SeniorNet Wellington is celebrating 20 years of helping older people learn and share computer skills. It all started in 1992 when a small group of retired people wanted learn about computers and how to operate them. Some didn't own a computer. They established SeniorNet Wellington, the first in New Zealand and the first outside USA. Their eagerness to learn and help others in a fresh age of technology was infectious. In was the basis for a successful beginning.
Since 1992 over 4,000 Wellingtonians have joined SeniorNet Wellington. Clubs around the country were established later. Today there are more than 90 clubs in New Zealand with a total current membership exceeding 17,000. Wellington has 750 members.
Computer technology has changed rapidly in the past 20 years. "Computers are smaller, faster, cheaper and more versatile" says Chairman Colin Archer. "We now have smart phones, tablets and other gadgets and smart TV's are emerging on the scene."
Coupled with these advances in technology people are living longer. As they become older, or retire, maintaining pace with technology advances could be more difficult. This is where SeniorNet fits in. Its main objective is to give older adults the opportunity and encouragement to learn and share computer related skills that will enable them to contribute their knowledge and wisdom in society. They don't need to be in isolation. With computer skills they can still function in the community from home. Anyone from about 50 years of age onwards can join.
Often skills gained in the workplace may be specialised and possibly sheltered by IT specialist support. Self-taught people may also have limited knowledge without knowing the potential of gaining wider and more useful skills. Beginners to computing and people with varying degrees of computer experience or skills are more than welcome. SeniorNet provides an opportunity to learn and refresh skills in a friendly and informal environment.
The celebration will be held at the Michael Fowler Centre on 20 June when the Minister for Senior Citizens and the Mayor of Wellington will join the gathering to offer their congratulations and support.
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