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Working together to bridge the digital divide

TasNetworks has donated 90 laptops to boost learning and connection around Tasmania under a new partnership with Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania.

The laptops which have been retired from TasNetworks' operations will be distributed to eleven Neighbourhood Houses across the state, having first been wiped and repurposed by social enterprise, WorkVentures.

TasNetworks CEO, Seán Mc Goldrick, said rather than disposing of their retired laptops they will help Neighbourhood Houses provide crucial services for Tasmanians.

“We’re proud of our role in providing safe and reliable electricity to Tasmanians and are always looking for ways to support our community and care for the environment,” Seán said

“These laptops have been redeployed from within our business, and will help Neighbourhood Houses to provide even greater support to their community members.

“Community organisations like Neighbourhood Houses are the heart of our community, often providing direct support to people facing a range of challenges, such as digital exclusion,” he said.

While improving, The 2021 Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) suggests Tasmania’s still the most digitally excluded state in Australia, with many people unable to access, afford or effectively use digital technology.

Reflecting on the support from TasNetworks, Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania CEO Michael Gordon said, eleven Houses around Tasmania would benefit from the distribution of the first 90 computers.

“This partnership with TasNetworks couldn’t have come at a better time, with many people still struggling to access technology in their daily lives,” Mr Gordon said

“It’s a great example of what can be achieved when businesses and community organisations work together.

We look forward to continuing to work with TasNetworks to make good use of their refurbished computers to improve services and support for people with limited access to technology,” he said.

Manager of Dunalley-Tasman Neighbourhood House, Jeddah Barwick said, “These laptops will mean we have computers that can digitally bring people together, improve our digital literacy programs, give staff and volunteers access to online training options to make our work more efficient – all improving the House’s capacity to support people our region.”

There are 34 Neighbourhood Houses across Tasmania. Find out more about Neighbourhood Houses here.