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Grant Guidelines - Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland

Table of contents:


Many older Australians are at greater risk of being digitally excluded in an ever increasing online and digitally connected world. Seniors represent a large and growing segment of the Australian population.

Seniors are important consumers of government, business and social services, which are increasingly delivered online, however only 47% of Australian seniors are online or connected to the internet. The two main inhibitors to senior’s online engagement and participation is the lack of skills and confidence in using the internet, and being confused about technology. In their digital exclusion, many seniors feel “cut off,” “left behind,” and “fearful of the future” because they lack an essential life skill for operating in the digital world.

The Queensland population aged 65 and older increased from 320,000 in 1991 to 580,000 people in 2011, and is predicated to grow between 1.3 to 1.4 million by 2036 and 2.0 to 2.6 million by 2061*. The Australian Digital Inclusion Index report released in August 2016 ranks Queensland sixth out of the eight states and territories. The Queensland data in the report points to several groups of people who are the least digitally included in their state, and seniors aged 65+ were third  highest on this list after Indigenous Queenslanders.

Telstra’s Tech Savvy Seniors (TSS) program was designed to support older people get connected, and participate in the ever increasing online world, with the real objective of increasing digital inclusion amongst the ageing, and helping reduce social isolation.

Telstra has partnered with State Governments to deliver TSS training in New South Wales, Victoria, and more recently Queensland. The Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland (TSSQ) program is a partnership between the Queensland Government, led by State Library of Queensland, and Telstra that is enabling seniors (60 plus), particularly those in regional and remote areas of Queensland, the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence to use technology.

*Figures taken from the Queensland Government’s Queensland: an age-friendly community Strategic direction statement

About the program

The Program aims to encourage more seniors to embrace information technology by delivering training for seniors through selected public libraries across Queensland. By participating in the Program, it is expected that seniors will be supported to get connected and participate in the online world, with the objective of increasing digital inclusion, helping reduce social isolation, increasing access to government information and services via the internet, and improving awareness and resilience to online fraud and financial abuse.

Helping older people to use technology supports them to remain active and independent members of the community. The uptake of technology by older people over the past five years has been much slower than for younger age groups. The Program aims to increase seniors’ use of technology and improve their digital literacy.

Public libraries across Queensland will be selected based on an application process. The free training program will include courses on the use of computers, tablets and smartphones – to promote social connections and facilitate easier access to information, which can improve wellbeing. It is envisaged the training will be fun, hands-on, and designed to assist seniors with ‘everyday’ online tasks relating to shopping, banking, business, communication and recreation.

Role of public libraries

Queensland public libraries and IKCs are an important all-age friendly community resource provided by Councils which support intergenerational cohesion through diverse activities and programs that promote literacy, social inclusion and lifelong learning.

Public libraries provide a welcoming, safe environment to exchange knowledge, information and culture across many generations and they play a key role in the digital literacy learning ecology. They provide an informal, non-academic and non-judgmental environment for everyone in the community, including seniors, to learn, play and create.

The TSSQ program is lifting the profile and value of public library services for seniors and this supports Councils to explore effective ways to plan for positive ageing in their communities.

Program resources

In addition to the grant funding, successful applicants will be provided with TSSQ training and promotional materials.

The training materials contain a presenter’s guide plus 19 learner/participant/trainee guides that cover a range of essential digital literacy topics from introducing people to the internet and email, through to teaching about online shopping and banking, cyber safety and social media.  

The training guides are categorised into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, and are designed to be used as part of separate training sessions delivered to trainee groups falling into those categories. It is expected each session would last approximately two hours (with some exceptions), and successful applicants can customise the training they deliver to reflect the particular needs of the participants.

Beginners training guides

  2. Introduction to computers
  3. Introduction to the internet - Part 1
  4. Introduction to the internet - Part 2
  5. Introduction to email - Part 1
  6. Introduction to cyber safety
  7. Introduction to online shopping and banking - Part 1
  8. Introduction to social media - Part 1
  9. Introduction to tablets
  10. Introduction to tablets - iPads
  11. Introduction to tablets - Android
  12. Introduction to smartphones
  13. Managing your internet costs

    Intermediate training

  14. Introduction to email - Part 2
  15. Introduction to email - Part 3
  16. Introduction to the internet - Part 3
  17. Sharing photos and other attachments online
  18. Introduction to social media - Part 2

    Advanced training

  19. Introduction to online shopping and banking - Part 2
  20. Introduction to social media - Part 3

The program has the following 5 Quick Reference Training Guides available in English and 11 other languages - Hindi, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Dari, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Greek, Macedonian, Croatian and Italian.

  1. Introduction to computers
  2. Introduction to the internet
  3. Introduction to email
  4. Introduction to social media
  5. Introduction to tablets

Telstra also provides a range of online ‘self-teach’ videos including 16 Auslan interpreted videos, covering topics such as social networking, internet security, email, online shopping, setting up wireless networks, using a tablet and using e-book readers.

Applicant eligibility

All Queensland Councils which operate a public library service or an Indigenous Knowledge Centre are eligible to apply for grant funding.


Collaboration with community groups, organisations, businesses and not for profits that provide support or deliver services to seniors in your community will be viewed favorably. Applicants will be able to upload letters of support to their online application.


Council library services (Applicant) can apply for Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland grant funding of up to $15 000

Eligible program costs

Library services may use the grant funding for the following purposes:

  • Trainer/facilitator expenses (including external trainer costs, or staff costs if staff are delivering the training sessions);
  • Advertising and promotion of training sessions (up to a maximum of 10% of the total grant amount);
  • Printing of Training Guides and Quick Reference Guides for use in training sessions;
  • Other expenses incidental to the delivery of the program.

