Helping seniors get online
About 94,000 older Australians across the country are now enjoying free access to broadband internet and computer kiosks through the Australian Government’s Broadband for Seniors initiative.
Today the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, joined seniors at Yarraville, Victoria, to celebrate the official opening of the 2000th Broadband for Seniors internet kiosk.
“This opening marks the 2000th internet kiosk to be opened, delivering on the Government’s commitment to provide older Australians with free internet kiosks in their local communities,” Ms Macklin said.
“The kiosks provide seniors with free access to broadband internet, as well as training in basic computing, internet browsing and email skills.
“So far about 94,000 older Australians have used one of the 2000 kiosks across the country. More than a third of these people had never used a computer before, and almost half had never used the internet.
“We’re also supporting an army of volunteers to help older Australians get online. So far the Broadband for Seniors volunteers have spent more than 12,000 hours personally tutoring older users, helping them to complete 43,000 online lessons.”
The free computer and internet kiosks are located in places that older Australians regularly visit, such as senior citizens centres, aged care centres and bowls clubs.
“Here in Yarraville the new kiosk is at the Senior Citizens Centre, where we expect up to 750 local senior citizens will benefit from free internet access, training and tutoring,” the Member for Gellibrand, Nicola Roxon said.
Almost two in three Australian households have broadband internet connection but less than a third of Australians aged over 65 currently use the internet.
“On my travels around Australia I’ve met many older people who say these kiosks have given them the confidence and support to get online and most importantly, stay in touch with family and friends,” Ms Macklin said.
The $15 million Broadband for Seniors initiative has been delivered in partnership with a consortium lead by NEC Australia, with support from Adult Learning Australia, Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association and U3A Online.
For a full list of kiosks and more information visit Broadband for Seniors website