The Beverley Telecentre has been described as one of the most exciting and innovative telecentres in the State.
Regional Development Minister Hendy Cowan said the facility provided a range of valuable services for the community, some of which were unique in the State-wide telecentre network.
Mr Cowan officially opened the new, bigger and better telecentre premises in Vincent Street - a far cry from its original home in the lounge of the Shire hall.
“The Beverley Telecentre has an interesting history, having originally started out in small premises with minimal resources as a node of the Southern Avon Telecentre which is located in Brookton,” he said.
“It wasn’t until October 1997 - following strong support from local residents - that the Beverley Telecentre was granted funding to establish as a separate entity, able to provide many more services and resources for the community.
“The move earlier this year into larger premises means the telecentre can now give full rein to its ideas for still more new and improved services.”
As well as providing access to computers, the Internet, scanning, printing, laminating, fax, photocopying and desktop publishing services, and to TAFE, university and adult community education courses, the telecentre has initiated a wide range of alternative community projects.
This includes negotiating to continue the ‘Work for the Dole’ program in Beverley to provide work experience and self-esteem for local unemployed people. It was also responsible for the introduction of the Beverley Informer Newsletter, now produced by volunteers under the direction of the telecentre.
It has also commenced a new program to provide access to Government information services, successfully gaining funds to enable the employment of an additional staff member for that purpose. It has organised numerous seminars on topical issues, particularly targeting seniors, and also conducts twice weekly meetings and activities for youth.
Mr Cowan congratulated everyone involved in the establishment and growth of the Beverley Telecentre, saying their efforts were reaping important social and economic dividends for the town.
“Ultimately, telecentres are about reducing the tyranny of distance and giving rural communities - including businesses, community groups and individuals - a fair go in utilising online services and latest technologies that people in larger centres can often take for granted,” he said.
Mr Cowan paid particular tribute to Southern Avon Telecentre Co-ordinator Jo Lupton, who was the driving force behind establishment of the first telecentre node facility, and to Gracie Courtney, who has been the town’s telecentre co-ordinator from its inception.
Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222 9595