A free training program designed to connect seniors with the online world has helped Capella’s Marie Roebig step out of her comfort zone and into the 21st century.
Just a few months ago Marie and her husband, who owns his own electrical business, were still paying their bills with cheques.
But now Marie can navigate online banking, shopping and even social media.
‘I paid three bills online the other day,’ she said.
‘I said to myself, ‘I’ve just got to do this’. I was so proud.’
Marie participated in the recent Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland Program, a joint initiative of the state government and Telstra, facilitated by the Central Highlands Regional Council.
The program aims to encourage more seniors to embrace information technology through the delivery of training, including courses on the use of email, social media, smartphones and tablets, cyber safety and internet banking.
Over the past two months, hands-on training sessions have been run weekly in Capella, the Sapphire Gemfields and Emerald.
‘I felt left out so I thought I better update by skills,’ Marie said.
‘And I’m so glad I did, I’ve learnt a lot more than I thought I would and now I can say I’m savvy.’
Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes said it was fantastic to see locals embracing the program and getting connected.
‘Having these skills means our seniors can connect with their friends and family, access important information and services, conduct personal business easily and build resilience against online fraud,’ he said.
‘Digital inclusion is paramount in this day and age, particularly in regional and rural areas where people often feel isolated. We’re very fortunate to have been able to offer this training and I hope we can continue to do so in the future.’