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Pilot program addresses intergenerational change within community

When a unique community program brought together a retirement community, aged care residence, shopping centre and local high school the results were beyond everyone’s expectations.

TriCare James Ommaney Retirement Community and Jindalee Aged Care Manager, Steven Pashley said the ten week Shopping Assistance Program, run in conjunction with Mt Ommaney Shopping Centre and Mt Ommaney & Centenary State High School was so successful they are making plans to continue it 2018.

“We received great feedback from everyone involved, including community members that observed the positive interactions between students and residents,” said Mr Pashley.

Equally enthusiastic, TriCare James Ommaney resident, Natalie McFarlane said she loves being with young people and just enjoyed sitting and chatting with them each week.

“The students were fascinated with my childhood of growing up in the bush, and I was equally interested in their opinions and thoughts on life today as a teenager,” said Mrs McFarlane.

Mt Ommaney Centre Guest Experience Manager, Nick Peddle said the Mt Ommaney area has a traditionally older demographic and they wanted to develop a partnership with the local community to address the often disconnect between older and younger generations.

“The outcomes have been positive on so many levels, we would love to make it an ongoing program,” said Mr Peddle.

Angela Raven, Senior Schooling Head of Department from Centenary State High School said that people often under estimate the young and the old, in their abilities and interest in learning new things.

“The students interacted with such respect and the level of engagement was outstanding. It was a great example of how a community can work together to bring about intergenerational change and understanding,” said Ms Raven.