The SWADE project (originally based on the acronym for Seniors West Australian Digital Expansion) is a project aiming to expand digital literacy and support for older people throughout Australia. A successful grant application by ASCCA to Good Things Foundation under the umbrella of the federal Department of Social Services and the Digital Literacy for Older Australians initiative, to deliver the Be Connected program in 2018 was the funding ASCCA needed to strengthen existing and establish new collaborative and mutually beneficial partnerships with local stakeholders and partners throughout previously underrepresented states and Territories throughout Australia.
SWADE was launched by ASCCA’s small team of two (spanning from top to bottom of WA) to Community Resource Centres in February 2018 and they have worked tirelessly to spread the word of just how digital literacy can help bring people together and enrich lives since.
Our next available FACE TO FACE and Virtual Digital Mentor Training sessions can be found on Humantix;
If you know anyone who might be interested in attending any of our free #DigitalMentor #Training in either Perth, or online in September 2023 you can book in using these links! More sessions will be scheduled between November 2023 and April 2024, if you have a group of people who would like to undertake this training in one location, please email email@example.com to discuss.
Tuesday 12th September – Centre for Accessibility Australia – Belmont Hub, 213 Wright St, Cloverdale WA
9:00am – 4:30pm
Free full day training delivered across two morning sessions, fully interactive – active camera and microphone required to participate, delivered via Zoom. Participants MUST be available for both sessions.
Wednesday 20th and Friday 22nd September
8:30am – 11:30am both days
If you’re after more information before booking – please email our Lead Digital Mentor – Natika; firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make a time to catch up, or you can book a video link chat with her using the booking system below.
You can also book into any group info sessions or one to one info sessions using this booking system.
ASCCA Director – WA, and former Manager of Walpole Community Resource Centre, Jennifer Willcox (Jenny) has teamed with Natika Hawes-Wright (Tik) former Manager of Kununurra Community Resource Centre to form the driving force behind the initiative. As these ladies know the WA CRC Network so well, having almost 40 years’ experience between them, they are perfectly suited to supporting digital engagement and literacy enhancement on a broad scale throughout Western Australia. Once CRCs are sufficiently engaged to help their communities, the project will expand to Neighbourhood Centres, Aged Care Facilities and Public Libraries.
Since rolling out the Be Connected Capacity Building project in Western Australia, ASCCA has formed partnerships in Western Australia with a number of peak bodies supporting a variety of organisations throughout WA. These include Linkwest, the peak body representing Neighbourhood and Community Resource Centres throughout Western Australia, Mens Sheds WA and the CWA of WA.
ASCCA has successfully delivered on a number of rounds of the Be Connected Capacity Building funding in for organisations throughout WA, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and now Australia wide.
The aim is to build on the successful delivery model from SWADE-WA 2018 and work with organisations across Australia to assist them in their aspirations to support older people in their digital discovery journey and increase the representation of seniors in more states and territories throughout Australia.
While the program is primarily aimed at Seniors, it is also open to any regional Australian disadvantaged by location, culture or health. This opens up a very wide spectrum and is a huge undertaking given the size of Australia, the distances between towns and the sheer remoteness of many communities makes it a challenge to support them all from any one location. While the SWADE and Linkwest teams are located in various locations throughout Australia – they are proficient in delivering a range of information and support via Video Conference.
ASCCA’s Jenny and Be Connected project officer Tik are at opposite ends of Western Australia – Walpole is on the South Coast and Kununurra is in the Kimberley region at the Top End, and Linkwest is based in Perth and also supports centres from Kununurra in the north, to Esperance in the south east and many communities in between, hence a good quality, supported video conferencing service is critical in delivering a quality service to ASCCA and Linkwest members and Be Connected Network Partners.
In this digital age there are still many who are not confident participants in the digital age, and seniors are over-represented in this group. This puts them at risk of digital and social isolation. SWADE’s goal is to work with new and existing partners and networks in order to provide access to capacity building opportunities via a mix of Video Conferencing and face to face support sessions, so that they are better placed to support their community members in a variety of technological needs.
SWADE intends to inspire a generation into being active, confident and safe participants in the digital age, to bridge the digital divide and hopefully encourage them to join a Seniors Computer or Tech Club near them in order to continue learning and embracing technology and all it has to offer.
ASCCA membership can support the ongoing aspiration of centres to support their communities and assist older Australians to become confident, safe and active participants in the digital age.