The word money keeps popping up in conversation like its the most important thing in the world.
Sure I know that healthy finances make life a little bit easier but at the end of the day money is just pieces of paper with words and pretty pictures on them.
Yes I understand i’m living in the real world but I rule with my heart not my pay check.
Even though Celebrate Living History is an organisation most of the funding comes from my part time jobs, which really is not good long-term. I don’t want to give up but I know Celebrate Living History has to become sustainable to grow and most of all be there for future generations.
It is hard sometimes when close relatives say “What is the point of spending your own money to work for free? Your always broke but your always busy?” If it was about the money I would have stopped a long time ago, it sounds corny but Celebrate Living History makes me happy, I love that I get to use my degree and most of all mentor young people.
For me if I were stuck doing a safe job that earns money but makes me unhappy, I would feel like I was missing out on something that I was meant to do. If I have learnt anything from interviewing seniors it is to take a chance, believe in yourself and keep going. My worst nightmare would be if I were 60-years-old and still working in a catering van.
Sometimes opportunities present themselves in the most unusual ways, it was not my intention to work with young and old people but somehow I’ve stumbled across the most perfect job.
I feel like I’m the middle person between two very vast generations. I remember one day I was hanging with 103-year-olds at the nursing home in the morning and then in the afternoon I was chilling with 20-year-old university students. To me there really is no age difference at the end of the day we are just people with different life experiences. I remember I was chatting to one of the seniors and she said, “Bev when you become old, you become invisible, all they see is an old lady.” Maybe because the blinkers have been taken off my eyes I replied “But I can see you?” I truly believe no one should feel invisible and if I can make young people look beyond age and see the person underneath then everything I do is worthwhile.
What keep me going are the student interns and volunteers without their support, I would feel like I was a one-girl solo mission. Without their enthusiasm and most of all passion for working with seniors and creating fun exhibitions then I would have surely stopped a long time ago.
It really does take a team to make things happen and I am so grateful that I managed to gain partnerships with Griffith University, Swinburne University and Frankston High School words cannot express how happy I am to work with the students and see their articles on seniors grow into a masterpiece.
Obviously I am no expert at generating sponsors or creating grant applications but this year I’m going to try, because in my heart I know I need to keep going.
So I’m going to apply for the Walkley Storytelling grant, its one that I feel applies to us. The grant is all about journalism and that is what I’m passionate about. I’m a journalism graduate and I work with students who are studying communications. I plan on picking the brains of former winners to see what works and most of all learn from the best.
My goal is to improve this internship program so we can work with more universities and develop a program into high schools. I want more young people to interact with seniors to see them as a person not just an old person.
If I don’t try then I will never realise the potential of what we can do and that would be a darn shame.