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Senior Australians receive access to free online eSafety courses

The Federal Government has invested in free daytime webinar courses for older Australians to improve their online skills during the current pandemic.

This training will be a vital tool for older Australians who are switching to online services more and more as the epidemic restrictions continue. [Source: Shutterstock]
This training will be a vital tool for older Australians who are switching to online services more and more as the epidemic restrictions continue. [Source: Shutterstock]

The "Be Connected" initiative aims to empower all older Australians in developing their digital skills as they turn to the internet to remain connected with their loved ones and access online services.

Professional eSafety Commissioner trainers will be hosting the courses and provide guidance to online skills and building confidence in using telehealth services, doing video chats, and undertaking shopping and banking online.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said in a joint statement that the online training will be available for around four million older Australians aged 65 and older.

“With the Federal Government urging people aged over 70 to stay at home and limit face-to-face contact, the internet can be a lifeline,” says Minister Colbeck.

“But many Australians in this age group are not always confident using digital technology.

“Older Australians don’t need to leap into the digital world by themselves. Family members can be their digital mentors, using Be Connected and joining in the webinars.”

Minister Colbeck added that this training will be a vital tool for older Australians who are switching to online services more and more as the epidemic restrictions continue.

Classes started this week with key topics around remaining connected while social distancing rules are in place.

Some of the classes include:

  • Video chatting with family, friends and health professionals

  • Ordering groceries and other shopping essentials online for home delivery

  • Carry out everyday tasks online and accessing essential services

  • Accessing Federal Government information updates and the Coronavirus Australia app

Working with Scamwatch, the eSafety Commissioner has integrated information and advice about current scams into the webinar classes.

Minister Fletcher says the eSafety classes will prepare older Australians for online problems they may experience.

“The online world can often be daunting for senior Australians but it needn’t be,” says Minister Fletcher.

"These online courses offer practical advice to empower users to navigate online services that support their daily needs."

The webinar classes are funded through the Federal Government's $47 million Digital Literacy for Older Australians initiative that was launched in 2017 for older people to get comfortable and develop their digital literacy skills.

If interested in participating for the webinar classes, register on the Be Connected website or for help setting up the webinars, contact the Be Connected support line on 1300 795 897.

For more information about the coronavirus, visit the Aged Care Guide's COVID-19 update page. 

Do you have any questions about the coronavirus that you want answered? Tell us in the comments below or email journalist@dps.com.au.

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