This part of what I love about my work the fact that, pending available bandwidth, I can support organisations and businesses around the state from anywhere, I am based in Kununurra, one of the more remote and expensive to get to and from towns of Western Australia. But that doesn't mean having half-baked phone calls and dodgy Skype sessions or impersonal (and in my opinion, ineffective) webinars to deliver to the masses. I much prefer fully supported and totally engaging video conferencing sessions for my clients and target audiences.
One of the video conferencing tools I have been using is a fully supported service from Perth based company, BeingThere. Without their passion, knowledge, expertise and unfailing support, I am certain that my business and the outcomes for my clients would not have been as successful as they have been this year.
Becoming an expert in remote information delivery is something I constantly strive towards, as I have said before, I don't feel I'm an expert in anything, there's always more to learn. However, delivering effective information and support services, building and maintaining working relationships across a vast geographical area is something I enjoy doing and I do well. Yes we have connectivity challenges in some of the more remote parts of our country, but with support and a great understanding of some of those challenges, I am able to deliver some great projects to a number of communities, in partnership with a variety of grass roots organisations working for all of their communities' benefit.
I am half way through delivering the SWADE Project on behalf of the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA), and we're supporting Community Resource Centres (CRCs) and Neighbourhood Centres (NCs) in delivering Digital Literacy training to seniors in their communities. By supporting the CRCs and NCs to access grants, working with them to assist in recruiting voluntary digital mentors or increasing their staff capacity to support seniors in their digital discovery journey, all from Kununurra, 3,500km from Perth by road - that's equivalent to a day's flying, or three days drive away. I work closely with my colleague Jen, who's in Walpole, 4,000km by road from me, and at about $1000 return for the flights, and then a bit of a drive down to Walpole, we don't get together very often, but we see each other each week, via video. The cost in time and finances to actually meet, well you can work those figures out!
The CLEO Project was a pilot project funded to develop a partnership between the Wheatbelt Community Legal Centre and CRCs to deliver legal education to communities across the Wheatbelt with less time spent out of the office for their small team of lawyers. The engagement the lawyers evoked in their sessions was wonderful to see. The Legal Info Session for Seniors offered a number of people the opportunity to fire off general questions about topics such as enduring power of attorney and advanced health directives, and they did so with great enthusiasm!
So next time you get an invite for a (mind numbing) webinar, dare to ask if they would consider using a more engaging style of video conference rather than sitting in front of a screen listening to a faceless voice, watching a (death-by) powerpoint presentation. If they can't or won't, then maybe you need to seek out more innovative, proficient trainers who're prepared to give more personalised and effective service delivery. We live in the bush, not the dark ages after-all, why shouldn't we have access to top class information and service delivery?
Natika describes herself as a tech-tragic. Having been swept up in Apple Mania, this is where she's at her most tragic, but she's been an early adopter of new technologies for years and loves exploring ways to adapt the latest gadgets into everyday life.