Orange's Bowen Technology Centre celebrates a decade

10 YEARS: Lizzy Johnson, Paula Townsend, Russell Turner, Emma Pratten, Maureen Horth, Ian Milton and Ron Gander at Bowen Tech centre. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 1114pbtech1
10 YEARS: Lizzy Johnson, Paula Townsend, Russell Turner, Emma Pratten, Maureen Horth, Ian Milton and Ron Gander at Bowen Tech centre. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 1114pbtech1

A decade ago, a wave of crime swept through the community of Bowen and the Resident’s Action decided to get involved. The result was the Bowen Technology Centre which marked the milestone this week.

“We did it out of necessity for the citizens of Bowen,” founding president Ron Gander said.

“We’re bridging the gap. There’s children who started coming to the centre who have now completed their HSC.

“(The centre) helps prepare them for life, it opens up career paths and shows them there’s a worthwhile future for them.”

Last year, 8345 students and young people used the centre to study and complete homework plus nearly 1400 adults who have received help with technology and government paperwork.

Director Paula Townsend credited Orange City Council and Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations, as well other community groups and businesses to the centre’s survival.

“Without Cadia coming to the party each year, we could have closed many years ago and with council allow us to use the building it’s kept us going.

“We’re right in the middle of two social housing areas, it makes doing our job really easy.”

Ms Townsend said the centre was here for the entire community.

“We helped 51 people do their census because they had no computer, had trouble with comprehension or English is their second language,” she said.

“We do have fun from time to time, but it’s about providing help for school work. It gives children the opportunity to stay on an even keel with their peers at school.

“Education is the most important thing society can give a child.”

In the last 12 months, Cadia has donated $15,000, Orange City Council donated $3000 and use of the building, Orange Ex-Services’ Club donated $1000, Mercy Foundation donated $1000 and Westpac donated $500.