The first workshop of a brave and exciting new journey!

I have been given the opportunity to be involved in ‘The Life of Byron: Conversations with the Elderly’ which is a pilot project devised by Cat Seddon at the Byron Community Centre and is a brave bringing together of older people in the community, story telling and digital technology.

The aim of the project is to invite older residents from the Byron Shire to participate in two workshops where they will look at the art of storytelling, and then give them the chance to tell a story from their own life which will be recorded on film and presented on the ABC Open website.  There are four workshops in total, with the first being to train six volunteers to work with the older residents through the process, two with both the volunteers and the older residents working together, and a fourth where the older residents will be filmed telling their story.  A project like this hasn’t been done before at the Centre and so Cat has decided to film the making of the project to record the process and learn from it for future projects.

This is where I come in.  I am no technological wiz or filmmaker, but I am a Social Work student who applied to do my placement at the Byron Community Centre and was offered a place from now until the end of the year.  I also just happened to work with my husband last year who made a documentary and needed someone to record the sound and couldn’t afford to pay anyone.  So my interest in working in a community project and my experience in sound recording were an unexpected match!

The workshop was full of sharing, getting to know each other and lots of laughter.  There was a real sense of excitement in being a part of something new and challenging and that we would all be on a learning curve together.

I am looking forward to next week where the richness of the stories of people who have lived, loved and experienced the world for a lot longer than I have will begin to be shared.

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