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Evaluation of Be Connected: Digital Literacies for Older Australians 

A 3-year research project, funded by Australia's Department of Social Services, in partnership with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and the Good Things Foundation

Be Connected is an Australian Government initiative aimed at increasing the confidence, skills and online safety of older Australians in using digital technology.


Be Connected targets those aged 50 years and over who have minimal or no engagement with digital technology. It adopts a family and community-centred approach to supporting older Australians.


The Social Innovation Research Institute, and Centre for Social Impact Swinburne have been commissioned to evaluate the national rollout of Be Connected and to determine the impact of the program and its ability to improve the digital inclusion of older Australians. The evaluation involes three phases of data collection that explore multiple stakeholders’ perspectives and measure the impact of Be Connected against a baseline of seniors’ digital inclusion, digital skills and social participation. 

Funded Research Projects (Current)

ARC Centre of Excellence for automated decision making and society (2020-2027)

Swinburne Node leader and Chief Investigator

The Australian Digital Inclusion Index (2022-2027)

Telstra, RMIT, Swinburne University of Technology

Responsible AI for Net Zero – An Australia and India Collaborative Approach towards Practice, Governance and Ethics in Energy Futures (2023-2024)

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Activating social connection to address isolation in Australia (ARC Linkage Project, 2022-2024)

Australian Red Cross, Neami National, Casey City Council, City of Whittlesea, Wyndham City Council, Today Design 

Advancing digital inclusion in low income Australian families (ARC Linkage Project, QUT led, 2021-2023)

Project led by Michael Dezuanni, QUT, Partners: The Smith Family, Yourtown, Infoxchange, Good Things Foundation, Leep NGO

Optimising the roles of online communities in rural resilience (ARC Discovery Project, 2020-2022)

SANE Australia, Beyond Blue, Royal Flying Doctors Service, ReachOut, Care Opinion, Dementia Alliance, Murray Voices

Strategic Partnership, Australian Red Cross (Mapping humanitarian Action on Instagram)

Australian Red Cross

Funded Projects (Completed)

Collaborative data analytics exploring family safety outcomes (2021-2022)

Department of Health and Human Services

Measuring and monitoring digital inclusion (2021-2022)

Good Things Foundation Australia

Improve Your Play (2021-2022)

Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Obesity in the news: Machine learning analysis of gender, health, socioeconomic status and stigma (2020)

Parnter: VicHealth

Data for Good Sandpit: Exploring the power of data collaboratives (2020-2021)

Partner: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, Goodcycles, Yooralla, Entertainment Assist, Co-Health

Be Connected Social Impact Evaluation (2017-2020)

Partners: Department of Social Services (Australian Government), Good Things Foundation, Office for the eSafety Commissioner

Free from Violence: Managing Elder Abuse in the Community (Project OPERA)

Partners: Eastern Community Legal Centre and Vic Govt. Department of Health & Human Services

Mapping Public Discusion of Family Violence against Policy (Project SOPHIA)

Partner: Departmern of Premier and Cabinet, Victorian Government

Peer Support Platform for People with Low Vision and Blindness

Partners: Guide Dogs Victoria and DXC technology company

Safety, risk and wellbeing on digital dating apps (ARC Linkage Project)

Partners: Family Planning NSW, ACON Health

Suicidal Thoughts & Self Harm Forum Analysis

Partner: Beyond Blue

60+ Online: Enhancing Social Inclusion through Digital Stories and Social Media

Partners: Telstra, City of Boroondara Council, Knox City Council

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