I have always been passionate about journalism and the telling of stories. I was a journalism graduate struggling to find a job. So I decided to create my own opportunity. The year was 2012, I started an old photo to DVD business called Golden Days Images. I fell in love with listening to these stories and learning from older generations. I thought it would be sad if these stories did not have the opportunity to be passed on. So the idea of creating an internship program called Celebrate Living History evolved and I approached my old journalism lecturer at Griffith University, soon enough my first journalism interns joined me on this adventure. Celebrate Living History is an online social gathering where we share stories, tales and lives across generations, bringing history to life. It grew from one idea in my head that combines my love of capturing stories and working with young journalism students. Celebrate Living History is constantly evolving and I still have to pinch myself that this was simply an idea in my head that grew into something truly wonderful.
Previously, Celebrate Living History’s focus has been on older generations and the importance of sharing their stories before they pass away. I am still very passionate about the preservation of these stories but I believe all generations have a story to tell and that’s why I have changed the whole format of the Celebrate Living History website. Last year I travelled around the United States meeting people who work in the intergenerational field. I was exposed to so many organisations and individuals who work with both generations. My aim for Celebrate Living History is to keep growing and capturing stories from all generations. I believe we can all learn from each other.
I’m what you would call a mixed bag! Education wise the degree I am most proud of is my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Journalism, Public Relations and Marketing. I believe without this knowledge, I would have struggled a bit to create a media platform! I thought it would be good to have a Certificate IV in Aged Care. I have worked in the aged care industry as a domestic assistant. I struggled being in that role, as I did not have the time to really get to listen to the seniors and indulge in their stories, to switch off and focus on personal care was truly very difficult. One of my goals is to become a public speaker so I have joined the local Toastmasters group. I love talking about my passion for connecting generations and breaking stereotypes about age. I would love to work in education so I also have a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
I am the owner of many hats! I think the most important skill is organisation! To run an internship program and a media platform you have to have so many systems in place. I love that I get to mentor my student interns to learn how to communicate better with older generations. Then once my interns do, they don’t see each other as young or old. But just as people with a range of wisdom to share. As my student interns work with seniors who may be scared about technology. I have to ensure the seniors are happy their story will be on the Internet particularly with social media. If a senior says no and doesn’t want to sign our permission to publish form, that’s ok they have made a new friend. Another main skill is communication. I am always talking to interns through Skype. Or if I’m doing an interview series, which involves a large range of participants such as Entrepreneurs Across Generations, then I have to be mindful of who to follow up and how to edit their story to make it appealing to the Celebrate Living History audience.
I think to create an organisation from the ground up, you have to have the tenacity to keep going, if you are not passionate about what you are doing and why you are doing it then you won’t last very long. I think for me, if I have my mind set on something then I will just go out and do it. If there is someone who I really admire, then I ask them out for coffee and pick their brains. I love to see how others are making their dreams happen. It’s really good to be surrounded by those who are creative and are following their passions. I think when you are embarking on an idea, which is unique that it is good to be surrounded by others who will support you. If there are any journalism students who want to take part in the Celebrate Living History program, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org we would be happy to publish it. Please visit celebratelivinghistory.com.au