Adding life to years
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Holding the Past, Present and Future

Holding the Past, Present and Future

Status: Completed


Rockingham Australia
Print this page City population: 13900016% over 60Practice started in 2019


Five local older people were filmed sharing some of their memories/life events. Each film and story was unique, and captured the individuals’ personalities well and provided a snapshot of a moment in time in their lives. Three of the participants’ stories related to a time living in a country other than Australia/as migrants coming to Australia. The other two participants shared childhood memories of holidaying/living in Rockingham.

In preparation for each film, each person was encouraged to search for and provide old photos/memorabilia as visual props to support their films. This resulted in additional reminiscing for each individual, and for many brought memories to the forefront which they have not thought of for many years. One lady commented that certain life events were clarified for her only through talking to family and friends about the particular incident in preparation for being filmed. The process of filming the life stories/memories therefore stimulated further conversations and provided opportunities to connect with family members and friends.

This project achieved far greater outcomes than ‘merely’ the production of five oral stories. It provided participants with an opportunity and reason to reminisce, and empowered them to voice their memories and stories. The films also gave community members an insight into what life was like in a previous time by using the films as a tool to stimulate conversations around growing older.

Each individual was delighted with their film and commented about how this experience brought back memories long forgotten, and how proud they were sharing it with their family/friends.

The films were launched at a large community event and some were also shown at a local cinema.


Key facts

Main target group: Older people in general

Sector(s): Information and communication

Desired outcome for older people:

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:
  • Ageism

Contact details

Name: Bethany Dubberlin

Email address:

Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

Engaging the wider community

Project lead: Local authorities

How collaboration worked: This project was part of a wider project funded by the Department of Communities.

Older people’s involvement: Older people helped to implement the age-friendly practice

Details on older people’s involvement: Local older people of all backgrounds and abilities were invited to submit their expression of interest for consideration for inclusion in this project. Five people were selected to be filmed sharing their memories/stories.

Moving forward

Has the impact of this age-friendly practice been analysed: Yes

Was the impact positive or negative:

Please share with us what you found in detail:
The individuals who were being filmed commented that this opportunity gave them a reason to reminisce about memories that were long forgotten, and which they could share with their families and friends. The films were appreciated and valued by all who have participated in it, or who have watched it (young and old).

The older people who participated in this project all expressed their gratitude for this opportunity to reminisce and record a life event/memory which they could share with their family and friends. Viewers at various community events where the films were showcased all provided positive feedback, and plenty of laughter and nods were observed whilst viewers watched the films.

Looking back

Although Aboriginal elders were actively encouraged to express their interest to be filmed, no submissions/interest were received. Should this project be repeated, more effort should be taken to encourage a local Aboriginal elder to participate by removing any potential bureaucratic barriers (e.g. the necessity for an expression of interest form to be completed) to ensure that Aboriginal people’s stories are also told and shared with the wider community.

• The process from beginning to end took much longer than anticipated and will be factored into any future projects • It was originally anticipated that each story would be no longer than 2 minutes, to ensure maximum reach on social media. After filming the first story, it became abundantly clear that this time-frame was too ambitious. Rather than editing the films down to 2 minutes and detracting from the person’s story, it was decided to keep all films at 5-7 minutes each to ensure the person’s memory and story is honoured and not ‘watered-down’. A teaser clip for each film was then created which was used on social media to entice people to watch the full version on the City’s website / You Tube.

Age-Friendly World