Grand pair talk up The Grand Plan

The unlikely friendship between a 37-year-old agnostic comedian and a 75-year-old Catholic priest is a major focus of the aged care industry’s combined election campaign.

John Safran and Father Bob Maguire have lent their support to the aged care industry’s united election campaign in a bid to get people talking about the older people who have had an impact on their life.

The unlikely friendship between the 37-year-old agnostic comedian and the 75-year-old Catholic priest is a major focus of The Grand Plan campaign which is being led by the Campaign for Care of Older Australians (CCOA).

The high profile comic pair, who co-host a Sunday night radio program on Triple J, are being used to draw attention to the important role of ‘grand’ older people.

Safran says that working with Father Bob has added a new perspective to his life.

“The reason I really like working with him and that I get on really well with [Father Bob] is that he’s very sharp and he’s constantly funny. He’s very wise,” Safran said.

“I always find it interesting the way that older people put new spins on the things that are happening in the world.

“If there’s an event or tragedy that happens, they have seen a different version of it or something similar before and they see things through that filter.” 

For his part, Father Bob says Safran has helped to keep him alert and up to date.

“I have to be nimble on my feet – not physically but mentally and emotionally – because we have got a clash of cultures,” he said.

“He’s thoughtful – he watches films and listens to music and he’s a filmmaker and satirist. I’m probably that way inclined but because of my background, for the past 75 years I have lived at a much, much slower pace and because I’m a Catholic priest I am confined in a way.

“But because I got mixed up with Safran, I had to learn in to speak in tongues – the language of 20 and 30 somethings – and that helps me in my Catholic religion too. It introduces the obligation to make sense to all sorts of people, including young people.”

Safran and Father Bob share their story on The Grand Plan website where all Australians are encouraged to celebrate the ‘grand’ people in their lives by posting a tribute or sending a postcard.

The site also urges voters to send an email to their local MP in the lead up to the federal election.

Father Bob said it was also important to pay tribute to the people who provide vital aged care services.

“They are onto something special,” he said. “Older civilisations would have called them wayfinders because they help people to find a way through.

“Just because somebody is older that doesn’t mean that they are incapable of finding their way through the fog of being elderly.”

The Campaign for Care of Older Australians is a coalition made up of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Aged Care Association Australia (ACAA) and nine church and charitable aged care organisations.

Click here for more information on The Grand Plan campaign.

Tags: ccoa, election-campaign, father-bob-maguire, john-safran, the-grand-plan,

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