Computer Pals for Seniors Turramurra, Inc ( CPST ) is one of many similar voluntary community organisations established throughout Australia to assist seniors to become familiar with the use and benefits of computers in modern society.
The Club has won several State and National community service awards, including an International Year of Volunteers award, a State Council of the Aging Award for Good Practice and a Premier’s Community Award.
Established in 2000, CPST has achieved remarkable growth in membership and is generally recognised by Ku-ring-gai Council as one of the most successful voluntary seniors’ groups on the upper North Shore of Sydney.
We have enrolled over 1600 members and our present 8 courses are taught by some 40 volunteer tutors, most of whom have progressed through our courses and are therefore fully aware of the needs and background of our members.
Our classes involving usually 6 weekly 2 hour sessions are small, limited to 6 members and we have a Tutor and Assistant Tutor in each class. Our 2 air conditioned computer rooms are linked to the internet and are equipped with 22 inch flat screens and modern teaching facilities.
If you are interested in joining the Club,then further information is available from the Club Secretary, Margaret Ball by email email@example.com you can fill in our Application formto apply to become a member.
How the Club Works
The CPST Committee is elected annually at the Annual General Meeting which is held in April. The Committee meets regularly on the third Thursday of each month and a General Meeting of the members is held on the fourth Thursday of the month. Tea and coffee are provided free at the conclusion of each meeting.
The Club Committee for 2010/2011 comprises the following members:
President: Ken Doyle
Vice President: Norma Kelly
Secretary: Margaret Ball
Treasurer/Public Officer: Pat Bohr
Committee: John Richardson Stella Maude
Both the two air conditioned Club computer rooms have seven computers, 22" LCD monitors, digital projection screens, and projectors. The desktop computers are connected to the Internet and stand on purpose built desks built by volunteer Club members.
There are also printers, photocopying facilities, and a comb binding machine for producing the individual course notes provided to each class member. There is a scanner for transferring slides and transparencies onto a CD.
The Club is sponsored by Microsoft from whom it has received significant donations of software.
CPST is a member of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA), which has a guiding role for new clubs and holds regular information days on issues relevant to ASCCA club members.
Established in 2000, CPST has achieved remarkable growth in its membership and is generally accepted by Kur-ing-gai Council as one of the most successful voluntary seniors groups on the upper north shore of Sydney.
The Club has been fortunate to have most Tutors pass through its classes and are therefore familiar with the needs, background and expectations of new members.Volunteer Tutors number nearly 40.
Unlike many other clubs CPST does not charge tuition fees for individual courses. Members pay a once-off joining fee of $20.00 and an annual membership fee of $65.00. This entitles members to undertake as many courses as they choose in a Club operating year which extends from mid January to mid November.
The Club provides tuition in its 2 computer rooms on 5 days per week.Classes usually require 2 hours attendance per week in each course. There are 6 persons in each class and a Tutor and Assistant Tutor, providing a student to tutor ratio of 3/1.
Individual course notes are provided to members at the commencement of each class. These become the personal reference notes and property of the member. The notes have been written by the Club Tutors and are revised regularly.
Classes closely follow the course notes and provide opportunity for continuous revision and questions. Home revision is strongly recommended to each class and the Club also encourages members to seek additional assistance with any problems at the monthly Club workshops.
The CPST courses are reviewed constantly by Tutors and the Club’s Executive Committee.
Courses currently offered by the Club include:
Introduction to computing
Working with Microsoft Word
Mastering Microsoft Word
Introduction to the Internet and Email
Introduction to Desktop Publishing
Introduction to Microsoft Excel
Introduction to Managing Digital Photographs
Understanding Your Computer
'These courses are conducted using operating systems XP, Vista and Windows 7, also with MS Word 2003, 2007, and 2010'
The Club endeavours to invite a Guest Speaker to each of its monthly General Meetings. Speakers usually address the meeting for between 30 to 45 minutes following consideration of the Club’s general business.
Guest speakers generally focus on computer related issues, including hardware, software developments and other interesting topics.. The Club has been fortunate to attract local schools to participate in providing students as occasional speakers on such issues as Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, etc
CPST forwards bi-monthly newsletters to members by email or post. The newsletters detail Club activities, coming events, guest speakers at monthly General Meetings and suggestions for improving computing skills.