Computer expert passing on his knowledge to seniors
A MOVE from Southern Sydney to the quieter Ballina Shire doesn't mean computer expert Stedroy Farrell is putting his feet up.
After decades working for banks and other organisations in all sorts of roles around the world, Stedroy is putting his knowledge to good, if not slightly unusual, use.
The British born expert is now passing on his knowledge - not to the youngsters of the area but to its older residents.
"I started last year when I moved up to the Northern Rivers from Sydney - volunteering to help people lean to use the internet and computers etc," he explained.
"I grew up in England, where I lived the first 55 years of my life. I had a successful career as a software engineer before moving to Australia, where I met my wife." Stedroy has been volunteering with Ballina Shire Community Facilities for the past 18 months helping out.
"I teach people not to be afraid of technology and the benefits of using new technology," he said.
"I show them what is possible, it's like being at the train station and assisting people which train they need and then holding their hand to accompany them to their seat, and once the train leaves the station, I am on the platform helping the next person."
As well as their earlier programs, the Community Facilities have put on two free workshops during Australia's Get Online Week from Monday 15 October and Wednesday, October 17.
"This year's Get Online Week theme is encouraging older Australians to 'try one thing online'," Coordinator of Visitor Services and Community Facilities Alicia Wallace said.
"Our workshops will offer a fun and relaxed introduction to the Be Connected program. The Be Connected program is a one-on-one mentor program to encourage older Australians to improve their digital literacy skills so people don't become isolated."
Be Connected is a free Australian Government initiative helping older Australians to get the most out of going online. The new Be Connected program offers free computer training with added resource support and a focus on keeping older Australians connected via the internet.
Stedroy said he enjoys his role as a Be Connected Digital Mentor.
"Being involved in the "Be Connected" program gives me the opportunity to assist others in achieving a degree of comfort in the use of the technology surrounding the internet (in its many guises)," he said.
"So far, it has been very satisfying for me, to witness the pleasure in achievement from persons to whom I have provided assistance.
"People not only learn how to turn on a computer or device by the program gives them independence, social connection, friendship and it is a pleasure for me to create this for other people."
Get Online Week Ballina workshop: Monday, October 15 from 9.45am-11.30am.
Get Online Week Alstonville workshop: Wednesday, October 17 from l 2.15pm-4pm.
For more information on this and forthcoming projects, contact a Ballina Shire Council Community Facilities staff member by telephone on (02)66876291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.