Tech-education experts from Boston, Massachusetts have visited Bathurst in western NSW to support the creation of a ‘Clubhouse’ – a free after-school technology-learning hub for young people. Clubhouse Bathurst is part of the international Clubhouse Network and will be funded by Regional NSW.
Tech-education experts from Boston, Massachusetts have visited Bathurst in western NSW for the launch of a new ‘Clubhouse’ – a free after-school technology-learning hub for young people.
Clubhouse Bathurst is part of the international Clubhouse Network and will be funded by Regional NSW, while the not-for-profit organisation, Social Futures, will manage The Clubhouse. (Social Futures also runs Clubhouses in Lismore and Ballina.)
The first Clubhouse was established in 1993 by two education researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT is a top global university), and one of those still sits on the Network’s board of directors.
There are now more than 125 clubhouses in 20 countries, which introduce learners to creative technology.
Clubhouse Bathurst will provide young people (aged 12 to 18 years) with a safe and supported space to explore technologies like video and sound editing, movie making, and animation creation along with a youth worker. The Clubhouse is equipped with sound and video editing, games, robotics, and also traditional crafts.
The Clubhouse Network’s Executive Director, Lisa Cook, travelled to Bathurst from her base in Boston for the Clubhouse opening.
“I am inspired by your partnership with The Clubhouse Network in support of young people in New South Wales,” Ms Cook said.
“Together we support the next generation to develop technical and interpersonal skills, set long-term goals and become their best selves.
“Most importantly, we are preparing youth to become future leaders in the digital workforce in their communities.”
Ms Cook is accompanied by colleague, Matt Burke, The Clubhouse Network’s Community Manager, who covers the US, Australia, and Asia.
“In my time with The Clubhouse Network, I’ve seen so many incredible things happen for the young people of our global community,” Mr Burke said.
“Sometimes, it’s as small as a tiny spark of an idea or an affirmation that pushes a member forward just enough to try something new. Sometimes the convergence of mentorship, community support, and technological resources can set a course that leads that member to a life of success based on a pathway of their own design.
“With the right team in place, the possibilities are endless, and from having witnessed the incredible work they’ve done in their existing Clubhouse spaces, I’m so excited for the ways the Social Futures team will impact the future as they expand their reach and impact to more youth in New South Wales.”
Social Futures CEO Tony Davies said it was an honour to host the visitors from Boston and he loved The Clubhouse motto, ‘Where Technology Meets Imagination’.
“This encapsulates the program’s goal of teaching young people to use the latest tech tools to create and express themselves,” Mr Davies said.
“Think of all the flow-on benefits for young people learning to do things like code games, edit movies and animate cartoons – they are being challenged to think, develop new concepts, find the technologies to realise new ideas, build their multimedia skills, and ultimately believe in themselves, grow in confidence, and realise that they have so much to offer their community and the world.
“It is so exciting to see the Clubhouse model arrive in Bathurst, and Social Futures is looking forward to strengthening our connections to this beautiful city.”
PHOTO: The Clubhouse Network’s Executive Director, Lisa Cook (right), with the Clubhouse Bathurst team leader Clare Lewis and Clubhouse program worker, Rameez Merchant.