Aotearoa People's Network

People's Network People - Chris McClement

Earlier this year Chris McClement was appointed as APNK and Kōtui manager, but who is this mysterious man at the helm of APNK? By way of introducing him to our extended People's Network whānau, we thought an interview might be appropriate.

What's your background, Chris? Where were you working before we snaffled you?

Chris McClement - APNK and Kōtui ManagerMy career leading up to the APNK was mostly in the IT sector, with dabblings in schools and vocational training. I actually started out as a high school teacher, and hold a B.A. in English and Higher Diploma in Education from the University of Cape Town. Unfortunately I found after teaching at two different schools that the lifestyle of a teacher was not for me (kudos to the long hours they put in with little thanks) so I moved into the IT sector. I held various roles including technical support, system administration, training, procurement, management and consulting. Although I'm a technical geek what really floats my boat is seeing the difference that technology can make to people's lives.

What made you want to apply for the APNK and Kōtui manager's role?

The thing that amazed me about what the APNK does is that it matters. There's more to life than making a profit or taking home a salary, and the APNK offered so much in terms of being involved in something that makes a tangible difference to people's lives through technology. When I was preparing for my interviews I was blown away by the Impact Evaluations that showed how people were able to practice digital citizenship daily because of what the APNK is doing in libraries.

How are you finding Christchurch aka Earthquake Central?

One of the attractions of the role, believe it or not, was that it was based in Christchurch. After the September quake hit I wanted to participate in the recovery effort; but I didn't know how to do this beyond making a donation to a charity working in Christchurch. When the APNK role came up I realised that it was the perfect opportunity to participate in a more personal way.  I like the idea that moving here means that I'm contributing to an economy that desperately needs private spending. Each time I buy groceries, or pick up furniture for the flat, or visit the local pub in Sydenham, I feel as though I'm getting double value - once for the satisfaction of a personal want or need, and twice for the injection of my dollars into the local economy.

As far as the shakes go, the biggest I've felt so far is a 5.5. I missed the 6.0 because I was stranded in Auckland due to the Ash Cloud. When I first moved here, I think during the first or second week, there was a 4.7 during a Skype video call to my wife. When I got back to the computer she pointed out that I had looked terrified before I dashed off. Veterans of Christchurch will probably be having a good chuckle now - 4.7 is hardly worth writing home about! Personally I am amazed at the resilience of the people around me who have gone through much more and who are still able to make a game of guessing the magnitude of each shake to lighten the mood when they happen.

Favourite thing to do on a computer (when you're not working on it, that is)

I enjoy playing the odd video game - currently a game called "League of Legends" - but unfortunately being a bit of an old codger I'm not very legendary. Instead I enjoy commentating on competitive gaming. Across the Internet there are gamers competing for kudos and cash and often when they play the matches are streamed, together with commentary. The great thing about commentating is you have a good couple of hours of opining with no interruptions.  Sometimes I worry that I like the sound of my own voice too much!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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