By Helana Tulloch (Griffith University Gold Coast intern)
Golden Days Images is a company founded in 2011 by Bev Wilkinson, originally a photo to DVD/CD scanning business that progressed, leading her to create an exhibition to celebrate the stories of the residents of Frankston using video rather than print.
It all occurred while interviewing her first subject for the exhibition, Dorothy Dempster that Bev discovered there was more to her story. “The realisation hit me that if I wasn’t capturing her story, maybe one day she will pass and all those valuable memories will never be shared with future generations,” says Wilkinson.
This realisation led Wilkinson to start a campaign on the crowd funding site Pozible to raise funds for a website which could showcase all the great memories she was collecting. Although the campaign was not as successful as Wilkinson had hoped, it gained attention from Triple J radio and the Frankston Standard Leader newspaper.
With her passion for collecting senior’s memories and her love of making them feel special, Wilkinson is now heading in a new direction, drafting business plans which will see Golden Days Images become a not-for-profit social enterprise.
In the future, Wilkinson hopes to establish a nation-wide internship program which will nurture the relationship and bridge the gap between students and seniors. Providing students with the opportunity to gain experience and build a portfolio, saying “it really makes a difference when a young person takes interest in a senior’s life.” Recently establishing her first internship program with Griffith University on the Gold Coast takes Wilkinson another step closer to her dream and expands her business from its roots in Frankston to the Gold Coast community.
The Celebrate Living History of Frankston exhibition, to be held on October 14, is an event, which Wilkinson hopes will inspire others to follow their dreams and invoke a sense of pride for the seniors interviewed.
The exhibition also aims to give back to the community, with five percent of the profits from the event being donated to Alzheimer’s Australia.
Golden Days Images contacts local seniors through community groups to conduct face to face interviews which are then produced into short videos about the subjects’ lives.
The interview footage is intercut with personal images of the interviewee and placed on the Golden Days Images blog. The aim of the blog is to treasure the memories of locals, not just their personal lives but also the history of the town of Frankston.
The blog also provides a special place where other seniors can go to learn more about their generation and for the seniors’ family and friends to go and learn more about their loved ones, preserving their memories for future generations.
Wilkinson has big dreams for the future of Golden Days Images but she doesn’t see it as just her job, it is something very personal which she is extremely passionately about, “I really don’t notice the age difference… for me it is very rewarding.”