Paula Swatman admits she isn’t very good at being retired. In fact, it’s quite possible that she’s as busy as she was when she was working as an academic. Her background is in information systems, and she gets great pleasure out of being one of the Tech Hour tutors at the Huon Valley Hub. Tech Hour offers one-on-one coaching to build basic digital skills.
Paula is one of the instigators of Tech Hour and she says she “absolutely loves it”.
“I get a real kick out of it. I feel a real connection to the community. We build relationships with people as well as help them with their problems.”
Paula moved to the Huon Valley from South Australia 13 years ago. She lives on a small farm with her husband. They have Santa Gertrudis cows, Wiltshire Horn sheep and lots of chickens which means they are fairly self-sufficient.
Paula says some people come in to their Tech Hour appointment with a new phone, or an iPad, and some people come in with more complex information technology (IT) issues.
“Whatever the need is we can help, and depending on the assistance needed, we can pair the person with the right tutor who has the most suitable skills.”
Paula said older people can sometimes feel they are a nuisance to their family members, or embarrassed, when it comes to computer-based technology.
But she says they really shouldn’t feel like that.
“I’ve been in computing for a very long time so I understand the principles, but for a lot of older people, this is all completely new, and it can seem frightening.
“But it’s not that frightening, as long as you don’t drop your phone in the toilet, anything you do can be undone. People are often amazed at what they can do once they learn. It’s really very satisfying for people.”
Tech hour appointments are free and are available every Wednesday (during school terms) between 10am and 1pm at the Huon Valley Hub in Huonville. To book your appointment email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 6264 0300.