Telstra to help retailers target new consumer group

By Patrick Avenell

Telstra has announced a $100,000 investment to train senior Australians in mobile phone and internet use. This is important for retailers, who can benefit by expanding their consumer base to include this traditionally technophobic group.

The $100,000 grant will be given to the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association’s (ASCCA) 130-plus affiliated computer clubs by the Telstra Connected Seniors program. Telstra estimates that over 40,000 older Australians are set to benefit from this grant. This could effectively mean another 40,000 people, previously unexposed or reticent about new technologies, will become first-time customers of mobile phones, computers and internet services.

"ASCCA and Telstra Connected Seniors share the common ambition to provide support for older Australians wanting to learn about mobile and internet communications in an encouraging and supportive environment," said Telstra executive director Mike Robey.

The ASCCA was originally formed in 1998 as a way of assisting communities around Australia form computer clubs that will specifically assist seniors in technology education.

"What we’ve learned is that seniors learn at their own pace, and in their own way,” said ASCCA founder Nan Bosler. “Our trainers keep all this in mind when they hold a computer workshop or activity. The ASCCA philosophy is that if you gain a new computing skill then you pass it on to the other people in your club."

This investment in the ASCCA forms part of Telstra’s wider Connected Seniors program, which is “a three-year $3 million program created to held older Australians learn more about new technology,” according to Robey.

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