Stories

Welcome to the OPERA Project

The OPERA videos bring awareness to the stories of empowered, resilient, active older people in the East.

Older people in the Eastern metropolitan region of Melbourne want to challenge ageism, age discrimination and elder abuse with the following messages about a positive journey of ageing:

We are still here

We have survived

We still ask questions

We are still learning

We still aspire to more

Listen to us

Life hasn't stopped


Sharing kinship and companionship over time: The Eastern Health PAG group

Eastern Health’s Planned Activity Group (PAG) offers an opportunity for older members of the Aboriginal community in the East to...

Eastern Health’s Planned Activity Group (PAG) offers an opportunity for older members of the Aboriginal community in the East to come together every week. Strong, fun-filled friendships have formed between members and they’ve maintained a strong social connection over a number of years.

Sometimes sharing companionship within your particular ethnic, spiritual or cultural group can be important to you as you grow older.

Check your local council for the various multicultural, Aboriginal and spiritual groups that you may be eligible to join.

The Victorian Multicultural Commission also hosts a searchable online Community Directory for different ethnic and cultural groups across Victoria. Find it here:

www.multicultural.vic.gov.au/resources/community-directory

Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy spirit: Keki and Coomi's story

Keki and Coomi make sure they keep their minds, bodies and spirit healthy at every age. They maintain a spiritual...

Keki and Coomi make sure they keep their minds, bodies and spirit healthy at every age. They maintain a spiritual connection by practicising their religion, helping in their community and maintaining their link to cultural and family traditions.

Uplifting older men: Philip's story

Philip saw an issue in his community around the lack of consistent emotional support for older men, especially those suffering...

Philip saw an issue in his community around the lack of consistent emotional support for older men, especially those suffering from dementia. He decided to use his time and skills to make a difference by setting up a men’s discussion group.

Men’s discussion groups are a way for older men to maintain friendship groups, and uplift and empower each other as their lives change. There are a number of ways to get involved in men’s only community groups.

Philip Green’s Menz Den Collective runs in the eastern region. You can find more information here:
https://menzdencollective.wordpress.com/

For other locations, Men’s sheds operate throughout Victoria: Find more information about your local shed here: https://mensshed.org/

Never retiring from having an active life: Lesley's story

Lesley has kept active and engaged in her community since retiring from work. She has committed to learning new things...

Lesley has kept active and engaged in her community since retiring from work. She has committed to learning new things, keeping active regardless of her physical ability and pushing herself to do regular social activities. Being active in her community has created a support network that has helped Lesley when she’s faced tough times.

There are a number of ways to keep active in your community.

Your local council will have a number of community groups, activities, events and services listed on their website.

Active learning for older people is also available through a local U3A. U3A membership is also open to anyone who is over 50 years of age and is retired or semi-retired from the workforce. Membership gives you access to a wide range of special interest courses and physical activities with people your age.

You can find local U3A networks in Victoria here: https://www.u3avictoria.com.au/find-a-u3a/.

My life, my way, my choices: Marilyn's story

Making independent and informed choices about your future is an important part of getting older. Making decisions about the future...

Making independent and informed choices about your future is an important part of getting older. Making decisions about the future of your health, your home and your other assets makes sure that your wishes are respected even if you are not able to speak for yourself.

The Office of the Public Advocate provides helpful information about how you can make decisions about your medical, financial and legal affairs if you are no longer able to live unassisted.

Find out more here https://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/

Strong relationships, stronger voices: Lynda's story

Lynda has made a beautiful garden that reminds her of all the positive relationships she has with friends and family...

Lynda has made a beautiful garden that reminds her of all the positive relationships she has with friends and family.

There are a number of ways to set up your own friendship garden, or to join a gardening group in your community.

You can find a list of active gardening groups here: http://vichortsociety.org/other-gardening-sites/

Check your local council website for details of community gardens operating locally for those who don’t have access to their own garden, or who may want to start their own.

Living independently: Wendy's story

Wendy was suprised by all the misconceptions about living in a retirement village. Many of her friends and peers thought...

Wendy was suprised by all the misconceptions about living in a retirement village. Many of her friends and peers thought it was like an aged care facility. But choosing to live in a unit in a retirement village has given Wendy a sense of commnity, a way to maintain independence and a packed schedule of daily activities.

Keeping active at any pace: Lyn's story

Lyn is so grateful for her friendships within the PAG network. Her strong links to the Aboriginal community and her...

Lyn is so grateful for her friendships within the PAG network. Her strong links to the Aboriginal community and her long lasting friendships allow her to keep up with the PAG group activities, despite 'slowing down' a little as she's grown older.

Finding new friends and new communities: Ken and Gwen's story

Ken and Gwen were empty nesters looking for a home that was more manageable and would also allow them to...

Ken and Gwen were empty nesters looking for a home that was more manageable and would also allow them to be safe and independent as they managed their health in their older years. They chose a home in a retirement village and never guessed that their neighbours would also become like a second family.

Ensuring that you live independently as you get older is important to most Australians. While retirement village or assisted living options suit some people, others might want to stay in the family home for longer.

Check your local council website to find out about the in-home services that assist eligible residents to live independently and safely in their own homes.

You can find out more about the types of care and services available to older people here: www.myagedcare.gov.au

OPERA - Older People, Equity, Respect and Ageing

This project is a partnership between Eastern Community Legal Centre and Swinburne University. Supported by the Victorian Government’s 'Free from Violence' Fund.