Wednesday, 16 May 2012 00:37

Deal to supply superseded computers to help the needy

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A deal has been done between the federal government’s Department of Human Services and WorkVentures, whereby the government will supply laptops to the not-for-profit company to be refurbished and sold at a discount price to Centrelink concession card holders, low income earners, schools and other not-for-profit organisations.

Under the deal, just announced by the Minister for Human Services, Senator Kim Carr, up to 800 will receive computers, with the Minister forecasting that the first 800 computers are expected to be followed by many more in future years.

"This is a win for everyone. To provide the best service the department constantly updates its technology – but that means a lot of old computers need new homes. Making them affordable for the people who need them most makes good sense," Senator Kim Carr said.

WorkVentures CEO, Arsenio Alegre, said the organisation had spent 33 years helping people at risk of social and economic exclusion “improve their lives using the benefits of technology,” and he said said the new contract with the department was a vote of confidence in the program.

"According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are almost 1.5 million Australian households without a computer. WorkVentures is committed to helping those households access government and business services online, search for jobs and get connected with family and friends using technology.

"Ensuring a consistent supply of computers is our greatest challenge. This new partnership helps to strengthen our supply and achieve economies of scale – meaning lower prices."

Alegre said that since 2002, WorkVentures had refurbished and resold more than 35,000 computers and he said that laptop computers with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and a laptop bag were priced from $319, including delivery.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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