Baldivis partnership between retirement village and high school proves a success

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Intergenerational workshops have benefited both Stockland Retirement Village residents and students from Baldivis Secondary College,
Camera IconIntergenerational workshops have benefited both Stockland Retirement Village residents and students from Baldivis Secondary College, Credit: Picture: Holly Thompson

Workshops aimed at creating relationships between different generations and learning new skills have been a great success for seniors and high school students alike.

Students from Baldivis Secondary College and residents from Stockland’s Affinity Retirement Village in Baldivis take part in the workshops where students hold technology lessons, teaching residents how to fire up their iPad or smart phone, right through to learning how to use apps such as TikTok.

Affinity residents have returned the favour by teaching students some traditional craft skills, as well as the all-important art of lawn bowls. The final session was held last week, but both sides have expressed interest in continuing the workshops.

Affinity Village Association president Colin Hutton said he had seen how the program had helped both generations respect and admire each other.

“My wife and another friend taught the kids how to make cards. It’s good for the kids and it’s good for us as well to learn technology skills from them as well,” he said.

Baldivis Secondary College principal Alison Parolo said the workshops were a part of a program at the school called Difference Makers, which students from all year groups could choose to take part in.

“We have lots of really incredible kids. We have groups that come out in fives or sixes and we have about 30 overall who take part,” she said.

“Learning is not confined to a classroom and some of the stuff that kids learn in this environment you can’t teach in any other way. You can talk about it but it’s not the same as experiencing it.

“This is such a great program and it helps the kids build connections with those they might not normally have the chance to meet and speak too in such an in-depth way.”

School community liaison officer Tracy Gschwendtner helped organise the workshops and is keen for the program to continue to expand, allowing students to meet more of the community and learn different skills.

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