About Us

Parramatta Computer Pals for Seniors Inc., affectionately known as ParraPals, was established in 2007 to provide a friendly, inclusive and easily accessible environment in which seniors over 55 can learn and develop new technology skills.

ParraPals Using Smartphone and Tablet

ParraPals

Run entirely by volunteers, our club relies on trainers who are all seniors themselves and are patient, understanding and able to ensure each student can learn at a pace they are comfortable with. We have more than 100 members ranging in age from 55 up to students in their eighties.

In Term 3 2022 we are offering one to one help sessions with our trainers at various venues; our regular monthly member meeting at Granville; and special interest groups and user groups either face to face at Granville, or via zoom.

Our membership of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) links us to similar clubs across Australia.

ParraPals IT Talk

Our Club

ParraPals is an incorporated, not-for-profit association which is managed by an elected committee. We’re run entirely by volunteer seniors and, despite having no paid staff, we pride ourselves on offering services of the highest standard. To book classes, students must first join our club for a small joining fee plus an annual fee which helps cover the cost of our insurance and ensures we can keep our course costs as low as possible. Learn more about joining ParraPals here.

ParraPals Student Completing Course

Our Courses

ParraPals offers personal, one to one help with an experienced volunteer trainer.  Our trainers can assist you to use a wide variety of technology, including Android and Apple phones and tablets and Windows and Apple computers.  We can also help with using social media such as Facebook and with apps and software such as Microsoft Office.

We also offer user groups and special interest groups that meet monthly, either face to face or via Zoom.

Our Training Venues

We use The Granville Centre at Memorial Road, Granville for meetings and some courses.   This venue is wheelchair-accessible.   Our Parramatta venue is no longer available for training.

ParraPals Training Room

Our Trainers

Our courses are run entirely by volunteers who are seniors themselves. We teach using language you can understand and at a pace you feel comfortable with. Our trainers are retired and come from a wide range of backgrounds including public service, teaching, nursing, telecommunications and the private sector. A couple of our trainers started out as ParraPals students which testifies to the level of expertise that can be gained through attending our courses!

Most courses have a trainer and at least one assistant trainer to ensure each student receives the personalised attention they need. Our volunteer trainers and assistant trainers are passionate about sharing their skills and watching their students gain in confidence as they master the skills to use technology in new ways.

We’re always on the lookout for more volunteer trainers. If you have some skills to offer and would like to get involved, we encourage you to contact our Club President to discuss opportunities. All trainers are members of the club and full trainer support is provided. You can plan your volunteer involvement to fit in around your other commitments such as appointments, grandparent duties and travel.

ParraPals Smartphone and Android Tablet

Our Students

Our club has over 100 members ranging in age from 55 (our youngsters!) through to students well into their 80s. We cater to local residents from Parramatta and Cumberland local government areas and also welcome any seniors able to travel to our easily accessible locations. Some of our students are experiencing computer technology for the first time and are keen to develop the skills they need to operate their device, communicate with loved ones, use the internet and view and save photos. Others have had a little more experience and are looking to expand their knowledge, put their device to greater use or learn to use specific software programs, apps and online resources. If you have any queries at all about joining our club or which of our courses would best suit you, we encourage you to get in touch with us here.

Our Students at ParraPals
Members doing Other Activities

Other Activities

In addition to our courses, ParraPals runs a variety of other activities such as excursions and social lunches throughout the year which enable members to share their experiences, learn new skills or simply enjoy socialising.

ParraPals Monthly Meeting

Monthly Meetings

Our monthly member meetings are held on the third Friday of each month.  We have resumed face to face meetings at Granville and all Club members receive an email invitation to the meeting.  . These meetings are a chance to catch up with the latest club news and listen to speakers who cover a variety of interesting topics relevant to seniors and technology.  Dates and times for our monthly meetings can sometimes vary, so please check our latest newsletter for details.

Social Outing

Field Trips

Field trips are organised throughout the year to a variety of destinations relevant to our Special Interest Groups. Past trips have included the World Press Photo Exhibition, Police and Justice Museum, Powerhouse Museum, Cockatoo Island and Elizabeth Farm.

ParraPals Social Events

Social Events

ParraPals organises a variety of social events throughout the year including lunches, picnics, theatre excursions and our annual Christmas party. These events give members the opportunity to socialise and get to know each other better in a relaxed and friendly environment. Check our current newsletter here for details of the latest upcoming social events.

Our History

Parramatta Computer Pals for Seniors was established in 2007. During the early days, our steering committee received great support from Parramatta City Council, the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) and other computer clubs in the area. Initially only offering training one day per week, over time we built up our membership and invested in more equipment, gradually expanding our program to five days per week.

Still growing steadily, ParraPals now has over 100 financial members supported by a dedicated team of volunteers.  Members volunteer their time as trainers, assistant trainers, office assistants, sitting on the management committee or contributing to administration, catering, supplies, IT maintenance and keeping our website and social media sites up to date.

Over the course of our history, the club has benefited from generous support from the City of Parramatta Council. We have also received a small number of ad-hoc government grants, but otherwise the Club 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.

ParraPals Trainers

Our Management Committee

ParraPals’ current Management Committee (2020 – 2021)  is as follows:

President: Deb Neyle
Vice President: Brian Deacon
Secretary: Deborah Martin
Treasurer: Colleen Burns
Training Co-ordinator: Hazel Labka
Member: Nikki Miani
Member: John Hain
Member: Lana Crotty
ParraPals Management Committee

Join ParraPals today and discover the world of fun, entertainment, convenience and communication that technology can bring to your life.