Be Connected – April 2024

A bright, modern library setting with groups of people seated at tables, engaged in discussions. On the right side stands a prominent banner for the "Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA)", showcasing its mission to empower seniors with technology since 1998. The banner displays images of seniors using devices. In the background, bookshelves are filled with various titles, and there's a colourful kids' corner. The environment is well-lit, fostering a communal and collaborative atmosphere.

Progress Update on Be Connected Capacity Building Project – Round 9

As we approach the conclusion of the current Be Connected Capacity Building Project (Round 9) at the end of May, it’s timely to reflect on the significant strides we’ve made towards our goals. The project has been a concentrated effort to enhance the support structure for senior Australians, helping them become more confident and connected in the digital world.

 A joyful selfie of Natika and Tracey-Ann, both wearing polo shirts, celebrating a moment of left-handed camaraderie. Natika, on the left, is holding a white pen and exclaims with an open-mouthed smile, while Tracey-Ann gives a thumbs-up sign. They have just discovered that they both naturally tick the left-handed way, a unique trait they share and celebrate instead of following the conventional right-handed approach.)

Natika, spearheading the mentor recruitment and training, has been instrumental in our progress. She’s led effective training sessions, starting with face-to-face workshops in Perth and Harvey during early March. These sessions provided hands-on experience and direct engagement, which are invaluable in mentor preparation.

The project then transitioned to the digital sphere, with Natika conducting two half-day training sessions online via Zoom. This hybrid approach has not only extended our reach but has also catered to the varying needs and locations of our prospective mentors.

As a result of these efforts, we are nearing our target number of trained mentors for this round. The mentors are crucial to our mission, as they directly support our learners, offering guidance, encouragement, and expertise.

"A productive scene from a recent Harvey-based Digital Mentor training day. Sarah, in the foreground, smiles broadly at the camera, donning a colourful Harvey CRC polo, seated at a desk with a laptop and notes. Judith is in the middle ground, wearing a black top, observing attentively, and Tracey-Ann, with a beaming smile, is seated to the right wearing glasses and a Harvey CRC polo. They are surrounded by laptops and training materials, with an informational presentation titled 'Today, we will be covering' displayed on a large screen in the background.")

The project then transitioned to the digital sphere, with Natika conducting two half-day training sessions online via Zoom. This hybrid approach has not only extended our reach but has also catered to the varying needs and locations of our prospective mentors.

As a result of these efforts, we are nearing our target number of trained mentors for this round. The mentors are crucial to our mission, as they directly support our learners, offering guidance, encouragement, and expertise.

A group of focused participants are engaged in a Digital Mentor training session in a modern Belmont conference room. They are seated around tables arranged in a U-shape, working on laptops and discussing notes. A large presentation screen at the front displays key points for the training. The room is well-lit with natural light streaming in, creating a conducive environment for learning and collaboration."

Looking ahead, we are considering an additional online session at the beginning of May to ensure we meet our objectives. This session will provide one last push to maximise our impact and prepare for the potential next round of the Capacity Building grant.

We are eagerly awaiting the announcement of the next grant round, ready to continue the momentum we’ve built. This project is a testament to our commitment to digital literacy and inclusion, and we are proud of the work done by everyone involved.

Stay tuned for more updates, and we encourage anyone interested in becoming a mentor or learning more about our efforts to reach out. Your participation is what drives the success of projects like these.