Hamilton helping locals get online

siz people standing around a computer smiling

Department of Human Services staff in Hamilton have been working together with local Hamilton organisations to help members of the community understand how to make the most of the department’s digital services.

Staff from the department as well as representatives from organisations including St Vincent de Paul, Brotherhood of St Laurence and accountants Brewster Walsh attended a special digital services event last month

Mary Ezard, a staff member from Hamilton and the event organiser, says it will help people access services more easily by highlighting the digital options available to them.

“With the growing trend of people managing their affairs online, the department’s self-service options allow people to do much of their routine government business where and when it suits them,” Mary said.

“At the event, I went over all the features of our self-service options including Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support online accounts, Express Plus mobile apps, phone self service, the tools on our website like Payment Finder and more.”

Mary also took advantage of the event to explain more about the advantages of using myGov.

“Moving to myGov means you can access all your online accounts – Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support and other government online services like the Australian Taxation Office – in one place, with just one username and password,” Mary said.

Maureen Dunn from St Vincent de Paul welcomed the opportunity to hear about the options, and said the number of things now available online was surprising.

“We see a lot of people at St Vincent de Paul and it’s good to know Mary and the other staff at Human Services are available to provide support in helping them get set-up.”

Karen Spong, of Brewster Walsh, agreed the overview was really helpful.

“I’ve found a lot of the features useful personally, but in our accountancy business we see a lot of people who have a natural tendency to shy away from digital services, so it’s good to learn more about the options. In particular, hearing more about the business nominee option was terrific.”

With so many transactions possible online, Mary made sure not to send the attendees home without some support.

“Attendees took home a sort of show bag with them which had a few step by step task cards to explain how to do things like create a myGov account, link member services and use some of the features available online,” she said.

After the positive reaction Mary has received since the event, Mary says she would be interested in holding something similar in the future.

“The reaction from everyone who attended was really positive. Many weren’t aware that so much could be done online,” she said.

“I’d really like to hold something like a masterclass for the general public in the future, where we can show people how to complete every day transactions online.”

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