About Us

Computer Pals for Seniors Epping Inc. is a community based Computer Club and   is a member of ASCCA, which is the recognised National Peak Body for seniors and technology.

We draw our members from Epping, NSW and surrounding suburbs.

 

We currently have approx 150 members and invite seniors to join us. As a Club, we aim to achieve a friendly and social experience and have the following stated objective:

“To create a pleasant and non-threatening learning environment for members to learn to the extent that they require, or are able to achieve.”

The Club has been fortunate to have had a team of experienced managers and administrators on its committee, which has enabled it to be soundly established and operated from the outset in 2000.

The Club has competent voluntary trainers and helpers, who have enabled us to have fully structured training classes with written notes. Classes operate for several days a week, based on School terms, and may be for a full term or for a lesser number of classes.  We also have regular “Interest Groups” on a variety of subjects.

Each month, on the 3rd Wednesday at 10.00 am, we have a General Meeting which is attended by about 40 to 60 members.  At these meetings we usually have a Guest Speaker on either a computer related topic, or one from the local community, speaking on topics of general interest. A donation of $2 covers your morning tea.

Elected Management Committee:

President & Newsletter:  Dahle Mallyon

Vice President & Membership Sec.: Maureen McDonald

Secretary: Brenda Horne

Treasurer: Joan Tumminello

Newsletter: Dianne Lucas,

Public Officer:  Barbara Ramsay,

Gloria Evans

Club Appointments:

Equipment Officer: Arnold Burling

Supplies Officer: Barry McLeod

Webmaster: Colin Maskill

Welfare Contact: Helen Gardner

Guest Speakers: Shirley Holmes

Publicity Officer: Roy Ridley

Catering: Marion Hope

 

Our History

Updated October 2019

2000 Start

At the Hornsby Council owned, Epping Creative Centre in Stanley Road, Epping, a Community Meeting for seniors interested in the formation of a Computer Club for Seniors was held on 29th March 2000.  Tribute should be paid to John and Joan Addison, Ian Dawkins and Keith Hinchcliffe for their unselfish work in the establishment of Computer Pals for Seniors – Epping Inc; with Ian being our first Club President.  Ian and Keith were responsible for the foundations of our administrative excellence, while John and Joan set us on a path of technical merit and engendered great enthusiasm among the 170 people at this meeting.  A volunteer steering committee was endorsed to administer the formalities and within ten days of the meeting, 180 people had joined Computer Pals for Seniors – Epping Inc. and it was necessary to close the membership roll and open a waiting list for other interested seniors.

During the following months regular classes were held to train club members as volunteer tutors, while second hand furniture and computers were purchased at auction.  The Epping Creative Centre where the classes were to be held was under renovation by Hornsby Council at this time, so we were most grateful to the Denistone East Uniting Church for allowing us to use their Sunday School Hall for our first lessons from early in July 2000 until the 11th September when our dedicated training room was ready for use.

Classes

Classes were limited to 10 students, each with a computer; with a tutor and up to three helpers for each class.  All our tutors and training helpers are fee paying club members who enjoy helping their peers to learn about computer technology in friendly 1¼ hour lessons of nine weeks duration.  As new devices and programs have become available we have also adopted the running of short courses and workshops of varying lengths.  

From the beginning classes were held each week day, with two in the morning and another two each afternoon, except for Friday, when a trainer’s meeting was held.  

This weekly trainer’s meeting continued till 2016 to be an important part of the friendly, efficient and well coordinated running of our club with the regular opportunity for discussion, tutor training and reviewing of courses provided. Trainer’s meetings are now held as required, to discuss the courses to be taught, changes in technology and review club equipment  

Management

Our Management Committee has always been involved in all aspects of the club, with many also volunteering as tutors and helpers.  All Committee members are also full fee paying club members.  Management Committee members are subject to annual elections and hold ultimate responsibility for the overall management and operation of the Club, while a Standing Committee with members appointed by the Management Committee, also contributes in deliberations of the joint committees.

Equipment

Careful management has allowed the appropriate replacement of equipment to ensure members have timely access to the latest advancements in technology.  We have provided several generations of networked personal computers, laptop computers, digital projectors, scanning devices, laser and ink jet printers, a digital camera, iPads and android tablet computers and have provided constantly updated software. 

