Be Connected – May 2024

"Digital Nation Australia 2021" created by Good Things Foundation Australia. It visually represents the digital divide and inclusion in Australia, highlighting various groups most at risk of digital exclusion, including people with disabilities, low-income households, older individuals, and remote rural residents. The infographic also shows statistics on digital access, ability, and the level of digital confidence among Australians, noting that less than 40% are confident they can keep up with technology. Additionally, it mentions that a significant portion of jobs requires digital skills and that many adults use apps connected to the internet. The design includes icons and illustrations representing different demographics and digital interaction scenarios, effectively summarizing the state of digital inclusion in Australia during the pandemic and its impact on various segments of the population.

Bridging the Digital Divide: The Vital Role of ASCCA Clubs 

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the challenge of the digital divide remains a significant barrier for many, particularly older Australians. The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) reveals that one in four Australians are still digitally excluded, impacting their social integration, access to services, and overall quality of life (Good Things Foundation Australia) . 

The Role of ASCCA Clubs 

ASCCA clubs, through their community-centric approach, play a crucial role in addressing this divide. By harnessing resources like the Be Connected network, these clubs offer tailored support to older Australians, helping them build digital skills and confidence. The Be Connected program, an Australian Government-funded initiative, specifically targets older individuals, providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate the digital world safely and effectively (Good Things Foundation Australia) . 

Impact of Digital Skills Programs 

Programs like Be Connected not only enhance digital skills but also foster social connections and improve the online safety of participants. They have been shown to create significant social value, with every dollar invested returning over four dollars in social benefit (Good Things Foundation Australia) . This impact is profound, transforming the way older adults engage with technology and their community. 

Looking Forward 

As we await further announcements on the next round of Be Connected funding, the continued support for these initiatives is vital. Expanding these programs can further reduce the digital exclusion experienced by our senior population, ensuring that no one is left behind in our increasingly digital society. 

The efforts of ASCCA clubs are instrumental in making technology accessible and comprehensible, thereby empowering older Australians to lead more connected and fulfilling lives. For more information on the digital divide and the initiatives being undertaken to bridge it, visit Good Things Foundation

Natika Hawes-Wright
Be Connected Lead Digital Mentor