NEW WORLD: Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours' Natalia Muszkat assists Sue Churchill, who will take part in the Be Connected campaign to help
NEW WORLD: Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours' Natalia Muszkat assists Sue Churchill, who will take part in the Be Connected campaign to help "digitally exluded" individuals. Matt Taylor GLA151018CONN

Why seniors are encouraged to be connected online

A GOVERNMENT-funded initiative called Be Connected is being rolled out nationally for the first time to help "digitally excluded" individuals get online.

The program is being administered with the help of 1800 volunteer partners across Australia, including the Gladstone City Library, not-for-profit organisation Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours, and National Seniors Gladstone.

Welcoming Intercultural Neighbours executive officer Natalia Muszkat said Be Connected was aimed at allowing older-generation people to become competent online users.

"Think about My Health Record or Centrelink - everything is online and then you have a big group of people who don't know how to do it," Ms Muszkat said.

"The program has an online portal with a lot of resources and modules that will take people through very basic things like what a computer is, a mouse, a keyboard, all the way to using apps and social media.

"We will have computers available with internet connection so people can come and work through the modules."

Retiree Sue Churchill said she planned to take advantage of the services.

"A lot is coming into the world now which wasn't in my day and they're the sort of things they're going to teach us ... I just need to be independent and to be able to do it myself," Mrs Churchill said.

A Be Connected session will be held at the Gladstone Inclusion Centre this Friday from 9-30am to noon, with follow-up opportunities every Friday.



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