MINISTER for Ageing Andrew Constance has announced seniors in the Snowy Mountains could be set to benefit from a new partnership between Telstra and the NSW government to roll out the Tech Savvy Seniors training program to encourage more seniors to embrace technology.
"By partnering with Telstra we are able to extend the reach of the Tech Savvy Seniors program to older Australians and ensure no one gets left behind," he said.
"Giving seniors the confidence and skills to use technology is important so that they are able to participate in the digital community and economy."
The Tech Savvy Seniors program is a key initiative of the NSW Ageing Strategy and aims to help bridge the gap between those seniors who use technology and those who are yet to embrace it.
In NSW, just 53 per cent of older people have internet access at home and in regional areas across the nation this drops to 49 per cent.
With 16 per cent of Snowy Mountains residents aged 65 and over, including those in Cooma and Bombala, the potential number of locals who could benefit from the program is high.
Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for Southern NSW and ACT, Chris Taylor, said Telstra was committed to ensuring all Australians enjoy the benefits of being connected and helping everyone in our community understand and benefit from technology goes to the heart of what Telstra stands for.
"New communication technology presents wonderful opportunities - such as staying in touch with family, friends and making new friends through social media. The convenience of smartphones and computers connected to Telstra's wireless or broadband network means access to online shopping, paying bills and banking, planning holidays and connection to the wider community has never been easier," Mr Taylor said.
The program includes ensuring libraries and community colleges throughout NSW are better equipped to support more senior Australians with more face-to-face training, self teach videos and DVDs and other training content.
"We will also be driving large scale training with a particular focus on regional and rural areas," Mr Taylor added.
The Tech Savvy Seniors program provides low cost or free training through community colleges to older people. It will cover courses on computers, tablets and smartphones which promote social connections, easier access to information and improve wellbeing.
To find out more about the Tech Savvy Seniors program and to view the NSW Ageing Strategy visit www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/ageing.