Application assessment

The Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland Working Group (Working Group includes representatives from State Library, Telstra, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland, Queensland Public Library Association (QPLA) and Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ)) will be responsible for reviewing all grant applications and will have full discretion to approve applications according to the assessment criteria below.

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be required to provide responses in the online grant application based on the assessment criteria listed below. When assessing the applications, the Working Group will be looking at the following key requirements:

  1. Local Government location;
  2. Population of older adults 65+ (Locate data for your area from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, Queensland Regional Profiles);
  3. Community need for the program;
  4. Community partnerships;
  5. Engaging with target groups such as culturally and linguistically diverse groups Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups, Women’s groups (for example the CWA) and Men’s groups (for example Men’s Shed);
  6. Access to digital technology;
  7. The estimated number of seniors who will participate in the program and the estimated training cost per-person, and;
  8. The overall level of funding request.

Each of the criteria listed above will be given the following weighting in the assessment process.

1. Local Government location Urban, regional, rural or remote Queensland 10%
2. Population 65+ The population of the Council area who are 65+ as stated in the Queensland Governments Statistician’s Office, Queensland Regional Profiles. 10%
3. Community need Extent to which the program is likely to result in significant outcome(s) for seniors in the community. 20%
4. Community partnerships Extent to which the program fosters new or builds on existing collaborations and partnerships between community groups and other key senior service providers. 20%
5. Engaging with target audience groups Extent to which the program aims to engage with target groups in the community. 15%
6. Estimated number of participants and cost per head The estimated number of seniors that will be able to participate based on the funding requested. 15%
7. Access to digital technology That there is sufficient access to digital technologies needed to deliver the program – computers, laptops, tablets, robots and the internet. 10%


Applications will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application. Unsuccessful applicants may request feedback on their application. There is no course for applicants to appeal the results of the assessment process or the decisions made in awarding grants. State Library will make publicly available the results of this grant round on websites and in media.

How to apply

Applications can be completed and submitted online. Councils should submit one application only which may cover one or more library service points within the Council area.

Joint applications across one or more Council areas will be accepted if evidence of collaboration is provided with the application.

All applicants must use the grant application form available from 27 February 2017 to 31 March 2017.

There is no guarantee of approval at any stage of the application process.

Application process and timelines*

Announcement of grants Week of 20 February 2017
Grant applications open 27 February 2017
Grant applications close 18 April 2017
Grant assessment process Week of the 3 April 2017
Successful applicant notification Week of 10 April 2017
Grant agreements sent Week of 10 April 2017
Grant agreements signed by Council due 21 April 2017
Grant announcements Week of 1 May 2017
Grant payments Week of 24 April 2017
*Grant acquittal due 31 January 2018

These dates may change without consultation or notice.

*Extensions to this date may be negotiated under exceptional circumstances and by agreement with State Library.


The Queensland Government collects and collates information from the application form to evaluate applications for the program. Only authorised departmental officers and approved grant assessors have access to this information.

Applicants should note that broad details of successful proposals, agreed outcomes, progress and the level of funding awarded may be published by the Queensland Government. Some information may be used to promote funded projects.

Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law or for the purposes of Information Privacy Act 2009.

For audit purposes, the Queensland Government is required to retain the applications and other supplied support material.

The provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 apply to documents in the possession of the Queensland Government.

Grant Agreement

Successful applicants will enter into a grant agreement with State Library which will detail the obligations of both parties and the agreed timelines for delivery and acquittal of the project.

The grant payment will be made in one lump sum to the applicant within 28 days of receipt of a signed Grant Agreement from successful applicants. Grant payments do not attract GST.

Funding provided under this grant program is not recurrent funding and success in this grant process does not provide any ongoing funding for the applicant.

Reporting requirements

Successful applicants will need to report quarterly and provide a final report at the end of the Program period. At the end of each quarter, successful applicants will need to submit a spreadsheet that contains the following information.

  • The number of training sessions offered to date;
  • The number of seniors who participated in each training session;
  • How you promoted the training;
  • Who did you work collaboratively with;
  • Feedback from participants, and
  • Funds spent to date.

Successful applicants will also be encouraged to be creative in their reporting by using visual tools such as short videos made by participants and library staff during TSSQ sessions.

Successful applicants will be provided with a link to an evaluation form that participants will be asked complete after they have finished their training session. NOTE: completing the evaluation form is optional for participants.

Successful applicants must provide an acquittal report which will be formalised in the Grant Agreement (on a template supplied by State Library) no later than 1 month after the completion of the project.

Funding acknowledgement

Grant recipients must acknowledge Telstra and the Queensland Government’s financial assistance to the project in the manner described on the funding and grants - funding acknowledgement webpage.

As a minimum, publicity material relating to the approved project must include the following words:

The Tech Savvy Seniors Queensland program has been funded by Telstra and the Queensland Government through State Library of Queensland.

If the applicant holds a local event in conjunction with the project (e.g. local launch, announcement, celebration or other public event) Council is required to extend an invitation to (at a minimum):

  • Queensland State Government Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business;
  • CEO/State Librarian, State Library of Queensland.

Showcasing excellence

State Library is committed to recognising and celebrating excellence in library innovation, and fostering a learning culture that supports sharing best practice.

All grant recipients will be required to share information about their projects which may include one or more of the following ways:

  • Reports and written case studies published on Public Libraries Connect website;
  • Short video clips created by participants and library staff;
  • Write blog posts for the Public Libraries Connect blog;
  • Presentations to library professionals at physical or online forums to showcase funded projects (attendance and travel costs are not funded by State Library).

NOTE: Case studies and articles written may also be used by Telstra to promote the Program in Queensland.

For further information contact:

Phone: (07) 3842 9058

Last updated
7th April 2017