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Get Online Week 2023 will change lives. Here’s why

"We’ve seen, first-hand, how the kind of events that are held during Get Online Week can turn people’s lives around." CEO of Good Things Foundation, Jessica Wilson.

The countdown is on and we’re excited. In less than a month, we’ll be launching our annual digital inclusion campaign, Get Online Week 2023, nationwide. 

Get Online Week 2023, happening 16-22 October, is Australia’s largest community-led event that focuses on promoting digital inclusion in our older population. 

Right now, more than 500 organisations are busy preparing to host free Get Online Week events that will change the lives of seniors in their community. There’ll be fun events held across Australia in capital cities, regional hubs and rural towns. There’ll be digital workshops, YouTube gardening tutorials, digital photography lessons, smartphone sessions and library meetups to raise awareness about scams prevention. 

“Each year, Get Online Week reaches more than 15,000 Australians in need of digital support, who may otherwise be left behind.” 

A positive social change campaign

Although the 2023 events schedule is shaping up to be incredibly diverse, a common thread will run through all of these events: every participating organisation will play a key role in closing the digital divide. Each year, Get Online Week reaches more than 15,000 Australians in need of digital support, who may otherwise be left behind. 

According to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2023, nearly one in four people are digitally excluded across the nation. We know that many older Australians feel overwhelmed with constant changes happening in technology. Many are struggling to keep up. 

That’s something we want to change. Digital skills and affordable access to the internet are so vital in today’s world that they’ve become human rights. If you can’t get online, you risk being excluded from modern society. You may struggle to access vital online government and health services, pay power bills, shop for food online, find a home to live in and maintain social connectedness. 

“Digital skills and affordable access to the internet are so vital in today’s world that they’ve become human rights.”

The good news is that digital exclusion is something we can fix. We’ve seen, first-hand, how the kind of events that are held during Get Online Week can turn people’s lives around. 

Get Online Week is a positive campaign, fuelled by the strength of communities. Local organisations run local events created to promote local solutions to the digital inclusion barriers that people in their community are facing.

I’d like to thank our Principal Supporting Partner, Telstra, and the Department of Social Services who make Get Online Week possible. I’d also like to thank our 2023 Accessibility Partner, Guide Dogs Australia, and our Financial Inclusion Partner, Bendigo Bank. Together, we are reaching tens of thousands of people in need of digital skills support and shining a light on the importance of digital inclusion for all. 

How to get involved in Get Online Week   

Get Online Week is a whole-of-community experience. So I strongly encourage you to attend one or more local events from 16-22 October. 

As we’ve seen in previous years, everyone has a great time at these events, meeting new people, getting support and learning new skills so that they can navigate the online world, safely and with confidence. 

While you’re there, you can talk to attendees about what getting online means to them or share a cuppa with the volunteers running the event and be part of a national movement. Bring your team, friends or family. Everyone is invited and it’s going to be lots of fun. 

Get behind Get Online Week and help us to make a difference. Together, we can close the digital gap, for good. 

To find out what’s happening and where, visit our Get Online Week events map for more information or call Good Things Foundation Australia on 1300 795 897 for more information.

The opinion piece above was authored by Jessica Wilson, CEO of Good Things Foundation Australia.

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