To help communities and Canberrans at risk of social isolation, $487,000 worth of projects have been funded to build technological capacity and improve digital connection across the ACT.
Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services Emma Davidson said that the Technology Upgrade Fund will build resilience across the community, particularly those at risk of social isolation and crises including the pandemic and natural disasters, such as older Canberrans, people with disability, multicultural communities, LBGTQIA+ community members, and First Nations people.
“Strong, connected communities are those where everyone can participate, access the information, and support they need. As our world becomes more digital, those in our community who have less access to technology often face greater feelings of isolation, disconnectedness, and loneliness,” Minister Davidson said.
“The Technology Upgrade Grants build technological capacity and access across community organisations and individuals to ensure those most at risk of loneliness, such as older Canberrans, people with disability and culturally and linguistically diverse people, will be better connected and supported across the ACT.
“The grant initiative was developed in line with the ACT Government’s Digital Strategy and aims to support a Canberra that is inclusive, progressive, connected, and open to all. Our world is becoming increasingly reliant on digital information and service delivery, and we want to make sure we leave nobody behind.
“In the event of a natural disaster such as bushfires, floods or storms, or having to suddenly shift to working from home, it’s our community sector who are often the first to respond and a critically important source of information for our community. These grants support our community sector to be prepared for increased use of digital technology to deliver information and services in those situations.”
Under this grant program, 66 community organisations and individuals have been funded including:
- East African Community Association – training aimed at reducing cyber-bullying of young people;
- Spinal Cord Injuries Australia – upgrade to support telehealth and online learning for people with spinal/neuro conditions in ACT;
- Implement an innovative music recording upgrade program suitable for use by sight impaired people and others; and
- Reinvigorate several community organisations’ websites to be more accessible, friendly, engaging and improve connectivity.
For a full list of grant recipients visit https://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/community/grants