20 October 2014
YWCA Canberra launched the ACT’s first Computer Clubhouse at a grand opening event on Friday 10 October.
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.
Media also took a keen interest, with ABC TV Canberra featuring the Clubhouse opening on its 7pm news bulletin, and syndicating it on ABC TV News nationally.
During the opening, Clubhouse members enjoyed demonstrating their new technology skills to VIPs, including family members and stakeholders. Gail Breslow, Director of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, travelled from Boston to speak at the festivities and was impressed by what she saw.
In her speech, Ms Breslow emphasised the ‘soft’ skills that Clubhouse members learn as part of the centre’s ethos, including collaboration, how to action an idea, and taking a project to completion.
Open to all young people in the Tuggeranong region between the ages of 10 and 18, the Computer Clubhouse provides a creative and collaborative out-of-school learning environment with free access to cutting edge technology, as well as connecting them with professional mentors who guide and support young people to pursue their passions.
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.”
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.
“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.
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. Find out more at the Computer Clubhouse website, follow the Clubhouse on Twitter, or like the Clubhouse Facebook page.
See more photos from the Clubhouse opening.
Check out the Clubhouse video to find out more about the evolution of the Clubhouse:
Image – Clubhouse member Jack provided the Acknowledgement of Country during the opening ceremony.