In memory of Sharen Scott
Mentor, supporter and champion of the Clubhouse: Sharen Scott (27 June 1965 – 1 April 2016)
It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Sharen Scott, one of the Clubhouse’s inaugural mentors, an active YWCA Canberra member, and a great supporter of building pathways for young people into STEM.
Sharen joined us as a mentor for the Clubhouse in 2014, before we had even officially opened. Her enthusiasm for the program, for its potential impact on young people, and above all, her enthusiasm for the power of technology to transform lives, had a lasting impact on the Clubhouse, our members, and our team.
Sharen’s contributions to the Clubhouse, both as a mentor and as a donor of much-needed equipment enabled us to contribute to the lives of many members, and was a key foundational support in establishing the Clubhouse. Her contributions will be remembered, and her presence at the Clubhouse sorely missed.
Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time.
Below is a brief Q&A we conducted with Sharen in 2014 when she first joined the Clubhouse. It demonstrates her passion for supporting young people to reach their potential through education and creativity.
About you, in a nutshell!
I work primarily in the field of Design Strategy and Service Design using a holistic citizen centric end-to-end approach. I first started getting into design thinking and strategy informally as a child. My dad really encouraged me to be curious and try new things, and then I got into the arts side of things, with film and production.
Currently, I am working on setting up my own consultancy, where I’ll work across all sectors sharing my wide range of expertise. I also volunteer for TEDxCanberra as the Production Manager, and the Government Liaison Lead for GovHack.
What drives you to take time out of your busy schedule to volunteer with young people?
Getting involved in volunteer activities can create a ripple effect with positive impacts for the wider community.
Volunteering can really transform the lives of others from one generation to the next.
I have an openness to alternative ideas, and an inquisitiveness to understanding the foundation of other people’s views.
Diversity and inclusiveness bring many benefits and create an atmosphere in which all people feel valued and respected and have access to the same opportunities.
I have volunteered for Camp Challenge for a number of years, and have also volunteered for other socially inclusive foundations for extensive periods of time.
I think I get more out of the people I help through volunteering than they get from me – their resilience and strength teaches me a lot.
What inspired you to become a Computer Clubhouse mentor, and what are you hoping to gain from the experience?
When I first heard about the Computer Clubhouse model, I thought it was such a great way of giving young people the chance to play with technology, and to be creative. I wanted to use the breadth of my expertise and experience to contribute to the Clubhouse.
I think the Clubhouse celebrates uniqueness and belonging: by giving young people a sense of uniqueness and recognising them for their distinct talents and skills they bring to the community, they feel they belong when they share important commonalities.
Rather than applying a text book approach that gives the impression that knowledge is constructed of static ideas, facts, and definitions, the Computer Clubhouse provides an alternative model.
The Clubhouse is all about interactive experimentation and encouragement of curiosity, providing a stable space for young people to become creative and flexible thinking individuals.
What are some of the skills and industry linkages you’re hoping to offer our Clubhouse Members?
I hope to encourage Clubhouse members to always learn something new – truly engage in different points of view, and validate unique perspectives.
I want to encourage young people to believe in themselves. By reversing roles, mentors not only facilitate development but model the act of taking a different perspective, something that is critical to working effectively in diverse communities.
I’m really excited to get the multimedia suite up and running, to show you don’t have to hardcode a website to work in tech. There’s also film, graphic design, photography – the arts side of things.
I want to work with the young people on their ideas and use my breadth of skills to hopefully contribute. And if I don’t know something, I’ll be looking to the other mentors to help!
I think the IT and technology spaces are really interesting. There are jobs in these industries that don’t even exist yet, but which are going to become increasingly important in five or ten years time.
There are so many pathways into a career in design thinking and strategy. It’s about being creative and having some experience with the technology you’re interested in.
And if the path you choose is tertiary education, then having had some experience through programs like the Computer Clubhouse will make a real difference.