Key partnership to improve digital literacy for older Tasmanians

Published on
18 October 2019

COTA Tasmania and Aurora Energy have established a partnership in a bid to empower older Tasmanians with the knowledge and skills to more confidently engage in the digital world.

Aurora Energy is investing in COTA Tasmania’s delivery of 12 Information Technology (IT) help and information sessions across metropolitan and regional Tasmania until June 2020, supporting Tasmanians over 50 years of age in learning or enhancing their digital skills.

COTA Australia’s Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) 2019, showed that Tasmanians aged 65+ recorded the lowest score (45.1) of all ADII age cohorts. The score for this age group was 13.0 points lower than the state average (58.1) and 2.9 points lower than the national 65+ age group average (48.0).

The information and help sessions are tailored to the needs of older Tasmanians and the specific needs of participants.  The aim is to work one-to-one in a non-judgmental environment to build confidence in using contemporary digital technology.

COTA Tasmania CEO Sue Leitch says access to information is an important human right in today’s society.

“With a growing range of education, information, government and community services moving online, internet access is increasingly regarded as an essential service,” Ms Leitch said.

“The benefits of the digital economy cannot be shared when some members of the community are still facing real barriers to online participation and this is certainly the case for many older Tasmanians.

“We thank Aurora for assisting COTA Tasmania to deliver this important program that will be of significant benefit to many community members.”

Aurora Energy CEO Rebecca Kardos said the energy retailer had a strong focus on supporting initiatives to help all Tasmanians navigate a rapidly-changing technology landscape.

“We want to support digital inclusion for all Tasmanians, especially as Aurora Energy moves towards embracing new technology to communicate with customers to meet changing expectations, as well as expand our digital product offering and services,” Mrs Kardos said.

All sessions are free and will be provided by COTA Tasmania’s peer education team, many who are volunteers specially recruited and extensively trained to be part of this program. Sessions will be held at COTA Tasmania’s Hobart office and in the community where appropriate.