Outstanding ideas and innovations that promote digital capability in regional and remote communities have been recognised through the 2023 Innovate with NBN Awards.
Delivered by NBN Co, in partnership with the Regional Australia Institute, the Awards support entrepreneurs to develop and deliver innovative projects that make a real difference to their local communities.
The 2023 Award categories include: Arts, Tourism, Agriculture, Health, Education, Indigenous Business and Women in Regional Business. Category winners receive $15,000.
One overall winner – this year going to Observa Care a healthcare service in Armidale – received an additional $20,000. Boosting access to telehealth through the NBN expansion is a great example of the tangible benefits of better connectivity.
Local organisation Living Connected was named the winner of the Education category, for providing free digital mentoring services to seniors using smart phones, tablets, laptops and more recently smart watches and TVs. The program focuses on what individuals want and need to do, not on technology.
The Albanese Government is committed to improving connectivity and digital capability in regional and remote Australia. It has invested $2.4 billion to expand full-fibre NBN access to an additional 1.5 million premises – including more than 660,000 in regional areas – and is upgrading the Fixed Wireless network through a $480 million investment.
Faster broadband speeds enabled by the NBN network is driving productivity and has supported around 169,000 jobs. More than half of this economic uplift is accruing in regional and remote communities.
For more information on the program and to read the full list of finalists visit: Innovate with nbn® Grants Program | nbn (nbnco.com.au)
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Albanese Government is boosting connectivity across regional and remote Australia.
“Part of this is harnessing emerging technology and innovation to help local businesses and communities thrive now, and into the future – and that’s exactly what these projects do.”
“The Award winners are making a real difference to their communities – including Living Connected.
“I look forward to seeing these outstanding projects evolve and enhance digital capabilities.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP
"We know that South Coast businesses are some of the best in the country, and it is absolutely wonderful to see Lake Conjola business Living Connected recognised on the national stage for its work supporting older Australians to live a more connected life.
“Such an important service, and something really needed in a regional area with an older demographic.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen local South Coast businesses recognised under these awards, which is simply fantastic.
“Local organisations, helping local people to close the digital divide – local innovation happening right in our backyard and something to be so proud of.
“Congratulations to the whole team on this fantastic program, and I can’t wait to see the light shine on our next local cutting-edge project.”