ACT’s first Computer Clubhouse launches today

10 October 2014

YWCA Canberra will launch the ACT’s first Computer Clubhouse at a grand opening event in Richardson today.

Along with a host of corporate, philanthropic, government and community partners, YWCA Canberra will celebrate this landmark event with its young Clubhouse members, and their families.

Open to all young people in the Tuggeranong region between the ages of 10 and 18, the Clubhouse provides a creative and collaborative out-of-school learning environment with free access to cutting edge technology and the Internet.

The Clubhouse affords young people the opportunity to create digital images, 3D models and robots, as well as connecting them with professional mentors who guide and support young people to pursue their passions.

Gail Breslow, Director of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network will be travelling from Boston to speak at the festivities. Guests will also have the chance to experience hands-on demonstrations from Clubhouse members of the technology and equipment in the space.

Frances Crimmins, Executive Director of YWCA Canberra, said that 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.

“Our Clubhouse is located in the suburb of Richardson, which has the highest number of people in the ACT (24%) who fall into the most disadvantaged 20% of all 15-64 year old Australians.

“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.

Founded in 1993, the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network is a partnership of Intel, MIT Media Laboratory, and the Computer Clubhouse of the Museum of Science in Boston. The YWCA Computer Clubhouse will link young Canberrans to this international network of more than 100 Clubhouses, in 20 countries across the world.

“This project has only been made possible by the strong multi-sector partnerships forged between YWCA Canberra, leaders in the corporate and government sectors, and the local community.” Ms Crimmins urged.

“Being able to draw on the expertise of multinational companies and local community organisations has been critical to establishing the Clubhouse and its supporter base, and ensuring we can make a real impact on the lives of young people in Tuggeranong.”

The YWCA Computer Clubhouse currently offers facilities and mentoring in graphic and web design, 3D modelling and printing, robotics, digital photography and imaging, and game design. To find out more about the Clubhouse visit: www.ywca-computerclubhouse.org.au, follow the Clubhouse on Twitter, or like the Clubhouse Facebook page.

– ENDS –

Frances Crimmins is available for interview.

Media contact: Karan Gabriel – 0490 487 956.

About YWCA Canberra: YWCA Canberra is a feminist, not-for-profit community organisation that has been providing community services and representing women’s issues in the Canberra community since its establishment in 1929. YWCA Canberra employs more than 350 staff across the ACT, and delivers 30 quality programs in children’s services, community development, housing, youth services, women’s leadership, advocacy, and training. Represented in 122 countries, the YWCA has a global reach of 25 million women and girls. As part of this international movement, YWCA Canberra works for a world where reconciliation, justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women’s leadership. For more information visit: www.ywca-canberra.org.au

Media release – ACT’s first Computer Clubhouse launches today

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