Keeping more older Australians safe online with Be Connected

The Albanese Labor Government is ensuring older Australians can confidently and safely use the internet and digital technology, through an extension to the Digital Literacy for Older Australians program – known as Be Connected.

Be Connected has helped more than two million Australians. Our Government has provided $42 million over the next four years to extend the in-person support offered under the program and resources available on the Be Connected website to June 2028.

Good Things Foundation will deliver the grants program and continue to support more than 3800 local community organisations that deliver Be Connected training.

The eSafety Commissioner will continue to develop online resources to engage learners and grow the Young Mentors program, an intergenerational initiative enabling secondary school students to take on the role of digital mentors.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the delivery model for the Be Connected program is particularly effective in targeting older learners because it offers both in person and online support.

“Our Government is proud to support the Good Things Foundation. Being able to confidently use digital devices and safely navigate the internet is a necessary skill,” Minister Rishworth said.

“Many Australians who are 50 or older now find themselves in a world where most services and communication are accessed online and we want to ensure they are equipped with the skills they need to navigate those services.

“Delivering free one-on-one and small group sessions in local communities all over the country, the Be Connected program makes learning about the virtual world accessible for older Australians.”

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland says digital literacy skills promote inclusion.

“Digital inclusion is not a privilege – it is a necessity. That’s why it is a priority for the Albanese Government,” Minister Rowland said.

“We want to ensure all Australians - regardless of age, postcode or circumstance - can take advantage of the digital world.

“The Be Connected program supports older Australians to connect, engage and navigate the online world safely, with confidence and the help of young digital natives.”

In addition to in-person support, the eSafety Commissioner manages the Be Connected online learning portal, which includes more than 200 courses to help improve digital literacy.

A social return on investment analysis, completed as part of the 2020 Be Connected impact evaluation, found the program generated $4 in social value for every $1 invested by the Government.

More information on the Be Connected program is available on the Department of Social Services website.