Digital connectivity is increasing in importance, with access to the internet now supporting everything from social interactions to employment and social services. With this in mind we’re using our technology, expertise, scale and local presence to make a difference in the community.
Promoting digital literacy
Being confident and literate with technology is an essential skill in the digital age. This year, our digital literacy portfolio, which consists of our Tech Savvy Seniors program, Telstra Digital Ambassadors and our Cyber Safety Awareness programs, reached more than 59,000 people through face-to-face training as well as the use of instructional videos and guides.
In the past year, we recommitted to our Tech Savvy Seniors partnerships with the New South Wales and Victorian state governments and, for the first time, entered into partnership with the Queensland state government. These partnerships help to increase digital inclusion, reduce social isolation, improve access to government information and services via the internet, and improve awareness and resilience to online fraud and financial abuse.
Supporting victims of domestic violence
In November 2014, we launched Telstra Safe Connections® in partnership with the Women’s Services Network (WESNET) to help women impacted by family violence to stay safely connected to their friends, family, essential services and vital information.
This year we increased our commitment to WESNET, announcing we would provide up to 20,000 smartphones over the next three years, as well as $30 pre-paid starter kits and information on the safe use of technology.
Telstra’s philanthropic arm, the Telstra Foundation believes that combining social innovation with digital connection can transform lives. In FY16, it continued to invest in partnerships with non-profits that are tackling some of the tough issues facing young people today – including reducing youth suicide and improving outcomes for young people living with disability.
Our $8 million, six year partnership with Alannah & Madeline Foundation has been designed to equip libraries and library users with the skills they need for the smart, safe and responsible use of technology. eSmart Libraries is now in almost half of all Australian libraries.
Indigenous Digital Excellence
This year we continued to implement our $5 million, multi-year Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) partnership with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. In April this year, we ran a three day residential IDX National Summit to inform the development of the country’s first Indigenous digital excellence strategy. Through the event participants developed a strategic roadmap including key focus areas to strengthen Indigenous participation, practice and entrepreneurship in the digital economy.
ReachOut Australia’s Orb in action.
In February this year with the support of the Telstra Foundation, ReachOut Australia, launched the Orb – an online interactive game that provides teenagers with tools and strategies to improve and sustain their wellbeing.
The game draws on positive psychology principles and is aligned to the Australian high school curriculum to help young people develop personal strengths, savour positive experiences and strengthen mental wellbeing and resilience. The nationwide launch of the Orb follows a successful pilot trial with teachers and students.