Toowoomba Region seniors are being encouraged to take advantage of a new round of lessons explaining handy technology tips to stay connected in the digital age. Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said a $15,000 State Government grant was allowing Council to roll out a series of training sessions through the Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland program in conjunction with Telstra. The Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland Program is a partnership between the Queensland Government (headed by the State Library of Queensland) and Telstra.

“Digital and computer skills might be second nature to many people today, but there is a real sense of frustration and exclusion for those who have little confidence or no knowledge in this area,” Mayor Antonio said. “Staying in touch with family and friends, using library resources or performing business transactions can be a rewarding and convenient process today providing people know how to use the technology available. Council appreciates the State Government’s financial assistance and the ongoing support of Telstra that allows us to train seniors and reduce social isolation around our region.”

The program comes stems from a set of corporate council goals which includes improving digital literacy.

Telstra’s Principal for Strategy and Inclusion, Michael Parks, said Tech Savvy Seniors is part of Telstra’s commitment to helping all Australians enjoy the benefits of being connected and engaged with digital technology. “Telstra’s 2018 Australian Digital Inclusion Index research found age is a significant influence on digital inclusion in Queensland. Queensland seniors, or those aged over 65, are our most digitally excluded group. Tech Savvy Seniors is a way to help address that,” Mr Parks said. “Being confident in digital technologies can help break down social barriers, save money, and open up new learning and engagement opportunities for Queenslanders in their golden years.”

Toowoomba Regional Council Library and Cultural Services portfolio leader Cr Joe Ramia said the grant allowed Council’s Toowoomba Region Libraries branch to schedule free classes across all of the region’s libraries throughout the year. “Classes are being held at Crows Nest, Highfields, Toowoomba City Library, Oakey, Pittsworth, Goombungee, Yarraman and Clifton libraries in May and June. These locations and Quinalow, Cecil Plains and Millmerran libraries will host ongoing sessions in the coming months,” Ramia said. “This latest round of education programs builds on previous successful sessions involving several hundred residents who used the Telstra Tech Savvy Seniors training resources. Instruction will cover how to access the internet, using email, connecting via social media and tips for using tablet and smartphone devices.

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