10 December 2021

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) and Goulburn Valley Water have joined forces with local organisations to supply laptops to disadvantaged residents across the Shepparton region.

The partnership between GMW, Goulburn Valley Water, Data Parts, Advance Computing and Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project will see more than 100 second-hand laptops distributed to those in need under the Laptops with Love project.

GMW and GV Water will provide the laptops to Data Parts and Advance Computing who will factory wipe and re-image the computers before distributing them to the Lighthouse Project.

GMW Information Technology manager Peter Holland said the project would provide computers that would normally be disposed of to disadvantaged community members who wanted to continue their studies.

“Being part of the Fairley Leadership program this year, I was exposed to themes such as education and young people and caring for the vulnerable. The Laptops with Love program fitted perfectly in making a difference,” he said.

“Being able to provide community support so these services can deliver their programs is something GMW is proud to be associated with.”

Goulburn Valley Water Managing Director Steve Capewell said seeing laptops donated back into the local community was a fantastic example of the region’s willingness to support others.

“We know the pandemic created a significantly increased demand for access to IT equipment, so Laptops with Love provides a great opportunity to give laptops that are no longer needed a new home where they can support others to achieve their goals,” he said.

“Laptops with Love is a wonderful partnership between local organisations and will provide such a great benefit for those in our community who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access such technology. It’s something we’re really proud to be a part of.”

Advanced Computing director Chris Motton said he was pleased to see the groups partnering to help the community.

“This is a great initiative by the Lighthouse Project to put laptops where needed locally,” he said.

“It’s great to be partnering with GMW, GVWater and Data Parts to make this happen.”

A Data Parts spokesperson also noted their satisfaction with the partnership.

"Data Parts is happy to be associated with a project that helps the local community,” they said.

The Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project was created in 2014 in response to community concern about poor outcomes for young people.

The project aims to encourage the community to support young people to realise their full potential.

Executive officer Lisa McKenzie said there are many disadvantaged families in our community that need access to laptops.

“We hear of families of six kids sharing one laptop and women seeking to return to study work who cannot afford a laptop to get started,’’ she said.

“We also have the Liftoff Scholarship program, where recipients are using their scholarship to buy a laptop when they could be using the funds for books and other learning equipment.

“We are super thankful for the generosity of these local organisations in lending their support to a project that will be a game changer for many families.”

For information about the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project, visit www.gslp.com.au