Princes Court

Mallee Living Histories captures more precious memories!

Mallee Living Histories captures more precious memories!

In little over four years, the Mallee’s Living Histories project has established itself as an important, local, age care initiative. Nearing the publication of Book 4, the project has captured more than fifty precious memories. Starting as it did at Princes Court, the project now reaches out to residents at Chaffey Aged Care, Jacaranda Village, Murray House and a number of individuals who are living independently.

In the third book there were four residents from Princes Court Homes, and two from Princes Court Village. These were Keith Hill, Donalda Broome, Kath Kelly, Joan Daymond, Thelma Mangan and Noel Pugsley. At the launch in December 2021, the emotions in the room and pride in the storytellers and the writers of what they had achieved and the friendships that had developed was obvious and is a testimony on the power of this project. In gathering the stories this year, again COVID 19 has been a challenge, but equally, an impetus to ensuring that the project continues. Following the project’s recognition as Mildura’s Community Project of the Year in 2021, Mallee Living Histories is continuing to be acclaimed, locally and beyond.

The project enjoys the dedicated support  of some twenty volunteer writers and many wonderfully generous sponsors. As a result, the ‘storytellers’ who happily share their memories are rewarded with a bundle of books which they can share with family and friends. This all occurs at no cost to those who share their stories or the organisations providing their care. While the stories are clearly their own reward, it is the personal contact between storytellers and writers which has really excelled in these challenging times.

Appreciating the impact of the project, Monash University Health School is again soliciting feedback from a number of those involved to determine what learnings can be gleaned in what is now referred to as positive ageing. These interviews are being undertaken by undergraduate medical students who are getting to appreciate the importance of knowing more about the lives of those in receipt of their health services.

As the project has evolved, there have been several significant additions to its reach. One has  been the conduct of ‘Library Talks’ where storytellers and writers present the outcome of their work to interested members of the community. While these have just commenced, they are already opening a window to the lived history of our region.

Another initiative is the plan to establish a website providing free access to community members who want to know more about those who have, in many cases, shaped our region and its development. Anyone wanting to support this endeavour is encouraged to contact the project convener – Vernon Knight, on 0418 502 957.

Princes Court is proud to have hosted the development of this important project and its ability to enhance the well-being of the ageing in our region.