09 May 2011
By Rebekah O'Flaherty

The search for tech savvy seniors


Dianne Casley-Smith, 67
Sandstone Point, QLD

A grandmother of 11 and a great grandmother of seven, from Sandstone Point, Queensland, Dianne’s technology philosophy is to “never be afraid of breaking it, everything done on the computer is redeemable so just have a go.”

A real estate fanatic, online shopping queen, and avid digital photographer, Dianne organises her daily life through her laptop diary, is always plugged into her iPod and uses her phone camera to record her morning bike ride.

Dianne believes technology gives seniors a broader perspective of like than could ever be experiences in one lifetime and enables seniors to think outside the square of their own upbringing.

To keep in touch with her extended family, Dianne is a big believer in ‘Facebooking’ and videoconferencing, especially to keep in touch with the younger generations in her family.

After recently entering the blogosphere, Dianne enjoys improving upon her photography skills so she can better capture the beautiful Queensland scenery she lives in as well as her many family events.

Dianne encourages seniors her own age to be using technology as it connects them to the rest of the world at a time in their life when mobility is difficult to maintain.

“Using technology stimulates our brains to think outside our normal parameters to engage in current forms of communication and is a source of exploring the world without ever leaving the house.”

Telstra Retired & Wired

Retired & Wired on Facebook

If you’re a Facebook user you can also find Retired & Wired on Facebook. We’ve set up a dedicated Retired & Wired Tab on Telstra’s Facebook page at:


Posts: 15


  1. mark says:

    great competition

  2. I’m really happy to hear that Telstra is promoting aware of technology and its opportunities to the Seniors in our population. I have heard from people who are really just getting into using mobiles that Telstra’s plain phone with large numbers has encouraged them to take the plunge and have a more relaxed attitude about using technology. Some are using iPhones and iPads to communicate with their families and share photos and videos.

    • Rob says:

      I find this all very perplexing. Why do you think seniors would not be wired? We grew up with the advances in tech and have been out there buying every new thing that came out.

  3. John says:

    Am well over 55 but silly me works. Even if I was retired would be unable to compete as Telstra updated me from a Nokia N95 to an iPhone which does not allow video calls or upload my pics to Facebook which I was able to do before. Of course Telstra answer was tough live with it till your contract runs out. Nothing less expected really.

    • Paul Goodhew (Telstra Employee) says:

      You can upload your pics to facebook on the iphone with the “facebook app” or by navigating to and logging in. I’m sure if you go into a Telstra shop a representative will be happy to assist you with this.

    • John says:

      Has been tried from iphone to facebook and does not go,I have to mail to myself then upload from my laptop which is handy for look where i am now as opposed to doing, I have been loading history.

      What is wrong with signal in Beechworth. vic. For first time in 3yrs am unable to get signal on my Ultimate usb modem and mail to iphone crap as well.

    • Peter says:

      John, I had trouble with signal when I moved to Howlong. Ask telstra to do a Mole Test on your line, assuming you have not done this already. My signal improved slightly, but this was back in ISDN and Dialup days so it would be interesting to see how they test broadband.
      I tried various ISP’s before settling with my current one, if you have any questions, E me on

  4. Sue Hendy says:

    Older people have been technology early adopters all their lives, lets talk telephone, flying, space race… it is in their blood. Some can’t afford it and aren’t intersted in it, as people are at any age.

  5. Deborah Lewis says:

    We are travelling Australia in a Caravan and without today’s technology we couldn’t easily keep in touch with family, both in Australia and oversea’s. Now we can see them as well as talk to them. Then there is banking, texting, photo’s. How did we ever live without it.

  6. Ian Newbegin says:

    I applaud Telstra for their initiative in organising a competition for ‘Tech Savvy’ Seniors. I am also pleased that my grandson thinks that I am one of these seniors and thank him for his nomination. Thanks Zac, you are a great boy. We seniors are more technological minded than others think and I for one will continue to stay abreast with the new developments. You see, I am a geek and love all of the new stuff. Let’s start a revolution.

  7. John Eglington says:

    Good to see Telstra recognizing that seniors are a significant part of the new technology market. More seniors would participate if access were simpler and costs lower. And we have time to get most benefit from it.

  8. Laurie Moran says:

    I have a 91 year mother how is slowly learning how to use a computer and the web,I also have a 76 year cousin how uses a computer about 7 hrs a day doing family history and my wife of 61 also uses a computer about 8 hrs a day doing family history.

