A series of short films ‘Celebrating Centenarians’ was recently launched by Resthaven Inc, the South Australian aged care community service of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Aiming to celebrate the stories of people aged 100 years and over, this collaborative project between Resthaven and the University of South Australia was funded through a ‘Positive Ageing’ Grant, from the SA Health’s Office for the Ageing. This grant program supports the State Government’s vision to bring the community together to create an all-ages-friendly state as outlined in Prosperity Through Longevity: South Australia’s Ageing Plan, Our Vision 2014-2019.
UniSA students of multimedia and journalism interviewed and filmed seven centenarians who are part of Resthaven’s community, recording ‘essence of life’ stories. The stories aimed to reflect each person’s humanity and humour, and words of wisdom about longevity.
History SA was proud to be involved in the early stages of the project, when Resthaven’s Public Relations Manager, Julie Johinke and Service Development Manager, Lynn Openshaw met with History SA’s Community Engagement Senior Curator, Allison Russell and Community History Officer, Pauline Cockrill for advice on possible themes and where to start.
Pauline was delighted to attend the launch on 27 November at Resthaven’s brand new headquarters on Greenhill Road, next to Annesley College. The student filmmakers plus five of the seven ‘stars’ of the films along with their friends, family and Resthaven staff as well as representatives from the project partnerships were at the launch. The series of films plus a film of the films being made were enthusiastically viewed followed by afternoon tea.
Resthaven hopes that the resulting ‘films’ will increase awareness of older people’s stories, encourage intergenerational sharing, and celebrate positive images of older people.
Certainly judging by the emotional response at the launch, this outcome looks to being successfully achieved.
The 8 videos are now available on You Tube here
This film project coincides with Resthaven’s 80 years of service to older people in South Australia. The organisation was originally established by the Methodist Church and dates back to 1935 with the official opening on 11 May of that year of a ‘Home for elderly ladies’ at Brighton, known as Rest Haven.