The intergenerational community project, which has received a Tasmanian Community Grant and a Liveable Communities Grant from the State Government, will be carried out by Dr Peta Cook from the University of Tasmania and is unique in Australia.
The project will investigate how local people in two different age groups, 13-19 years of age and 65+ years, experience and understand their ageing, and what it means to ‘live’ in the City of Clarence.
As part of the project, participants will be asked to photograph their experience of ageing, and meet with Dr Cook to discuss their images. They will also engage with the photographs taken by other project participants, with select images to be used in public exhibitions during 2019.
Mayor of Clarence, Alderman Doug Chipman said Council was delighted to be partnering with Dr Cook and the University of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Community Fund and State Government.
“Positive Ageing is already a focus for the Clarence Council and we are committed to continuing and building upon the success we are proud to have already achieved in this space,” Mayor Chipman said.
“No matter how old you are, we are all ageing. The issues which affect the older people today will one day affect us too.
“This project will provide us with new insights into what people of different ages need to support their current and future lifestyles.”
The project is in line with Council’s status as one of the first Australian Councils, and first in Tasmania, to join the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities.
University of Tasmania Sociologist, Dr Cook, has worked with the Council previously, and is interested in how society works and the barriers which prevent social equality.
“My main focus is prejudice that is exercised towards individuals based on their age, which is known as ageism,” said Dr Cook.
“I have been concerned about the social prevalence of ageism, and the stereotypes and myths of older age, for decades. Through my research, I am exploring ways to challenge ageism in our community.”
She says the work by the Clarence City Council as an age-friendly city sets it apart in Tasmania, and is one of the leading Councils in Australia in this area.
Dr Cook believes intergenerational relationships are one way that communities can start to understand ageing, and to bring awareness and understanding across generational groups.
This new project, officially titled ‘Examining community needs and wants for an age-friendly intergenerational city’ is now underway.
Dr Cook hopes to have at least 20 people from both age groups become involved. She is eager to hear from anyone aged 13-19 or 65+ who is interested in being part of her research, and welcomes expressions of interest.
“I am interested to learn how younger and older people understand their ageing and their lifestyle needs – both current and future – within the City of Clarence,” said Dr Cook.
“This will help bring important understandings on the similarities and differences of needs across two generational groups.
“The project provides an excellent opportunity for community members to be heard as, not only will the outcomes help inform future developments within the City of Clarence, but those participating will have the opportunity to see some of their photographs in a 2019 exhibition.”
This significant and innovative project is being supported by The Tasmanian Community Fund, an independent Fund which supports and strengthens Tasmanian communities by distributing funds to these communities. They have funded a $33,409 grant, plus $5,000 received from the State Government in a Liveable Communities grant, and a $5,000 financial contribution from Council.
To find out more about the project you can contact Dr Peta Cook by emailing Peta.Cook@utas.edu.au, or calling 6324-3545. Further information can also be found at www.ccc.tas.gov.au/intergenerational
Council is currently working on the final plan for the new Age Friendly Clarence Plan 2018 – 2022 which is now out for public comment until May 6, 2018 and can be found here.