Innovations Lab to foster community learning and socialising in Western Australia

An announcement made by the Government of Western Australia highlighted the launch of the Innovations Lab located at the City of Stirling. A part of the Local Projects, Local Jobs program, the Innovations Lab will be a perfect venue for the local community to socialise and at the same time learn about computers, test out robotics and the new technology.

The City of Stirling received A$50,000 from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to develop the Innovations Lab. With the launch of the new Innovations Lab, patrons of the Mirrabooka Library now have an outlet for their creative juices. Library users can now test out robotics and bring their creations to life.

Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman attended the launch of the library's Innovations Lab, a new interactive public space and digital hub for the local community. Located at the City of Stirling, the lab is the first of its kind among the city’s six libraries.

Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin and Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman were also present during the launch of the lab. The Innovations Lab is described as an ideal facility to educate and enhance people’s computer skills and at the same time allowing them access to new technologies.

Regardless of background and digital literacy, lab users will be encouraged to create, socialise and learn through a variety of technological tools that are not available otherwise.

The project encourages the sharing and experimentation of tools and materials such as 3D printing, robotics, software, music production and other technologies. There will also be a series of co-ordinated workshops, collaborative projects and events that will be conducted by library staff, industry experts and volunteers as part of the project.

The project is part of the Local Projects, Local Jobs program, which provides funding to grassroots programs and initiatives that benefit local communities. This program provides grants to community organisations, such as sporting groups and not-for-profit organisations, to deliver important upgrades to facilities and programs as well as expand services.

Mayor Irwin said, “Not only does it have the ability to connect people from all backgrounds with technology and each other, it provides them with a physical learning space where they can create, experiment, and learn, using a variety of digital tools.”

Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman said the lab was important for the Mirrabooka area, which had an employment rate of 21 per cent.

City library services manager Ms Viv Barton said the City urged schools and the community to join programs and work in the lab.  

Minister Templeman said, “The Innovations Lab will be a great way for users to improve their creative and technological skills.”

He added, “Local libraries are also a hub for the community, and I am sure this project will only encourage these social ties.”

He furthered, “The Local Projects, Local Jobs program has funded many initiatives that have made a big difference to our communities, and the Mirrabooka Library Innovations Lab will be no exception.”

Image Credit: OpenGov Asia

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