Parramatta Computer Pals for Seniors was established in 2007, after the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) held a Seniors Week Expo at the Riverside Theatres. There were established clubs at Holroyd (Wentworthville), The Hills (Castle Hill) and Epping, but a big void in Parramatta.
Parramatta Council was very supportive, and the Steering Committee gained a lot of support from Council's Community Capacity Building Unit, especially in 2006-07. At the January 07 public meeting, we had 50 participants and by the end of the month, the newly established club had 68 members. ASCCA held the pursestrings for us whilst we were setting up as an incorporated (non-profit) association, but by May 2007 we were a stand-alone club.
About 500 seniors have joined the club over the four years, and in June 2011 we had 254 financial members. We also publish a monthly 5-6 page newsletter; hold special interest groups for Digital Photography, Genealogy and Digital Photo Stories. Just recently, we have branched out into assisting Apple MAC users, with short courses and a monthly Special Interest Group.
Our website won second prize at ASCCA's annual clubs competition last year, as did our newsletter. Many members have been successful in the Digital Photo and Creative Writing competitions. Member Tom Ware was the grand champion creative writer a couple of years ago.
We are active social networkers, with not only this blog, but also a Facebook page and group. We encourage our members and others to join our Facebook group.
ParraPals is just one of about 150 computer clubs which are members of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association.