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Awa City Computer Clubhouse celebrates three years

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Awa City Computer Clubhouse celebrates three years

Awa City Computer Clubhouse this week celebrates three years of providing a safe space for young people in the Wanganui community to "connect, explore and create".

Nearly 700 young people aged 10-18 years have joined the Clubhouse since it opened in May 2010 and more than 1300 sessions have been run, with members signing in more than 10,000 times in the past three years.

The Clubhouse is part of the international organisation Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, based at MIT in Boston, United States. There are more than 100 Clubhouses around the world. Being part of the network ensures that Wanganui has access to global technology trends and training, and the members have opportunities to connect, talk and share their ideas and projects with other members, staff and mentors of Clubhouses worldwide.

The Clubhouse is situated at 7 Park Place within the Youth Services Trust building which provides free health and wellbeing services for young people. The Clubhouse provides a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment where members work with For Our Kids accredited mentors to explore their own ideas, develop skills and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology.

The technology available includes 16 iMacs, two Mac laptops complete with the latest version of ADOBE Creative Suite 6 (CS6), a recording studio with musical instruments, digital and video cameras, telescope, LEGO, Vex and We Do Robotics, big screen TV and more.

Awa City Clubhouse is one of three of the Wanganui District Council’s community-based digital programmes; with the addition of Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa and Computers in Homes, the Council delivers an excellent range of opportunities for all members of the community to be connected, develop digital skills and participate online. All three projects were funded through the Government’s Digital Strategy, developed in 2005, which was about creating a digital future for all New Zealanders whether they are at home, school, work or in the community. The free wi-fi network available at locations around the district also provides opportunities for those who need to connect.

Last year the Clubhouse and Computers in Homes partnered with Yes 2 Youth to create a Community Technology Centre (CTC) pilot in the Ake Ake Centre. The CTC gives the Castlecliff community the same opportunities available in the central city. The Ake Ake Centre is open 10.00am-3.00pm for all members of the community and from 3.00pm-5.00pm for all young people aged 10-18 years.

"Young people are what we call ‘digital natives’, meaning it is a natural part of their lives," Digital Communities Chair Cr Jack Bullock said.

"As the demand for technology and access to the internet increases, it’s vital that our community has places available for young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to be able to participate in the economy and society.

"The Clubhouse promotes training and career pathways so that young people are able to see what they can do and where they can go with the valuable skills that they acquire. Clubhouse is a place where young people can make something of themselves.

"Awa City Computer Clubhouse was included as a key service provided by the Council in its recent application for ‘Intelligent Communities’ status, in which Wanganui was selected within the top 21 smart cities in the world."

The Clubhouse is open Monday to Friday from 3.00pm-7.00pm. When signing up, young people become members not only of the Clubhouse but also the Wanganui District Library and the CTC at the Ake Ake Centre. They receive a youth membership card that includes a free USB stick. Check out Awa City Computer Clubhouse at 7 Park Place, Wanganui, or visit

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