The idea of the Tech Savvy Elders Program was conceived when it was realised that minimal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were attending Telstra’s Tech Savvy Seniors Program.
“We want to ensure that seniors have the opportunity to receive training to suit their needs so that they don’t get left behind, particularly those from diverse backgrounds and living in regional and remote communities,” Minister for Aging John Ajaka says.
Prior to the launch of the program, Telstra’s Chief Customer Officer, Gordon Ballantyne said that Tech Savvy Elders would run in community settings so that Elders could explore and connect with technology in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere.
“We’re committed to helping seniors make the most of the opportunities for connection that new technology offers,” he says.
“Whether it’s online shopping, paying bills, holiday planning or social media to keep connected with the grandchildren, the workshops will help seniors enjoy the benefits of being online.”
The program also gave elders a new perspective on learning. While they are traditionally the teachers, they became the students.
“For us, really changing the traditional model of teaching and learning where elders teach our young people, in this case our young people are actually the experts,” Programs Manager at the NCIE, April Long says.
“We teamed (some young people) up with an elder and we had a really good turnout. We had 14 elders from the community and then 14 young people from NCIE’s after school program.”
Adult Learners Week celebrates the pathways of learning and the exciting places it can lead you no matter what the age or stage of life.
The Tech Savvy Elders Program was launched as part of the NSW Aging Strategy. Through a partnership between the NSW State Government and Telstra, the program has been incredibly successful at delivering free or low cost training to thousands of older people at more than 70 local libraries and community colleges throughout NSW.