Helping Blacktown seniors stay connected this summer

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Australian Government is helping senior citizens to stay connected to their families, friends and communities over the summer holidays, providing more than $9,000 in funding and IT equipment for seniors’ broadband kiosks in the electorate of Greenway.

Senator the Hon. Marise Payne today visited Sydwest Multicultural Services Inc in Blacktown, which has received $2,360 in funding for training and internet connection costs, as part of the Broadband for Seniors initiative.

“Broadband for Seniors kiosks provide free access to computers, the internet and basic training to help seniors build their confidence and skills in using new technology,” Senator Payne said.

“The initiative will help senior citizens in Blacktown and surrounding suburbs in Greenway to stay connected to loved ones through social media and other communication channels and provide training on internet safety, fraud and scams.”

The funding is part of a $6.1 million program being rolled out nationally, comprising $3 million for 1,500 new touch screen computers, $2.6 million for training for about 1,300 kiosks and $500,000 to help community organisations cover the cost of internet connections.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting and empowering communities, and their volunteers,” Senator Payne said.

“The kiosks are a great way for senior Australians to stay connected with their families and friends as well as give them the chance to indulge in their hobbies.

“Many of the kiosks are located where seniors regularly visit such as community centres, aged care facilities, libraries and clubs to help keep them linked with their communities.

“Other funding recipients in Greenway include the Sargents Centre for People with Disabilities in Blacktown, Sam Lane Community Complex in Riverstone, Seventh Day Adventist Aged Care in Kings Langley, and UnitingCare Ageing Mullauna Lodge Hostel in Blacktown.

“We have heard first-hand how important these kiosks are to senior Australians with more than 405,000 people using them over the past five years.”