The federal government has launched Online Australia 1999, a series of online activities designed to engage Australians in "expanding Australia's productive, confident and vibrant online presence".
According to Communications Minister Senator Alston, Online Australia 1999 activities will range from 'hands on' events for first-time users of the Internet to high-level conferences to examine the future.
The year will culminate with the Online Australia Conference and a series of national awards recognising best practice use of the Internet and online services.
There will also be agenda-setting forums on key information economy topics and major events involving participation from commercial and government partners designed to disseminate practical information.
Special projects will strive to encourage innovation and best practice in information economy activities.
The year will also feature high-level agenda-setting forums on key topics relating to Australia's role and prosperity in the emerging information economy. These will cover a range of themes including education and employment skills, health, regional and rural development, consumer confidence and electronic commerce.
Between March and November Online Australia will present a monthly 'Peak Event' connected to the current theme, beginning in March with the theme 'The Information Economy'.
The National Office of Information Economy (NOIE) said the themes selected were based on priorities identified in the NOIE strategy document released last year. Each event will be hosted in a different capital city each month and will also allow for virtual participation.
Meanwhile the Peak Events program will embrace a range of partnerships and endorsed events to increase awareness of the Online Australia initiative.