
Rebecca Papillo | 0439 892 771 | Rebecca.Papillo [at] communications.gov.au

Landry:
Jake Ash | 0436 915 723 | Jake.Ash [at] aph.gov.au