With IT, the kids rule

On course: Peter Mavromatakis shows mum Paula a thing or two on the computer.UNTIL recently, whenever mother-of-three Paula Mavromatakis went near a computer, she felt nothing but fear.
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“I was scared of them,” she says. “I was afraid if I touched a button something bad would happen.”

But through a new program devised by The Smith Family, Mrs Mavromatakis is now happily living with, and understanding, the “enemy”.

Tech Packs aims to puncture the theory of “what would kids know”, allowing a group of Hume students to give their parents a lesson in computing.

One of them is Mrs Mavromatakis’s 16-year-old son Peter, a year 11 student at Hume Central Secondary College, who took his mum under his wing for the four-week course.

“Before this course I literally didn’t know how to turn on a computer; I knew you had to push a button somewhere,” Mrs Mavromatakis says with a laugh.

“I did a computer course at Collingwood TAFE before the kids were born, but I’ve had nothing to do with them since.”

But with her son’s guidance, Mrs Mavromatakis has learnt the fine art of surfing the net and using YouTube.

Mrs Mavromatakis is among a few residents in the Hume area who either don’t know how, or can’t afford, to go online despite almost three-quarters of Australian households having broadband.

Tech Packs cost only $50. Families can get their hands on a low-cost refurbished computer with 12 months’ free internet access and can attend four free computer classes.

The Smith Family’s Anne Marmion said the program was about removing parents’ mental barriers.

The Smith Family’s winter appeal is also now on. The charity aims to raise $3.7 million nationally to help 10,000 disadvantaged children.

Details: thesmithfamily南京夜网.au.