Optus launches ‘Donate Your Data’ to empower Australians in need

The new initiative will arm disadvantaged youths with internet and mobile access, aiming to bridge the ‘digital divide’ for more than 1.1 million Australians.

The modern work economy requires at least some form of internet communications, leaving many young Australians at a digital disadvantage, according to Optus.

The new ‘Donate Your Data’ initiative, which Optus is launching in partnership with The Smith Family and the KARI Foundation, will provide free SIM cards to young Australians in need. Recipients will be equipped with unlimited national standard talk and text along with 10GB of data to be used in Australia.

The data included in these philanthropic SIM cards can then be topped up with donations from Optus customers’ unused data.

“For many of us, data is something we take for granted. However, for some young Australians accessing the internet and staying connected with the world around them is a real challenge,” says Optus deputy CEO, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin.

“This entails everything from studying through to searching for jobs, watching videos or even doing a quick internet search.

“By giving a mobile service to participants of the program and inviting our customers to donate their unused data, we are providing much needed internet access to young people who need it most.”

According to The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien, 30% of young people on the non-profit’s ‘Learning for Life’ program do not have access to reliable internet at home. “This can create huge obstacles in their learning journey. In today’s world getting homework or school projects done is much more difficult without the internet. Optus’ ‘Donate Your Data’ initiative will help address this fundamental educational challenge by improving internet access for young people and their families living in circumstances of financial disadvantage,” says Dr O’Brien.

Celebrated Australian maths teacher Eddie Woo (of Wootube fame) says he is “stoked” to endorse the program, “Throughout my career, I have seen the big difference the internet can make to a child’s education. So, when I was asked to be part of a program that would donate data to kids in need, I was stoked to be involved.”

Existing Optus customers on eligible postpaid and prepaid mobile plans can start donating their data today via the My Optus App.

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Image credit: Optus

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 2 December 2019
Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au