Newsletter 5-4

Volume 5, Issue 4  September-October, 2021

In this Issue:

  • Resuming Face to Face
  • Get Online Week – YouTube
  • Get Online Week in Person
  • Farewell to Callum

Download as PDF LC Newsletter 5-4

Resuming face to face

Coming out of Lockdown, we are resuming these free Dropin Sessions:

  • Woonona Bulli RSL, Princes Highway Woonona on Thursdays 3pm-4:30
  • Fairy Meadow Community Centre, Guest Park on Fridays 10-11:30am This replaces the session we used to run at iAccelerate on Tuesdays This replaces the Tuesday morning sessions at the Innovation Cmpus
  • From November 15, Unanderra Community Centre, Corner Princes Highway and Factory Rd, on Mondays 1:30-3pm.
  • More soon

As always, anyone wanting help with phones, tablets and laptops should bring their devices with them. Only people who have evidence of full Covid vaccination can attend. If you want help getting your certificate, we will provide it. All our helpers are vaccinated. Please don’t come if you are not well and respect the normal COVID rules.

As we resume face to face, we will stop the Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon Zoom Sessions and the last one on Monday afternoon will be November 8.  We will continue to hold the weekly Zoom help session on Thursdays 10-11am and start one on Tuesday 3-4pm. The Zoom Meeting ID is 921 0743 1729   Passcode 382299

Get Online Week on YouTube

In Get Online Week (October 18-24) we live streamed discussions on our YouTube Channel which were a great success. The final one, “The Digital Landscape in Bangladesh” featured 3 international students who work with us as digital mentors. 17 people attended the live broadcast on October 21 some from Bangladesh and Bangladeshis in other countries and we have had 51 views since. Our team members in lockdown had a great time planning all 5 broadcasts and were really pleased with the response. How about you subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch all these recordings! Topics include The Living Connected Journey, How to find things on a Mac and on a PC. Use this link

Get Online Week in Person

Get Online Week was an opportunity to resume some of our regular in-person Dropin Sessions in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven. Many thanks to the Milton CWA and the Woonona Bulli RSL for allowing us to use their venues under strict COVID restrictions. We hope to open up elsewhere soon.

Living Connected prides itself on providing work experience for Wollongong University graduates while they look for a permanent job. We have mixed feelings when they inevitably get one. Our 2021 Admin Officer, Callum, is off to a great career in Canberra We wish him well and thank him for rising to the challenge of keeping us going in and out of lockdown

Newsletter 5-3

Volume 5, Issue 3  July-August, 2021

In this Issue:
Back in Lockdown
Digital Mentoring Services
Zoom Hosting Service
Our YouTube Channel

Download as PDF LC Newsletter Vol 5 Iss 3

Back in Lockdown

Though it irks us that the Illawarra is considered part of “Greater Sydney”, we remain in lockdown. We are using this time to update our online presence and back of house systems. UOW team members are once again struggling with online learning, and we offer them our support. We have also taken on some new team members looking for something to do online: Mija and Shibin in Wollongong, Lyn in Batemans Bay, and Alden in India who heard about us from one of our interns.

Digital Mentoring Services

For a number of weeks to come we may not be able to offer our face-to-face services, but we will resume our Drop-in help sessions and home visits as soon as allowed. This may start with those in regional areas. Meanwhile, our regular online group sessions on Zoom are becoming popular. Clients can also contact us to book an individual Zoom session with one of our team. Please drop in at any time (details in the email or see

Typical 1 on 1 help in a Zoom breakout room using screen sharing.

Zoom Hosting Service We are still offering a service to help organisations and groups run Zoom meetings.  We can host for you or give you instructions and practice to host yourself. We can also record a session and put it up on our YouTube channel so you can send the link to others, as we did for an online presentation for the National Council of Jewish Women NSW. Click the link to view.

Our YouTube Channel

In “normal’ times our team members (also called digital mentors) get a great deal of joy and satisfaction from helping elders in person.  With only Zoom services while in lockdown we have fewer clients. So, to keep spirits up, team members are creating short video clips introducing themselves for our YouTube Channel (banner and link below).

Use this link and subscribe to our channel

Remember, YouTube belongs to Google so you can sign in to YouTube with your Google (gmail) account.

Newsletter 5-2

       Volume 5, Issue 2  Apr-June, 2021

In this Issue:

IRT Program Completed
Team Changes
Getting back to Normal
We Do Magic Award

Download as PDF LC Newsletter Vol 5 Iss 2

IRT Program Completed

Living Connected has just finished running 3 x 2hour digital training sessions in 20 IRT facilities in the Illawarra, Kiama, Shoalhaven and Southern Sydney. We now look forward to concentrating on our regular program. Thankfully, we completed the last 2 sessions with IRT residents on June 25, the Friday before we went into lockdown. We met some wonderful seniors residing in IRT facilities, including folk at Towradgi Village, one of the smallest, pictured below.  Also below, you see that we were helped by some of our Young Mentors in the April school holidays at IRT Diment Tower: a win-win experience for both learners and mentors.  A big thankyou to our team who helped run almost 60 extra sessions in the last 3 months.

Team Changes

Mid-year means that some of our student helpers graduate and leave us. Here we say farewell to Ridwone , a regular helper at our Unanderra Dropin, off to do a PhD in Queensland. We now take on new interns Harley and Rose and several new UOWx volunteers. Thanks to Naz for the selfie effort.

