Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Seniors Week Achievement Awards

John and Margaret receiving an award for the club.
Just before Christmas John Moxon our president, and member (and vice president) Judy Joyce received letters from the NSW Government to say that they were to be awarded 2012 NSW Seniors Week Achievement Awards in the category of Lifelong Learning.  John's award was for the club itself, but Judy's award was an individual one.

We were asked to keep the information confidential, but then we received a request to provide names of friends and family to whom invitations could be sent.  The awards were to be presented on the opening day of NSW Seniors Week, Sunday 18th March.

So it was not easy to keep this exciting news secret, but I suppose they really meant we were not to issue a media release.  We didn't.

So many club members came to wish us well.
On the day itself, over a dozen ParraPals members and friends watched as 59 seniors were presented with plaques.  There are bright red and white glass.  The ParraPals award will be given pride of place in our club rooms.

Judy's award was well deserved.  Judy has been a member of the club since July 2007, and very quickly took on a training role.  Judy is a risk taker, and introduced courses into the club in scrap booking in Microsoft Word, CreataCard, and calendars and other stationery.   She has taught a great variety of other courses too - beginners to digital photography.

Looking at the plaque
In the past two or three years, Judy has become an Apple Mac enthusiast, due mostly to receiving much hardware and software from her younger brother Robert Leane.  She was instrumental in encouraging the club to first of all introduce a monthly Mac Enthusiasts Special Interest Group and then set up formal classes.  The club is now running regular 10 hour courses for beginners and more advanced Mac users.

The classes have been assisted through a successful application to the Commonwealth Government for an iMac and a MacBook Pro, and the club's decision to purchase three more MacBooks with its own funds.

Judy is also a proud member of the Darug Nation, and has written and produced photo stories about her Aboriginal great grandmother, Lucy Leane who lived in the Liverpool area.

Judy Joyce receiving a certificate from Microsoft representative Paul
In November 2011, Judy became ASCCA's digital photo stories grand champion, winning a first and second prize for her entries.  Over the past 3-4 years she has also won awards for her digital photos and even more regularly for her poems and stories.

Margaret & John Moxon and Judy Joyce with awards.
I suspect our club won an award because we were able to include in our application a reference from Nan Bosler, president of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association.  Nan has been watching the development of our club from its very gestation during 2006, and was a guest speaker at our initial public meeting and our first birthday meeting.
The club has attracted well over 650 members over the past five years, and for the two years has had a financial membership of around 250, likely to be exceeded this year.  We now offer courses five days per week in a range of operating environments - XP to Windows 7 and iOS - and have introduced information and practice on using iPads and other tablets.