Young Mentors to help improve digital literacy for older Australians

The Australian Government has launched an innovative intergenerational program that aims to improve older Australians’ digital skills and knowledge by connecting them with teenagers.

Young Mentors is a free digital mentoring initiative developed by the eSafety Commissioner that supports older Australians to get online while encouraging a greater sense of community and connection through interaction with young people. 

The program involves community organisations or groups partnering with secondary schools to coordinate one-hour mentoring sessions that are delivered weekly over a period of six weeks. The sessions focus specifically on the needs of the older learners.

For older Australians, mentoring can build confidence in using digital technology, which can create a greater sense of independence, provide access to more services and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.   

The program gives young people the opportunity to develop valuable teaching, communication and leadership skills while making a valuable social contribution.

Young Mentors is the latest offering in the Be Connected program, an Australian Government initiative that empowers older Australians to access digital technology and online services. Be Connected is implemented in partnership by the Department of Social Services, the eSafety Commissioner and Good Things Foundation Australia.

To register for Young Mentors or for more information visit esafety.gov.au/beconnectedyoungmentors.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“The Young Mentors program helps bridge the digital divide by connecting two groups that were particularly impacted through the COVID-19 pandemic – older Australians and young people.

“By pairing older Australians with teenagers to build their digital skills and confidence, the program encourages genuine connection between generations while making the online world a safer place we can all enjoy.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP:

"We know older Australians can be vulnerable online and the Be Connected program is one way that seeks to improve the digital literacy of older Australians and protect them in the digital space.

I recently met with the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant who briefed me on this important work.

Young Mentors is a welcome addition to this work and I look forward to working closely with my colleague Communications Minister Michelle Rowland to protect Australians online."

MEDIA CONTACT:  ARLEY BLACK (Minister Rowland) 
E: Arley.Black@mo.communications.gov.au