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Unley legends challenge stereotypes

Celebrating ageing and as part of its Active Ageing strategy, a council has teamed up with a service provider to make a series of short videos showcasing seven inspiring older South Australians. 

A collaborative project between Resthaven and the City of Unley explores and shares the perspectives of older people as they age and the benefits of staying active (Source: City of Unley)
A collaborative project between Resthaven and the City of Unley explores and shares the perspectives of older people as they age and the benefits of staying active (Source: City of Unley)

Meet 99-year-old Harold Sammells who regularly travels overseas, although he admits he tends to go on cruises now. “I love to travel because it gets me out of the house,” he says. “When I board the ship, I have no further responsibilities of doing house work and meals – it keeps me young and active.”

Originally from Mexico, 73-year-old Evaristo Barrera is still practicing and teaching yoga while 90-year old June Harris enjoys line dancing, keep fit and walking. “I’m trying to pack as much as I possibly can in the next 10 years,” she says. “I do intend to live to a century.”

Ms Harris says she’d like to do a skydive, but as her family aren’t too happy about it, she’ll settle for a hot air balloon ride. “They’ll tolerate that,” she says.

The collaborative project between Resthaven and the City of Unley explores and shares the perspectives of older people as they age and the benefits of staying active mentally, physically and spiritually. City of Unley has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as an Age Friendly City and Community and its Active Ageing Strategy is just one of the many initiatives City has implemented.

Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne says Unley believes ageing is a celebration. With people living longer and healthier, he believes council has a role to play to help people get the most out of life. “Together with Resthaven, we’re on a mission to challenge people’s stereotypes about what it means to age,” he says. “We need to remind people that age is just a number and it doesn’t have to restrict you from being active and doing the things that you love.”

Resthaven Chief Executive Officer Richard Hearn says he hoped the joint project would encourage the community to recognise older people’s worth as individuals.

“We have been working hard to challenge ageist stereotypes and encourage positive images of older people who are active and valuable members of our communities,” he says. “It is important that we encourage community spirit and community connectedness, neighbours speaking with neighbours, supporting each other, and pride in our local community,” he says.

The videos will be promoted across a variety of digital platforms and used in a variety of presentations and seminars. Visit City of Unley’s website to view the videos. 

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