Nan Bosler has been deeply involved in community work for almost 65 years, and has made a significant impact on quality of life for many older people and those affected by disability.
Her many and varied contributions range from delivering and championing adult education, aged and disability care, to broader community involvement such as establishing long-running holiday programs for handicapped children and caring for evacuees after Cyclone Tracy and for refugee orphans brought from Saigon after the Vietnam War.
Two years after retiring from paid employment as Community Development Officer Aged & Disability for Pittwater Council in 1996, Nan formed the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA). Under her leadership ASCCA has become a catalyst to enthuse, encourage, empower and assist seniors to explore technology at their own pace – not just computers, but also smartphones, tablets and many other emerging technologies that have become necessities of modern life – in a friendly and non-threatening environment.
"Technology can with the click of a mouse or flick of a finger open up a new world for those of us who want to age in place while keeping in touch with the world around us."
"Technology can with the click of a mouse or flick of a finger open up a new world for those of us who want to age in place while keeping in touch with the world around us," she explains.
Nan also represents ASCCA as a member of the consortium rolling out the Federal Government funded Broadband for Seniors Kiosks across Australia, providing Australians aged 50 years and over with free computer and internet access via the kiosks and basic training to help build their confidence.
She is also an accomplished author of books, articles and blog posts, publishing widely on topics including local history, war history, craft, activities and programs for diversional therapists, creative development of pre-schoolers, creative activities for disabled children and community management.
Her commitment to education – her own, as well as that of the community – is inspirational. Nan was over 50 years old when she when commenced the first of five tertiary qualifications: four of them from UTS, including a Master of Local Government completed whilst caring for her husband following two major strokes. She has since added a Cert IV Business (Governance) and an adapted Cert IV Training to her qualifications, and hopes to be able to complete a PhD someday. "Learning is a life-long experience," she says.
Nan has been involved in many facets of adult education ranging from planning and running community education courses to lecturing at University, and still gives guest lectures on ageing and technology. Her dedication has been recognised through various awards including the Order of Australia Medal, Advance Australia Award and Anzac of the Year Award. She has also served as an Australian Seniors Week Ambassador and Apia Adult Education Ambassador of the Year, and is a member of the inaugural NSW Ministerial Carers Advisory Council.
Now a great-grandmother, Nan's passion for giving back to the community and championing access to education and other services has seen her contribute significantly to the world around her, with wide-ranging impact that only can come from a lifetime of enabling others to overcome challenges and achieve their potential.