Bring your own device: Helping locals get online

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Staff at the Warwick Service Centre have found a unique way to help locals at one of the busiest times of the year. They’ve held a BYO device day to teach people how to do their government business online.

People were encouraged to come into the centre with their phones, tablets or laptops. Human Services staff helped them set up their myGov account, link member services and navigate the Centrelink and Medicare apps.

“Some of the areas we service are up to an hour away from the centre. Doing business online saves a lot of our customers’ time and money,’” Warwick Service Centre manager Karen Grant said.

Warwick local, Michael had previously registered for online services, but had never used them because he didn’t have the confidence.

Staff at the Warwick Service Centre were able to guide Michael through the process, and showed him how to apply for an advance payment.

“He was happy to have staff on hand to show him how our online services work,” Karen said.

“I think it’s important for the community to know there is help available.”

Warwick local, Michael learning new online skills

This time of year is especially busy for families who get family assistance payments like Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Subsidy. Payments are balanced at the end of financial year by comparing a family’s income estimate with what they actually earned in a year to make sure they were paid the right amount.

“For some families, the end of the financial year is the only time they need to contact us,” Karen said.

“By holding this event in July, we were able help these customers get set up online so they didn’t need to visit us in person or spend time on the phone.”

A lot of locals think they don’t have the right skills to do their business online, but Karen’s confident with a little coaching, they’ll be tech savvy in no time.

“If you can use Facebook, you have all the skills you need,” Karen said.

This is the second successful BYO device day Karen has run at Warwick. The next event will be held on 23 September 2019.

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