13 February 2017

In a report released today, YWCA Canberra has announced the impact of its Clubhouse program for 2016. The Clubhouse is an out-of-school, high-tech learning space that empowers young people in the Tuggeranong region to work with industry mentors to develop new skills, explore their ideas, and build confidence through the use of technology.

The first of its kind in Canberra, the Clubhouse is based on a global passion-learning model which was founded in Boston in 1993.
The 2016 YWCA Canberra Clubhouse Impact Report demonstrates significant growth in the program, including a 30 per cent increase in membership to over 180 young people in the past 12 months.

“Just two days after the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’re excited to launch our 2016 Impact Report, sharing the power of supporting girls, and all young people to gain skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM),” Executive Director of YWCA Canberra, Frances Crimmins said.

“We are very proud of the outcomes of the Clubhouse program in 2016, which included assisting young people to attain their year 10 certificates through the Big Picture Project in collaboration with Lake Tuggeranong College, hosting special girls-only robotics workshops, and instigating a new youth leadership program.

“Our 2016 member survey also highlighted the important soft skills our members gained, with 90.5 per cent of Clubhouse members agreeing with the statement ‘I know if I work hard enough I can solve almost any problem that I have’. This confidence in problem solving and self-directed learning is crucial for young people to engage with the jobs of the future, which we know will be centred on STEAM industries.”

According to the Productivity Commission, digital disruption could threaten 40 per cent of Australian jobs in the next 10-15 years(1). The Clubhouse model targets geographical areas of need, to tangibly address the growing digital divide.

“Our Clubhouse is located in Richardson, Tuggeranong – an area that has been identified as having the largest concentration of low socio-economic households in the ACT. 47 per cent of Clubhouse members don’t have access to a computer at home. At the Clubhouse, they can access high level technology including a 3D printer, robotics, game development software and much more.
“With the support of our corporate, philanthropic and government partners, the Clubhouse is developing the next generation of STEAM leaders, and giving our members the opportunity to build pathways into their future careers,” Ms Crimmins said.
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Frances Crimmins is available for interview. Media contact: Zoya Patel, 0429 210 881

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