“Digital media tools, computer or mobile devices with Internet access, have formed a part of our lifestyle these days. We want our community to embrace technology and better our lives,” says Lawrence Pang, chairman of SAFRA Digital Media Club Interest Group, which was launched in April this year.
Joseph Wickeremasuriya, vice chairman of the interest group, says: “The interest group is a gathering of like-minded individuals to help address an area of interest on the creation of content in new media and social platforms.”
While the interest group has been incepted to promote community bonding through fun and learning programmes with the use of digital media tools, it also turns out to be a platform for members to get together to fulfil another aspiration: Volunteerism.
Pang says it all started with how he had wanted to contribute his time to volunteerism to SAFRA in a familiar area of interest, given his professional expertise and networking sources. “I took on photography as a profession for more than a decade and witnessed the evolution of the film camera to the digital DSLR camera of dual functions,” he recounts. “Young fathers and teens are coming to us with their experiences in engaging digital media tools. There is a lack of knowledge but a desire to learn. I hope to tap on this gap to create a community of learners.”
With this goal in mind, Pang took the first step towards creating the digital media club interest group. “At a SAFRA volunteer get-together session, I had a chat with the Senior Club Manager of SAFRA Punggol on the social media scene and this was where the idea of the interest group was mooted,” he says.
Although the new interest group kicked off its activities in June with its debut workshop, there are already plans for more later this year, reveals Wickeremasuriya. “We are planning for regular activities [like the one on the 1 Jun] about how to create and edit Youtube videos on mobile phones. Going forward, we hope to run more workshops, seminars, photo and video walks, Q&A sessions with professionals, and so forth.”
Committee member Kelvin Tay adds that more classes will be planned depending on the reception received. “Currently, we are planning to have quarterly workshops or talks. If the response is good, we will add more sessions,” he says. Other programmes are also in the works, Pang adds. “We also hope to organise nation-wide programmes to enable our NSmen opportunities to showcase their work. Members can also look forward to street walks.”
Ultimately, digital media is here to stay and it is imperative for one to learn these tools, quips Pang. “The broader vision is to create a community of learners and ambassadors who are passionate about the use of digital media tools to improve our lifestyle in a positive way,” he states.