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Technology to the community

19 August 2012

A new Salvation Army centre in Newcastle, which houses a number of services including the relocated Oasis Hunter Youth Network, has been opened recently.

Oasis supports young people, often from highly disadvantaged backgrounds, by offering a wide range of accredited training, life skills programs and housing support, and cares for more than 500 young people each year. Thousands more are contacted annually through community recreational events and outreach.

A new mobile IT bus - which features a classroom - known as ‘Ourspace’, also runs from the centre which was built in part with bequest funding. Ourspace was developed by Oasis and the NSW Department of Education and Training.

The bus is used to take nationally accredited vocational training and other educational programs to isolated suburbs and schools within the region. After hours, Ourspace delivers outreach programs to youth hotspots in the region such as hip hop workshops, creative writing and safe internet use.

One of the latest uses of the bus, according to Oasis’ James Cameron, is the new Grandparents Support Program (GPS). This program helps people who are raising their grandchildren, to understand the use - and potential danger – of modern social media and technology.

James says: “(Oasis) is about not just being able to get out and support young people, but also being able to support the people who support young people”.

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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