Program puts the Con in connected

Wheatbelt seniors join digital generation with Be Connected program


Technology
FINGER ON THE MOUSE: Richelle Essers and her eager student Con Kikeros, who says: "You have got to keep up, even if you're an old fossil like me."

FINGER ON THE MOUSE: Richelle Essers and her eager student Con Kikeros, who says: "You have got to keep up, even if you're an old fossil like me."

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Program a nation-wide initiative to help develop skills and confidence.

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AS SECRETARY of his local RSL and a shire councillor in the northern Wheatbelt town of Carnamah, Con Kikeros realised the world was moving increasingly online.

"My daughter who lives in Melbourne said to me 'Get with it, Dad', so I did.

"I bought myself a tablet and a router then I thought, how do I use this thing?'

Help came in the form of the local Seniors Computer Club, which started late last year through the North Midlands Project, a member of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association.

"The first thing I asked when I got there was, how do I turn this thing on?"

Under the guidance of program officer Richelle Essers, Con is now distributing RSL minutes electronically, sending out photos and staying in touch with his grand-nieces and nephews in Perth via email.

"You have got to keep up, even if you're an old fossil like me," he said.

"You're never too old to learn something new."

Richelle said Con and the rest of the class had made amazing progress.

"They were really keen to get going, some of them just didn't have anyone in their immediate circle who could help them," she said.

"We use materials supplied by the Be Connected program, a great resource which covers everything from the basics like how to hold a mouse to more advanced topics."

The Be Connected program is an Australia-wide initiative to help seniors develop digital skills and confidence.

Richelle said a couple of her regulars are now working on very detailed research projects on the history of patchwork.

Con's next goal is to learn how to format a letter using the right spacing and fonts.

"Now my daughter says, 'Dad, you're a legend'," he said with a laugh.

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