Getting back to normal

We look forward to spending more time on our regular program of Dropin sessions and home visits. These continue to be popular, helping people with their individual challenges using phones, tablets, laptops and the internet.  We hold three weekly Dropins in the Illawarra and monthly sessions further afield at Albion Park Rail, Nowra, Culburra and Bundanoon. We will soon be starting up Dropins sessions at Lake Conjola and further south in the Eurobodalla. All sessions are free of charge.

We Do Magic Awards

Living Connected was successful at the recent awards presented by the Community Industry Group, an amazing organistion that brings together all the wonderful people who run community programs in the Illawarra.  We were privileged to win the “Terrific Team Effort” category for our Young Mentors program and were a finalist in the “Reinvention and Rejuvenation” and “Friends in Need” categories.  Helen and Sue are here with Omar from iAccelerate and Nicky from CIG.

Newsletter 4-6

Volume 4 Issue 6 December 2020

In this Issue:
Summing up 2020
Group Sessions
Group Zoom Sessions
Digital Mentor Training
Zoom training and hosting
Moving into 2021

Download as a PDF LC Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 6

Drop in Group Sessions
When Living Connected was created, our services followed the model of groups sessions that we started with residents of Sarah Claydon in Milton and the Basin View Mason Village. Those experiences taught us the value of helping elders with problems they were encountering in using their own devices, learning to do new activities, or even deciding on buying a new device.  Our research showed that the seniors were using digital technology to remain independent, keep connected to family and do interesting activities to add meaning to their lives. In 2018 we were fortunate to receive funding through the Federal Government supported Be Connected program. This was on the basis that we offer all our services for free. 

Home Visits
In 2019 Be Connected funded us to develop a home visit service for those who could not get to group sessions. These were popular but labour intensive, requiring more administration and local team members. We stopped these when COVID struck but in the last 2 months, have been able to resume some group and home visit services.

Group Zoom Sessions
When all face-to-face services stopped in March this year, we setup services online.  We found that using Zoom breakout rooms and share screens we could put individual mentor and learner together in a way that was similar to our face-to-face services. This did not suit everyone, but we have been able to reach out to those elders isolated by distance or circumstance. We hope to continue this online service in parallel to face-to-face ones next year.

Digital Mentors Training
We have now completed 3 successful offerings of our Young Mentors Program, delivering online digital-mentors training to high school students. We hope to continue this type of online digital mentor training to people of all ages in outer regional area where we hope to deliver Living Connected service in 2021.

Zoom training and hosting
This year we received State Government funding from the Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors during COVID-19 Grant Program. This funded a program to help individuals and groups run Zoom Meetings and Webinars for all sorts of different reasons. Stories of typical things we did can be found on our website at
With our help this year,  many elders have found out why, how and when to meet online.

Moving into 2021
We have learned this year how important it is to ensure that all members of society are digitally included, particular our elders who often become more isolate as they age. This recognition has meant more attention and support for Living Connected, which has been most gratifying for us. We plan to continue to expand our reach and our services as needed. Our main lesson from this year is just how quickly things can change and we are ready to adapt to whatever 2021 brings.

Newsletter 4-4

Volume 4, Issue 4       June-July, 2020

In this Issue
Rethinking 2020
An Opportunity
Group Zoom Sessions
Young Mentors Update
Hosting Zoom Meetings
Resuming Face to Face

Download as a PDF LC Newsletter Vol 4 Iss 4

Rethinking 2020
Last Newsletter, we were confident that COVID19 was under control and more restrictions would be lifted. However, new outbreaks of the virus in communities on the NSW South Coast have put a dent in that confidence. We will certainly have to adjust to changing circumstances and levels of restrictions for longer than we thought. This will be tough for many, but does make us reconsider our priorities. At Living Connected we help seniors learn digital skills not for their own sake but to improve well-being and quality of life.  This is now more important than ever.

An Opportunity


This image was posted on Twitter by a colleague and sums up a hope expressed by many community organisations like ours. Maybe in the old normal, our society suffered from too much afluenza among decision-makers who are too well-off to appreciate the plight of others. The COVID19 experience has shed a light on those for whom life is a struggle and rely on help to survive. Our leaders are showing a willingness to take advice from experts, put cooperation before competition and re-adjust their priorities. Let’s tell them we like it this way and maybe some of it will last. Communities are complex. Living Connected is based on research into wicked problems that have conflicting agendas and can only be reconciled by acting on the advice of experts, observing what happens, keep going with what works and changing what doesn’t.

Group Zoom Sessions
At Living Connected we are enjoying the learning and friendly discussion at our 5 weekly Zoom sessions. As well as help people with all sorts of digital problems, we teach them how to use apps such as Zoom to stay connected online. We also welcome those who join us at these Zoom sessions just to have a chat, particularly those in isolation or struggling to make sense of all that 2020 has thrown at us. So please contact us for any help using Zoom. Please also encourage others to come to any of the Zoom sessions wherever you are.

Young Mentors Update– our first cohort graduates
The 12 school students in the first online cohort of the Young Mentors Training has now completed the program and is receiving their certificates from the Australian eSafety Commission.  Local recipients Cooper, Hunter and Jordan received their certificates at iAccelerate. from Kim Leach, Helen Hasan and Alex Trauth-Goik. We are now planning to run the same program for a new group of High School students in a couple of weeks.


Online Digital Mentor Training for Regional Areas
Inspired by the success of the online version of the Young Mentors Training program, we are now planning to hold a similar online program for anyone in outer regional areas south of Batemans Bay.  This will start in September so anyone interest please contact us. There will be no charge.

Resuming Face to Face Help
We are still offering some 1 on 1 face-to-face help for seniors under strict COVID19 protocols. Bookings only.