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www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
(l-r) Srs Denise Sullivan OP, Helen Apthorpe OP and Jenny Gerathy OP enjoying Tapestry.
"delightful" and said the Dominican
commitment to lifelong learning was
evident in his interactions with them.
Sr Denise Sullivan OP happily uses
Tapestry to keep in touch with her
only living sibling, Margaret, who is a
missionary in Kiribati and a member of the
congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred
The genesis of Tapestry owes something
to Andrew's grandmother and also his
wife's grandmother, now deceased. With
family members living and travelling
overseas, these matriarchs wanted
to keep in touch, but not to be slaves
to technology. As Andrew says, his
grandmother is "a passionate user" and it
can also be a way of 'checking in' rather
than 'checking up' on older relatives and
"Tapestry puts 'keeping in touch' in
the realm of relationship rather than
guardianship, and the generation gap
that can so easily exist is bridged, value
adding for everyone concerned."
To learn more, visit www.tapestry.net
and watch the introductory video, or
phone 8011 3842.
BY TRACEY EDSTEIN
App applicable to
'Tapestry' and 'social entrepreneurship'
are not usually terms you would associate
in your mind, but an innovative App which
runs on Tablet computers has brought the
two together and family and friendship
networks are benefiting.
Three years ago now, Andrew Dowling,
who grew up in Newcastle, was working
for one of the largest technology
companies in the world and managing
a staff of 160. Today, he works with
just seven others -- and he couldn't be
happier. The turning point for Andrew,
while studying for his MBA, was
encountering the emerging field of 'social
entrepreneurship', in which businesses
create sustainable business models in
order to address specific problems in
society. "I still remember feeling the hairs
on the back of my neck stand up when I
realised that this was what I really wanted
Fast forward to today, and Andrew and his
staff are further developing and promoting
'Tapestry', an app(lication) which runs on
Tablet computers combined with a private
social network designed for seniors and
families. It allows users to exchange digital
photos and messages easily and quickly.
While most users are the 'wisdom people'
of the community, Tapestry is relevant for
anyone who has basic computer literacy
but does not feel a need to constantly
update knowledge and understanding to
achieve the same outcomes.
On developing Tapestry, Andrew needed
guinea pigs -- and he found them amongst
the Dominican Sisters! After reading an
article in a local newspaper, one of the
Sisters contacted Andrew. Like many
seniors (the congregation's average age
is 80), Sisters wanted to keep in touch
with family members, especially younger
generations, but also with each other,
particularly when mobility is limited.
Sr Jill Shirvington OP, a member of the
congregational leadership team, says
Andrew was more than happy to come on
board and the Sisters found the app very
applicable to their situations. It doesn't
even require an email address if the user
prefers not to have one.
Andrew in turn found the Sisters
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