Promoting digital inclusion

The City of Greater Geelong is spearheading support for the National Year of Digital Inclusion, which aims to get more Australians online.

Australia Post and Infoxchange created the initiative after they noticed the increasing effects of low digital literacy on social and civic connectedness.

They established that, as more services move online, many community members are being left behind in the digital era because of cost, confidence, skill and access to broadband and equipment.
The City of Greater Geelong is supporting the initiative by running a series of events throughout 2016 to help people learn new digital skills.

“We are encouraging organisations to run events to help people learn new digital skills and to include them in Geelong’s National Year of Digital Inclusion calendar of events,” said Councillor Rod Macdonald, Portfolio Holder for Knowledge Economy and Education.

“Our aim in supporting the National Year of Digital Inclusion is to help the people of Geelong learn new skills which will increase their ability to interact with their community and improve their quality of life.

“Increasingly, more government and business services are online, so these organisations need their citizens to be online to access their services.

“Therefore, it is important for all sectors to participate in the Year of Digital Inclusion and help their clients learn the skills needed, or help them gain access to technology.”

Council’s Digital Strategy was rolled out last year and supports digital inclusion by ensuring Geelong has the infrastructure, connectivity, skills, capability and capacity to maximise the benefits of technology.

“Council’s role is as an enabler to create more access to digital services and information for the people that need it,” Cr Macdonald said.

Other tactics to assist with the issue of digital inclusion include free Wifi across Geelong, supporting the set ups of Code Clubs for kids, improving access for Whittington residents through the Communities accessing Technologies project and continued support for events such as Pivot Summit and GovHack.