STEM

Computer Clubhouse provides young people with access to technology

Fields marked with an * are required

Subscribe to our newsletter

Inside the Computer Clubhouse Canberra

By Joanna Le

It’s hard to believe that a year has already passed since AARNet joined forces with YWCA Canberra to establish the first Computer Clubhouse in the ACT, the third of its kind in Australia.

YWCA Canberra believes everyone has the right to contribute to and share equally in the benefits of our community’s social, cultural, and economic development – an ethos shared with the global Computer Clubhouse Network.

Founded in Boston in 1993, the Computer Clubhouse Network now extends across the world, providing 25000 young people every year with access to leading technological resources, skills and experiences to help them succeed in their careers, contribute to their communities, and lead outstanding lives.

The YWCA Computer Clubhouse (the Clubhouse) is located in Richardson, a Canberra suburb that has the highest number of people in the ACT (24%) who fall into the most disadvantaged 20% of all 15-64 year old Australians.

The Clubhouse officially opened its doors on Friday 10 October last year. Along with a host of corporate, philanthropic, government and community partners, YWCA Canberra celebrated the landmark event with its young Clubhouse Members, and their families.

Gail Breslow, Director of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, travelled from Boston to attend and speak at the festivities, and was impressed by what she saw.

In her speech, she emphasised the ‘soft’ skills that Clubhouse members learn as part of the program’s ethos, including collaboration, how to action an idea, and taking a project from conceptualisation through to completion.

YWCA Canberra’s Executive Director, Frances Crimmins said the Clubhouse provides a unique opportunity to bridge the digital divide and provide an opportunity for all young people to have access to technology.

“The ultimate goal of the Clubhouse is to connect young people in Tuggeranong to professional development opportunities with ICT organisations in Canberra, and future employment through the program’s mentors and industry partners.”

“This innovative program allows us to re-engage young people in education and in their community. It’s also an accessible space for vulnerable young people, young women and girls, and young people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds,” Ms Crimmins said.

Open to all young people in the Tuggeranong region between the ages of 10 and 18, Clubhouse Members have access to a wealth of technological resources such as 3D modelling and printing, graphic design, digital photography and imaging, game design, coding, and robotics.

Key to the success of the Clubhouse is having access to high speed internet connectivity, which enables our Members to form relationships with other young people in Clubhouses all over the world via the “Global Village”.

Regular Skype calls between Clubhouses in Australia and New Zealand are already taking place over the AARNet network, with the main agenda item being the development of the 2015 APAC Regional Conference.

It’s been a few years since the last APAC Regional Conference, and the global Intel Computer Clubhouse Network (ICCN) is very excited to see new energy breathed into this important event.

After our last regional Skype meeting, Brenda Abanavas, the APAC Regional Coordinator said, “I am over the top thrilled that all of you are so committed to building a strong cluster of creativity and support…Thanks again for a wonderful meeting”.

The 2015 APAC Regional Conference will likely take place in Wellington, NZ, at the end of September, so stay tuned!

More Information

To find out more about the YWCA Computer Clubhouse and to get involved, visit the website, or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

 

Joanna Le is Director of Corporate Relations and Communications at YWCA Canberra


Related Stories

Education / K-12 Schools / STEM

Mar 23, 2017

AARNet robotics bursaries for national final newcomers

Four fledgling teams who reached the Australian regional final of an international robotics competition last week have been awarded AARNet bursaries to help them take part in the world championships in the US. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport...

Education / Featured / K-12 Schools / STEM

Mar 16, 2017

STEM mentoring award for AARNet director John Nicholls

AARNet’s head of infrastructure development has been recognised for inspiring and empowering students in a national robotics competition. John Nicholls was awarded the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award at this week’s FIRST® Robotics Southern Cross Regional competition after being nominated by students he mentored. The award celebrates effective communication in the art and...

Education / K-12 Schools / STEM

Nov 28, 2016

AARNet schools shine in digital challenge

Schools benefiting from AARNet’s high-speed internet services have again excelled in a nationwide competition aimed at inspiring young people to engage with digital technology. The Young ICT Explorers competition challenges school children from Year 3 to Year 12 to put the national ICT curriculum into practice by designing any technology...