Fees

We are pleased to have kept our annual membership fee of $30 unchanged since July 2003 when they were actually decreased substantially after the successful establishment of the club.  At this time the once only joining fee was increased from $10 to $15.  The original course fee for a nine week course has risen incrementally from $5 at the beginning to $20 at the end of 2013.  From 2015 courses from 1-3 weeks are now $5, courses from 4-6 weeks are $10 and the 7-9 week courses are $15, with the exception of the Greeting Cards and Digital Imaging Courses which are now $20. In 2016 we revised our costs and have had to  restore our fees $5 for 1 lesson, $10 for 2-3 lessons, $l5 for 4-6 weeks and $20 for 7-9 weeks with the exception of Greeting Cards and Digital Imaging which are now $25 due to the extra consumables used.

Membership

At the end of 2000, with the recruitment of more volunteer trainers and helpers, the first intake of new members from the waiting list was possible, lifting membership numbers from 180 to 206.   Since then, it has been possible to invite 20 new members from the waiting list to join the club at the start of each term. At times the total number of members has reached 450 with more names on the waiting list.  A number of foundation members of Computer Pals for Seniors – Epping Inc. continue to enjoy their membership and some have been active volunteers since the very beginning.  Newer members are always welcome to take on any position and some have done so with impressive results.

Keeping up with technology

With the gradual increase in the use of tablet computers and smart phones some people have recently joined the club without availing themselves of the Basic Computing Course.  However, although we do not insist, even those intending only to use these devices would find it beneficial to learn as much as possible about the basic concepts of computing.

In recognition of the latest technology trends we continue to update the courses that are made available for our members and we encourage those who are able to become tutors or helpers to offer their help to fellow members.

Interest groups

Almost from the beginning, there have been once per month special interest groups held to promote a number of computer related interests, including; Creative Writing, Genealogy, Digital Photography and more recently, iPads, Android Tablets.  Originally HELP Sessions were held regularly, but the need for these has been replaced by workshops on a particular topic if the need is expressed.  These special interest groups are available free to all club members and are a source of great enjoyment for those who choose to participate.

Welfare

The welfare of our members has always been of concern and a Welfare Officer is available to maintain contact with members experiencing serious or prolonged illness, either themselves, or within their immediate family.  We have been very fortunate in the caring and diligent people who have always held this position.

Grants

Particularly in the early days, a number of successful applications for community grants raised in excess of $23,000, which has all been applied, together with members funds, towards the gradual upgrading of the Club’s original aged second hand equipment and the purchase of items needed to improve the quality of the training provided to our members.  This material assistance through grants and donations has also contributed to the comfort, well being and safety of our members. In May 2019, the latest grant of $2,000 was received from the national government, to help the club to encourage more seniors to become involved in computer technology lessons.

The majority of the software programs used on our equipment has been donated by Microsoft, through its various Community Assistance Initiatives.  Without this willing assistance from Microsoft, the Club would have had to divert substantial funds from its equipment upgrading projects towards the provision of the software needs of the Club.

In accordance with the Club Constitution the President can hold office for only two consecutive years, although the other office bearers who must be re-elected annually, can stand for office without such restrictions.  

Presidents

The incumbent Presidents

Since the formation of Computer Pals for Seniors – Epping Inc. have been:

  • Ian Dawkins
  • Lynton Bradford
  • Joan Craymer
  • Noelene Seidl
  • Joan Craymer
  • Elizabeth Barton
  • Joan Craymer
  • Elizabeth Barton
  • Joan Craymer
  • Patricia Beal
  • Bill Earls
  • Dahle Mallyon

Becoming a Member

All seniors are invited to join us.

How much does it cost to be a member of the club?

Joining Fee $15 per person – Annual Subscription $30 per person

Class Costs vary depending on the length of the course (between $5 & $25)

Membership – Application

Please complete and submit the below online form or or send information to our PO Box 1558, Macquarie Centre, NSW 2113 to begin the membership application.

In accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 I accept that the information in this Application Form may be used by Computer Pals for Seniors, Epping Inc. for Computer Pals use only.

COMPUTER PALS FOR SENIORS – EPPING INC.

The Club meets at the:

Epping Creative Centre,
Dence Park,
26 Stanley Road,
Epping, NSW. 2121

Postal address:

PO Box 1558,
Macquarie Centre, NSW. 2113

For membership or general inquires email: cps.epping@gmail.com