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Online technology use for community groups.

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Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate



The Minister for Communications, Information Technolog y and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, today urged Australia’s non-profit sector to adopt online technologies as a way of improving services to their members.

‘The internet is not just about business, it can also bring benefits to the non-profit community sector - just as it can to the commercial sector. It can increase efficiency and help to provide better services for members,’ Senator Alston said.

The Minister today launched the publication, Community Groups Online: practical examples of the non-profit sector using electronic networks , which provides examples from ten case studies of non-profit organisations to demonstrate how community groups have already incorporated online technologies into their organisation.

‘All of the organisations agree that electronic technologies have saved them time and administrative expenses. The uses for online technologies are as varied as the non-profit community sector itself,’ Senator Alston said.

Some, like the Queensland Rural Women’s Network and the Barambah Aboriginal Community Care Agency, use email or video and telephone conferencing to provide services to their members quickly and confidentially across great distances.

Others maintain a website to disseminate information about their organisation to members and the public. Some groups, like the Council on the Ageing, provide training and education to members in electronic technologies, enhancing their skills and confidence with the technology.

The Burnt Toast Cyber Café and 200 Gertrude Street are two groups using the internet to help their members find information and assistance for their careers and other needs. 200 Gertrude Street is participating in a program to provide ‘virtual studio residencies’ to emerging artists bringing their work to a potentially enormous audience.

Community Groups Online has been produced by the National Office for the Information Economy in the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Copies are available by calling 02 6271 1041; email or online at .

Media Contact: Terry O’Connor, Minister’s office 02 6277 7480



22 October 1999


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