PARTICIPANTS of the Karadi Aboriginal Corporation’s Youth Program and residents of Glenview Nursing Home have created a book to immortalise the time they have spent together, launched recently at Glenview Nursing Home.
The Karadi Aboriginal Corporation is an organisation which works to promote and support the physical, cultural, social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal community in southern Tasmania.
For the past year, karadi high school students from Cosgrove and Montrose Bay high schools visited the elderly residents of Glenview Nursing Home each Monday as part of the inaugural ‘kani-mama’ (meaning ‘talk lots’) project.
The program breaks down barriers between age groups and forms friendships, while also building interpersonal skills for the karadi aboriginal youth.
“It was a great project with some of the youth looking into career options within aged care, as well as volunteering opportunities,” Karadi youth and family support worker Mark Watterson said.
Among those karadi youth was 15-year-old Peiper Jett Taylor, who said she had aspirations of working in aged care or childcare.
“We’ve learned about things that were different back then to what it is now,” she said.
“It just gives me more experience with people and those with different backgrounds, as well as people with dementia and stuff like that, so it just gives me an understanding.”
Mr Watterson said the program provided a space for the karadi youth to challenge labels.
He said the attendance rates for each session were 99 to 100 percent.
“These kids are labelled as trouble kids, it’s just amazing to see the change in them,” he said.
“These kids love coming here, it means a lot to them – it’s a very special program here.”
Glenview resident Ruth Cooper said the program was “wonderful.”
“It’s good to know young people are interested in who we are,” she said.
“As you get older, you don’t meet many young people.”
Glenview Nursing Home chief executive officer Lucy O’Flaherty also praised the program.
“It’s been lovely to have younger people coming in and creating a different energy,” she said.
“Anything we can do to bridge the gaps between our generations and help people to realise these spaces – residential care – are full of fantastic people with fantastic experiences and fantastic memories.”
Their memories and experiences are now printed in a book which the residents of Glenview and the Karadi youth participants will keep forever.
“I know that the younger ones have made a huge difference to many of the residents and volunteers and staff that come through,” Ms O’Flaherty said.
Caption: Glenview chief executive officer Lucy O’Flaherty, left, with Karadi youth members and youth and family support worker Mark Watterson. Photo credit: Glenview.