George Town partnership for digital disadvantage

George Town partnership for digital disadvantage

George Town Council has partnered with South32 TEMCO to address digital disadvantage during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic through the provision of funding to local schools and the George Town library for the purchase of digital devices and IT connections.

This response has been directly focused on addressing three factors associated with social and economic disadvantage within the community namely low incomes, low educational attainments for students and for seniors, increased social isolation.

Principals from Port Dalrymple School, South George Town Primary School and Star of the Sea School identified the resources required to meet the needs of those students experiencing disadvantage through the ‘digital divide’, as well as those whose learning outcomes would be compromised due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The George Town Community Hub, which includes our library services, identified the value of e-readers for senior library members as a way of maintaining social and literary connections, as well as increasing the digital literacy of this group.

As students return to school over the coming weeks they will continue to be supported by this investment, which also includes a range of hard copy materials directly related to increasing learning outcomes.

Laptops for students and the e-readers for senior library borrowers experiencing social isolation, or who are unable to attend the library due to medical conditions, will be managed on a loan basis, thus providing an ongoing legacy resource across the George Town Municipality.

“We thank South32 TEMCO for its valuable contribution to this important community initiative. We also thank the George Town Future Impact Leadership Table (FILT) for its support in providing information, through its membership and data sets, for an evidence based and targeted response.
The FILT’s strong collaborative framework and collected community voice meant that we were quickly able to identify the support required during these challenging times for the George Town community” said General Manager Shane Power.

The FILT is currently in discussion with the Premier’s office regarding a whole of community digital access project which has been developed with the objective of increasing the capabilities of community members as we rapidly move into a more digitalised world.

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