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Collinsville Connect Telecentre Celebrates 10 Years !!!
26 Aug 2012
Published To

Collinsville Connect Telecentre's 10th anniversary October 2011..

The Collinsville Connect Telecentre was initially a Networking the Nation funded project back in 2001. Collinsville in those days was a small mining community of approx. 2000 people, which had gone through the usual boom and bust cycles of the mining industry in general. In the mid 1990's though the town underwent some major changes; with the closure of its 2 underground coal mines, leading to the retrenchment of over 200 miners and the local Power Station reducing its staff from 300 to 50 employees which in turn impacted on local businesses who had provided services to these industries and the many outlying properties, stations and primary producers. This bought a dramatic change in the demographics of the community, leaving an imbalance of retired and or unemployed miners, powerhouse employees and general community members, not to mention the already large number of senior residents. These events had an enormous effect on the town in general and on the availability of accessible services, leaving the town with a feeling of isolation from our city and urban counterparts.

It was at this time that the Collinsville Connect Telecentre (CCT) project came about as an idea of the community social worker, Ms Serina Duhring, who was employed by the Collinsville Community Association Inc. (CCA). She saw a need in the community for a computer and Internet access centre, which would allow the community to develop the skills it needed to access online many of the services that were no longer available by face-to-face delivery. Ms Duhring was responsible for the initial submission and did a terrific job in for seeing what could possibly be one of the best options for rural and remote communities into the future.

The objective of the CCA's submission was to use the NTN funding to provide a Telecentre which could be used to access Information Communication Technology services, support and training to empower the community to interact with confidence in the 21st century and to remove that sense of geographical & regional isolation felt by the majority of the community at that time. It also aimed to encourage the business community to expand their use and acceptance of e-commerce, thereby eliminating the discriminating factors of distance that they were also experiencing. It was also thought that the integration of these new technologies into the educational system might work towards removing the tyranny of distance in further educational outcomes for our community.

The strategic approach to developing the Collinsville Connect Telecentre project was based on those simple objectives, to help our community develop ICT skills and confidence by training in the use of these technologies at affordable prices with access for all in the community.

As there was no comparable service available in our area and the existing communication infrastructure was very basic, very few community members felt confident owning their own computers, little own utilise the Internet or accessing services online. The CCT project brought with it the opportunity for the community in general to see ICT's being used in a community centre environment, in an everyday and affordable way and allowed them to gain the essential training and in turn build the confidence needed to grow their skills in these areas.

With over 69,000 users, an average of 575 people per month over the last 10 years this has turned out to be the right decision and we believe this must make us one of the most used Telecentres in Queensland if not Australia.

The Collinsville Connect Telecentre is looking to the future of Information Technology services and the possible benefits for the Collinsville, Scottville and surrounding districts in the next 10 years!

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