Shaping a Web for Inclusion
by Andrew J. Dunn
Police Association of South Australia (PASA) has published PASAweb as a communications tool and research resource for its members and other web users predominantly in the policing and industrial representation areas.
The Internet and particularly the World Wide Web is a massive collection of information available to all users and only a rudimentary knowledge of computer operations will allow its retrieval. What better place to put our information? The technology to access the Web is readily available and in fact already in the possession of many PASA members, the target audience of PASAweb. Thus, the origins of PASAweb began in a non-organizational setting.
As an informational resource PASAweb has been successful in providing an up-to-date and accurate depository of union materials. PASA members wanting to check on their entitlements can simply look at their Award at their own Association's Web site and know that what they see is what they get. No more cut and paste hardcopy dilemmas or of "is this really up-to-date?". Members of kindred organizations can access our reference material for comparative or template purposes. Students of industrial relations can research their projects in the knowledge that PASAweb offers them a complete reference resource for this union.
It was important that PASA obtained its own domain name. Members can better identify and gain ownership of their Web site when it bears their organization's name. In addition, chat capabilities are under consideration.
Feedback from members (and other interested web users) has been totally positive some suggestions have been acted upon. The access to Web sites by publishers means that a response to the needs and/or wants of the users can be almost instantaneous. This immediacy can be a hindrance particularly with additions or amendments to a Web site being made without the usual consideration and contemplation that a hardcopy publication offers! The Internet can be too fast sometimes! PASAweb hasn't suffered from the anecdotally stated impulsiveness having introduced a double entry method of publishing to the World Wide Web very early in its existence. Two members of the Executive Committee always vet or proof each update.
Andrew J. Dunn (email@example.com) is a 39 year old police sergeant in South Australia and lives in suburban Adelaide, the state capital. Andy has been a police officer for 23 years in South Australia and Hong Kong. He is an elected board member of the Police Association of South Australia, the sole industrial and professional representative body for police officers there.
Copyright © 1996 by Andrew J. Dunn. All Rights Reserved.