  9. yvonne says:

    there are really good deals which make being connected affordable even for pensioners.

  10. Kaye Beazley says:

    Hurrah !!! thanks for the confidence you have in the oldies . Just remember that there are more of us than you and you need to listen to OUR needs also .Particularly unhappy about broadband reception in some areas , makes it difficult to communicate when away from cities .Like to talk to Grandchildren on Skype , send photos and trade shares online , which is often impossible due to coverage . Bring it on

  11. Brian says:

    I wish Telstra would make more use of technology in advising people of overdue accounts. I got a notice/letter in the post today supposedly posted 11th May telling me that all services would be terminated on 18th (today) if not paid. Services were cut and took over two hours to get reconnected after paying the account. What happened to the courtesy call, and why not use email and SMS to advise people that services are in danger of being cut off.
    The woman who helped me was great but the firt guy didn’t call back when he said he would in ten minutes.
    I’m glad some elements of the Telstra admin are trying to sponsor a positive program in making older people aware that there are others engaging with the WWW and the social media.

  12. Great competition shows us retired seniors aren’t forgotten we rely on, two mobiles and computor for communication and it works for us where ever we are thanks Telstra

  13. Mark Farrelly says:

    I signed up to a bundle with Telstra last year but I have had endless problems since. Every single bill I have to call to change or clarify information, the bill always exceeds the bundled price but I can’t upgrade it’s a nightmare. Nothing makes sense can’t get help – no-one replies to my emails, can’t access my account to look at my bills online.

  14. Jackson says:

    My Nan is most defiantly “retired & wired”. Nan uses her PC to program her Janome sewing machines which are used to make her quilts. The quilts Nan makes feature in sewing magazines and are shown at the Sydney Easter show as part of the County Women’s Associations exhibits. My Nan also has a Facebook which she uses to talk to us grandchildren. For her 69th birthday my sister and I got Nan a web cam which she now uses to Skype her grandchildren as well as my brother and nice (her great grand child) in Montreal Canada. Nan has told all her friends in sewing her sewing club about Skype and Facebook as a result they are all using Facebook and Skype. Nan love being wired because it allows her to contact us grandchildren any where in the world and helps her make Beautiful Sewing creations.

  15. Alan says:

    Older people do not use telco techie stuff as much as younger people because they have more life experience. They are far more immune to marketing of products that provide transient entertainment rather than a genuinely beneficial service. They know that a “cap plan” is not a cap but the reverse, they understand that post paid is an open ended liability. They know that 1.5c per kB is more than 100 times the going rate. They know how to read the fine print. They have learned the value of money. And they know a scheme for getting someone else to do your own blogging when they see one.

  16. Irena Williams says:

    Sure it wasn’t a politician who wrote the RW T&C? Item 4 states entry is open to ALL Austn residents. Joke, isn’t it? The \series of technology challenges\ are Telstra specific – so EXCLUDE any entrant without a Bigpond account, who doesn’t have MMS activated on their mobile or possess T-Touch phone.

    There are many ways to take & send digital photos, download music or any of the other tasks mentioned.

    A little honest would be nice for a change. Pretty hypocritical to suggest it’s open to everyone. We’re old; not stupid.

  17. pam webster says:

    Excellent idea to encourage our great older citizens.

    • Irena Williams says:

      It’s nothing more than a ploy by Telstra to bolster its flagging business. I gave them the flick in favour of another provider and never regretted it. Seniors don’t require encouragement; they require cheap connectivity and good service – neither of which Telstra provides. I was sending faxes through a computer terminal in the mid 70s; they talk about us like we’re dinosaurs; I find it insulting.

  18. John says:

    I did ask guy in Telstra shop and appears it is the Facebook app that does not upload pics from phone as it is to slow uploading… I said I was downgraded as opposed to upgraded.

  19. graham says:

    I think I am your man for the project my age is 58 & I use face book as well as emailing my friends in USA AS WELL

  20. I think the Retired & Wired competition is a win win situation. Telstra gets to promote its products and services and participants involved get to increase their knowledge base about IT innovation and products.

    As a finalist in the competition, I can advise that I have no mobile phone, I’m not “with” Telstra and I haven’t had to put my hand in my pocket for a thing…in fact, I’m using the Telstra T-Touch Tablet that I won as a finalist. If I get no further in the competition, in the word(s) of Charlie Sheen … “winning”!

  21. rosealea says:

    this sounds ok for me to go further !!

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