Gippsland Carers Association is a voluntary support, education, information and advocacy association for unpaid family carers.
Voluntary carers provide care worth over $40 billion per year in the face of limited support for Australians with dependent disabilities. It’s an important issue and we’re glad to have been involved in supporting the GCA in their use of new media technology to extend their reach and expand on the work they do.
The GCA’s main goals for their website were to provide an accessible source of help and information for carers, and to convey up-to-date information to decision makers to support and expand the GCA’s advocacy role. Along with a slideshow feature on the front page to introduce them to their audience of carers and policy makers, we designed a tri-column layout illustrating and supporting the GCA’s multi-pronged approach to the need for reform in disability service provision: Help For Carers, Current Campaigns, and a News module that pulls the most recent items from their news section.
All the content is completely dynamic and controllable by the client through the Content Management System (CMS), including uploading new slideshow slides and changing banner content. Users can add or remove themselves from the newsletter list, which the GCA can mail directly from the CMS; newsletters sent out are published automatically to the appropriate page of the site for online viewing. An RSS feed and Facebook/Twitter integration make it easy to keep readers in the loop.
Entirely new to managing a website, the GCA’s people took to the CMS like the proverbial ducks to water. With a little bit of training, they’ve gone all-out with tweaks and alterations, adding additional modules to the front page and restructuring the menu. Of course it’s ideal to know what content’s involved in advance of mocking-up layouts, but the ability to change your mind even after development is complete is one of the greatest benefits of a CMS website for many clients. Learning by trying things out can provide a workable model where resources are scarce, and the ability to refine to some extent after handover means the flexibility to re-work things as new needs are recognised.
As with all our CMS sites, the Gippsland Carers’ new website is also able to be extended with additional features, such as forums — perfect for supporting the GCA’s growth into the future.
Check them out: the Gippsland Carers Association.