Bringing Celebrate Living History to the GC….

A reunion for carnies is what attracted me to the Gold Coast but my journey took an interesting twist!

Instead of relaxing and mingling with the old Dreamworld crew, I decided to embark on a mission to bring Celebrate Living History to the GC.

Ask anyone who knows me once I have an idea I will do anything to make it a reality!

Suddenly I had this vision of students from Griffith University gathering stories from seniors and creating a buzz not only in Frankston but Australia -wide.

I know from my years at university that I did so much volunteer work and would have ached to be part of something never achieved in Australia.

So the challenge was to get the king of the Journalism department Professor Steven Stockwell eager to spread the word.

Quite frankly I was nervous and wasn’t too sure if he would remember my face!

The campus had changed so much from 2009 and it was really weird having to look on a map to see where Steven’s office was!

Not surprisingly there was books all over the office and a colorful man in the middle of the room!

Despite all these years, Steven still looked the same and I felt comfortable when he had a few minutes to spare for this little backpacker to talk about a dream.

Instantly words started coming out of my mouth about the difficulties I had faced trying to find a job in the industry and my desire to be able to one day use my degree.

I think he looked rather surprised and impressed I had a dream that I wanted to make a reality.

He was amazed I was using my initiative and have not received any funding for my project.

Right away he started giving me advice on organisations to apply for a grant including the lottery Commission and the National Museum of Canberra.

Then he researched potential journalism students that could be involved in capturing yarns on the Gold Coast.

Inside I was a doing a little dance for joy if the king of the doff thought my idea was a great one then it must have such potential!

Like a dork I was pretty excited when he put my advertisement for Senior Star journalists outside his front door!

Next on my list was a visit to Gold Coast Councilor Dawn Crichlow who is very passionate about senior issues.

Surprisingly I wasn’t very nervous, but I had visited the office so many times as a student gathering quotes for articles.

It was like time stood still and I was transported to 2008 everything looked the same and it was like Dawn had not aged one bit!

While Dawn did not have time for an interview she gave me some good advice about seniors on the Gold Coast and ideas for potential stories.

The next day I decided to visit retirement central Tweed Heads where a large majority of senior stars live.

It was amazing the reaction I received for my idea and I had a few seniors suggest I should gather stories in accordance to major events like the Melbourne Cup in the 1950s.

Mainly they were pleased I held such an interest in their yarns and wished me well!

Also I discovered potential sponsors like motor homes, fancy toilets, real estate and retirement villages.

I never thought the Gold Coast would be a mecca for my idea but just by walking along the beach in Surfers Paradise there is a sense of pride in the community shown through old photos showcasing what it was like in the past.

What I also loved is in shopping Centre Australia Fair there is a board showcasing classes at the U3A and activities seniors can do so they are not isolated.

Personally I found my trip to the Gold Coast very busy but rewarding and I can’t wait to work with my new crew of senior star journalists.

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