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Mar 23

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The Australian Government has committed $15 million over three years (2008-2011) to provide free access to computers, broadband services and training to seniors by creating approximately 2,000 senior internet kiosks nation-wide. These kiosk services will be delivered nationally through local community organisations or in any suitable public place that services seniors, which would include many Australian Apple User Groups.

With only one in five Australians over the age of 65 years currently using the internet, the Seniors Internet Kiosks are intended to:

  • provide seniors with free access to computers and broadband internet
  • support seniors to gain confidence to use new technology by providing free online training and individual and workshop training
  • address the issue of seniors feeling isolated and ‘left behind’ in a technological age and
  • build community participation and social inclusion among seniors.

Successful applicants to become Kiosk Hosts will be provided with;

  • two NEC PCs running Windows Vista
  • two desks
  • three chairs (one each for the Kiosk computers and the third for the tutor)
  • an ADSL router with WiFi (Wireless networking)
  • a broadband internet service for the duration of the project
  • appropriate cables and adaptors to connect the router to a existing phone line
  • various manuals for the setup of the equipment and training guides for the tutors

Kiosk Hosts are to supply the phone line – usually you can piggy back off an existing phone or fax service.
They are also provided with marketing material to promote the Kiosk to thier local community – which can also be incorporated into your own marketing material once you have the Kiosk up and running.

Although the supplied computers are NEC Powermate P6000 running Windows Vista and Kiosk sites are expected to have volunteers available to teach the use of Internet Explorer and the WordPad application, Apple User Groups may still be interested in providing a Kiosk at their club premises as a way to encourage more visitors through their doors and thus expose them to the other services and activities you may conduct.

After all, as a Kiosk Host you are only obligated to provide access to the kiosks for a minimum of 20 hours per week… and the rest of the time you can have your regular club activities – or better still have the club activities running at the same as the Kiosk is open (as long as the Kiosk in a quite location that won’t disturb your activities and your activities won’t disturb the Kiosk users.

Alternatively, if your group utilises the premises of another community focused organisation like a church hall or community center, you may wish to advise their leaders about the Broadband for Seniors project so they can apply themselves… and there is nothing stopping you from asking to some of your publicity material offering expanded assistance on other computer topics on display near by (you should ask for this anyway 🙂 )

If your organisation would like to apply to open a kiosk or for more information, contact the Broadband for Seniors hotline on 1300 795 897 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, AEST/AEDT, except on Public Holidays) or go to the Broadband for Seniors website.

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