Parramatta Computer Pals for Seniors was established in 2007. Planning had commenced after an Expo was held during Seniors Week 2006 at the Parramatta Riverside Theatres. A public meeting was held on 10th January 2007, and 30 seniors joined on the spot. Within two months, the membership had tripled.
Parramatta City Council and the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) gave our steering committee great support, and other computer clubs in the area gave us practical assistance whilst we saved to purchase new equipment. We gradually increased our training program from one day per week to five days per week.
The club now runs special interest groups where members assist less experienced members in areas of common interest.
Growing steadily, the club now has had an annual financial membership of about 280 seniors, with 8-10 trainers and about 20 other regular volunteers. Members help as training assistants, on the management committee, office reception, with catering and supplies, IT maintenance and web design.
From time to time, the club has successfully applied for ad-hoc grants from various levels of government or sourced in-kind sponsorship, but otherwise is entirely funded by its membership and course fees. There are no paid staff.
ParraPals is a member of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association.