High school films explore positive ageing

Victorian high school students have made short films about older people that will be shown as part of the Victorian Seniors Festival, at an event to promote intergenerational engagement and the positive side of ageing.

Above: Ann Holmes with three students from Footscray City College, who made a film about her experience of World War Two.

Over the past few months, Victorian high school students have been making friends with people many years their senior while producing short films about their fascinating lives.

The students are making the short documentaries as part of the Victorian Seniors Festival, guided by the question, ‘How do older people inspire you?’, with the top three winning prize packs, trophies and cash prizes for their schools.

Each three-to-five-minute film will be shown on Sunday, 7 October, at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, at a free event called Be Inspired! Intergenerational conversations through film.

One entrant, a Footscray City College Year 7 student, produced a film with two friends about the wartime experience of his neighbour, Ann Holmes, who emigrated from Northern Ireland in 1950.

“I thought they were very nice lads,” Ms Holmes said. “However, I couldn’t do what they were doing with the little cameras and all the technical stuff!”

The three students, Shaemus, Mario and Keanu, said they had learnt a lot about how different life was in the Second World War, when Ms Holmes was just 17 years old.

Kate Hough, the acting chief executive of Leading Age Services Australia – Victoria (LASA Vic), said the films and the event were both fantastic opportunities to showcase and discuss intergenerational friendships and understanding.

“Our older Victorians have wonderful experiences to share with younger people,” Ms Hough said. “This competition has enabled stories like Ann’s to be captured and to inspire younger generations.”

Ms Hough said she looked forward to seeing the completed films and encouraged the public to come along to the free event.

The videos will be judged by well-known comedy actor Mick Molloy, ABC radio movie critic Rhett Bartlett and the CEO of Leading Age Services Australia, Gerard Mansour.

After the film judging, Mr Bartlett and Mr Mansour will join a panel to discuss “how to facilitate intergenerational relationships and understanding”, hosted by aged care consultant Roland Naufal.

Mr Naufal is also the lead organiser of two upcoming forums designing intergenerational programs and spaces, to be held in Melbourne on 24 September and Sydney on 28 September.

The intergenerational film competition and event is the third annual Be Inspired! event, and is being run jointly by LASA Vic and the Victorian branch of Alzheimer’s Australia as well as several aged and community service providers.

Annecto, Arcare, Baptcare, Benetas, Blue Cross, TLC Aged Care, Villa Maria and Aged Care Services Group Australia have all contributed to the project.

The yearly project came about when LASA Vic (formerly Aged and Community Care Victoria) brought together aged care providers from Victoria to participate in the Seniors Festival by promoting the positive side of ageing, according to Annecto’s marketing and communications manager, Di Erlichman.

At last year’s event, a group of seniors made a loud entrance to Melbourne’s Federation Square in a column of V8 Supercars.

“We work on aiming to promote a positive image of ageing in our community, to celebrate the achievements and contributions of older people in the community,” Ms Erlichman said.

“This year, hundreds of messages have been sent out to schools around Victoria, and there’s posters and other materials as well, so it’s raising awareness across the secondary school system as well this year. 

“We’re also looking forward to getting people coming forward to join the panel and talk about their thoughts on intergenerational relationships and the value of them.”

Tags: positive ageing, victorian-seniors-festival,

1 thought on “High school films explore positive ageing

  1. Every time I come across an article like this, I know why I continue to be passionate about aged care, what a fantastic initiative and I would love to see these films as part of the Peak Industry Conferences. Part of educating people of all ages re the value of ageing and the value that the aged bring to our communities cannot get enough air time.

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