“Telling it like it was” was an afternoon tea for Seniors in the St Arnaud Community to tell their story about school days, working lives, marriage and families and the moments in time that stood out for them. This was a Seniors Festival funded initiative supported by Northern Grampians Shire Council (NGSC).
The idea developed in April 2013 when the NGSC Aged & Disability Services St Arnaud office, Assessment & Care Coordination Officer visited a client in her 90’s for a HACC living at home assessment. Through the course of the assessment the client revealed her inspirational life story, and this inspired the Assessment officer to find out and record this client’s story and the stories of other seniors in the community.
This developed into the objective of the gathering of stories from seniors over 65 years old in the community of St Arnaud and surrounds through the interaction with seniors groups in the community, resulting in a day in seniors week where everyone comes together to share their stories.
32 stories were submitted
Eg “Here is Mum’s story. I’ve just had the best afternoon with her. I’ve heard stories I never heard before. It was wonderful.”
118 attended and 30 of the stories were read aloud on “the day” by three key community members or storytellers, with a projection of the person’s photos during each story reading on display. Two authors in their 80’s read their own story.
All participants received a folder on the day containing their story, a poster, program, story participants list, their photos and a photo of the crowd on the day.
This was provided “with thanks” so the conversation could continue with family, friends, Direct Care staff and the community.
St Arnaud Rotary has offered to publish the stories as a result of the successful project.