Archive for May 2011

CRC Forum: What is important to your community?

May 30th, 2011 — 11:54am

We all know that the CRC video conferencing network can provide easy access to resources, training and services. But we would really like to hear about

  • What are the specific services (government, commercial, not for profits) that you would benefit your community most?
  • How would these services contribute to your community?
  • What are some of the issues getting in the way of accessing these resources/services?

We are hoping that this forum will bring to light the areas where video conferencing can contribute to WA local communities most and we can work together to make it happen.

Please share your thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment/reply to this post below. Look forward to hearing from you :)

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Swiss expert visits Williams CRC

May 30th, 2011 — 10:32am

At BeingThere you know we’re proud of what we do and the services we provide, but what you might not realise is how proud we are that we can help local communities achieve their goals despite their location.

Not so long ago, a group of people in the Williams area of Western Australia embarked on a campaign to explore the question of using GM crops in their area after the WA State Government lifted a ban on genetically modified.

On the one side of the fence, quite literally, was the pro GM team. Their arguments received much media attention; they had the funding to commission key international lobbyists; and endeavour to influence decision makers.

On the other side there was concern and strong feeling that the genetically modified crops would contaminate local farmland and produce that many in the area had spent a lifetime cultivating, growing and nurturing. However they did not have the financial clout to be able to fund experts to participate in the local debate.

David and Goliath battle.

In conjunction with the Williams CRC (Community Resource Centre) the community was able to facilitate a balanced discussion on the matter using the BeingThere video conferencing service. The community and various representatives gathered at the CRC to hear from both sides.

Using our video conferencing service and support the GM campaigners concerned about the local impact introduced topic expert Jochen Koester by his joining into the discussion from his office in Switzerland. Jochen was able to provide a fully interactive presentation from the other side of the world – the quality of the audio and vision made this incredible geographic separation hard to believe.

Gerry Murphy from BeingThere said the service was ideal for this sort of scenario.

“For a tiny fraction of the cost of an airfare from Switzerland to WA, the local group was able to access some of the best and brightest talent in the world to enable a more balanced discussion,” he said.

“We’re thrilled that we can provide seamless connections of excellent quality to experts around the world.

We challenge you to think about how you could use a guest expert to champion your cause or improve your success if distance and location were no issue?

Please CLICK HERE to share your ideas on how CRC video conferencing can be used to benefit you local community. Look forward to hearing what you have to say.

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Speech pathology at Wellstead CRC

May 30th, 2011 — 10:17am

Many families living in rural and remote areas in Western Australia are resigned to the fact that (rightly or wrongly) they can’t access the same level of services that their city-based counterparts enjoy.

In some cases, to access specialists, medical or other services, individuals need to travel for hours or even days to their closest regional centre.

Added to this geographic isolation are the unpredictable weather patterns of the state where severe rain or flooding can block the only access roads in and out of communities for significant amounts of time.

As problematic as this scenario seems, there is a solution that is changing this remote landscape. Through utilising the Community Resource Centres network of local facilities on the BeingThere video conferencing network, isolated communities can now access specialist advice and services at the touch of a button.

Just recently we helped the a family in Wellstead access speech pathology services in Albany which would have ordinarily been difficult because of the extensive travel cost and time involved. Wellstead to Albany is a 200Km round trip.

The children aged 9 and 7 needed regular consultation with a speech pathologist in Albany. Through the BeingThere video conference network the children were able work with a leading practitioner in the field once a week. After school the children would head to the local Wellstead CRC where they would have their consultation via BeingThere video conferencing.

The children’s mum said the both the speech pathologist and the children were incredibly pleased with the arrangement.

“The speech pathologist in Albany was able to achieve the same results via BeingThere that she could achieve by having the children sitting with her in her consultancy room – the sessions were seamless and the family didn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on travel expenses and cope with the stresses and impracticalities of uprooting the children for their treatment once per

One of the key benefits was that the children’s primary teacher was able to join in the session with the speech pathologist and then apply the strategies in the class room consistent with the speech pathologist practice.

Amazing stuff with amazing results! According to the children’s Mum the children have improved their speech remarkably and are a perfect example of how living in regional and remote communities doesn’t have to mean second rate access to important services.

Do you know anyone who can’t access the services they need to because of their geographic situation?

Please CLICK HERE to share your ideas on how CRC video conferencing can be used to benefit you local community. Look forward to hearing what you have to say.

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Bringing the world to your doorstep

May 30th, 2011 — 10:02am

A catch up over coffee with a colleague seems stock-standard enough right?

But what happens when the colleague you need to catch up with is sitting thousands of kilometres away from you?

Denise Sutherland, Regional Coordinator at Dowerin Community Resource Centre, does exactly this on a regular basis. Denise’s region of responsibility covers more than half a million square kilometres which means coffee catch ups in person are not the most practical business meeting solution!

“I use Being There’s services to allow me to go to committee meetings that distance would otherwise prevent me from attending. Using video conferencing I can cheaply and easily join my colleagues and feel like I’m sitting there beside them,” she said.

Manager of the Bridgetown Community Resource Centre, John Nicholas has used our evolving technology to conduct and attend meetings where participants are geographically dispersed,  participate in training courses and help community members attend meetings outside the local area.

“People who live in remote areas can often make the incorrect assumption that if events are held in Perth or other major cities, it rules them out from participating. This conferencing technology is as its namesake implies – it’s like you’re actually there!” he said.

Natika Hawes-Wright, Manager of the Kununurra Community Resource Centre has also experienced first-hand the benefits that quality video conferencing can provide.

“I’m located a long way from anywhere and through this technology I have been able to up skill and participate in training programs that I would otherwise not have been able to attend because of the sheer distance and cost involved in traveling.  I was able to attend and participate in a Mac computer course virtually which has been so helpful as there is no one in my local area with this type of knowledge or skill – so instead of missing out, I jump on a video conference and bring the experts to me!” she said.

We’re always on the lookout for creative ways to bring the world to your doorstep. Natika has set the challenge of doing a video conference Pilates class – a great idea!

We’re keen to know what you would like to bring to your doorstep! How can the CRC/BeingThere services be used to help you in your everyday life? We’d love to hear from you – let us know your thoughts (and remember nothing is impossible)! Please CLICK HERE to share your ideas.

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