Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Plug In And Connect With Gary Greenhill

People come to see Gary Greenhill for one reason: To connect with the world.

For computer-literate generations who were either born with iPads in their hands or, perhaps, introduced to them in a professional sense, computers are simple. They are taken-for-granted tools; they broaden our world whilst miniaturising it – everything at your fingertips.

For older generations of Australians, that is not so; computers are alien, fragile technology. And that is where Gary comes in.

Gary volunteers his time at Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre once a week to help seniors with their tech, getting them up to speed on email, Facebook, text messaging, you name it.

In one-on-one lessons, Gary teaches the art of devices and software, and in turn brings the residents of the Whitsundays into a modern, expansive world. It might seem scary, but underneath all the wires, the world and its people are just the same as the old one – we all want to connect with other people.

“My interest in computers began when I helped install them at my ambulance station out west when I was a young paramedic,” Gary said.

"Teaching older Australians about computers is something I enjoy; I enjoy helping people like this. It gives me a sense of purpose, especially watching people go: 'That is fantastic' because it opens a whole world for them. It allows them to connect with their family, but it’s a social outing that they and I enjoy. We bond over this learning, social outing.”

Gary, who has experience professionally building websites and coding, is a certified computer whiz. He has been running computer literacy classes for almost two years at the local not-for-profit because he said "we cannot know enough people."

“I have met so many interesting people and helped them reconnect to the world,” Gary said.

“The most common thing people come in for is email, text, Facebook, messaging, using their phone. It is to keep in contact, to be social. To help them makes me feel excellent.”

Gary said he soon plans to begin group classes focused on internet scams, teaching anyone what to look out for and avoid.

For more information on Gary’s Computer Literacy Class, ring the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre.

Gary Greenhill (R) teaches computer literacy classes at the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre one day a week to help people connect with the world

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