Ben Munford inaugural Queensland Digital Champion
EIGHT Mile Plains resident Ben Munford was recently recognised by the Honourable Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Science and Innovation, as an inaugural Queensland Digital Champion at the launch of the Advance Queensland Community Digital Champions Program.
The program aims to encourage Queenslanders to explore and enjoy the benefits of the digital age, through the stories and activities of inspirational champions.
Ben is a founding father of Brisbane Seniors OnLine, a unique volunteer organisation which started in 2001 and teaches computing to over 50s in the greater Brisbane area, in their homes on their own computers. He served as President for a number of years and is an Honorary Life Member of the organisation.
He is still active as a Hub o-ordinator and mentor.
"My first contact with personal computers was the Apple 11E back in the early 1980s when I used the technology for simple data correlation in criminal investigation work" Ben told us. In 1997, He retired from the Hong Kong police force and migrated to Brisbane, where he has since put his leadership and computer skills to excellent use as a volunteer with BSOL.
Since joining the organisation, Ben has helped over 200 seniors gain more confidence on their computers, tablets and smart phones. He also runs a two-hour technology clinic in the Carindale Library once a month.
When asked what motivates him Ben replied "the smile on people's faces when they suddenly realise that it is not that difficult to master the technology that confronts them". One of his first students was a gentleman in his 80s, who lived alone and had a spinal condition meaning he was housebound.
Ben taught him how to surf the web, and use Skype to chat to his brother in Canada and send emails. His life completely changed as he began to interact with the world around him.
Ben believes that it is vital that seniors are able to use the technology.
"Life shouldn't be wasted in queues at the Post Office or bank paying bills and transferring money. This is especially true if you are housebound. Supermarkets now have a home delivery service, coupled with an online ordering service."
BSOL, provides help to anyone over fifty to set up and configure computers, improve digital confidence skills and ensure they are secure online.
For more information phone 3210 6983.