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1500 kilometres, three towns, and one dog on the tuckerbox: Outreach Team takes TIO to regional NSW

Last month, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Outreach Team took the service on the road visiting senior citizens across regional NSW.

The Outreach Team travelled to the Snowy Valley region to attend the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) roadshow. The TIO, along with many other organisations including EWON, the NSW Ombudsman, as well as Senior Rights Services, Services Australia and more set off to meet seniors based in Tumbarumba, Gundagai and Albury. This trip aimed to gather service providers together in these towns to offer a one-stop-shop to offer the elderly community support or assistance.

In total, the team travelled over 1500 kilometres, spent over 15 hours driving, and squeezed in over nine hours of podcasts in the three-day trip.

When consumers in regional areas are experiencing phone or internet problems, the impact can be significant. Disconnection can mean being cut off from emergency services in floods and bushfires, and phone or internet issues can contribute to isolation. 

TIO Member and Community Events Coordinator Eloise Anderson said, “After the year we’ve all just had it’s really lovely being face to face with consumers and connecting in the real world. It’s never been more important to get to these hard to reach communities, to listen to their stories and help where we can.”

Member and Community Services Manager Shaun Kingma agreed. “The road show gave us the opportunity to speak directly to consumers about their phone and internet problems. It was incredibly valuable to for us to listen. It helps us paint a picture of the common problems in these areas, so can better support their needs.”