Lessons were learned, friendships were formed, and laughs were had as part of the Life Lessons project formed through a partnership between D’faces of Youth Arts, Whyalla City Council and the Whyalla Writers’ Group.
Young people aged between 7 and 27 were given the opportunity to engage with Annie Lockwood Court residents by asking questions, sharing modern and old technology and taking down life lessons to reflect on.
All of this was captured by Award-winning theatre maker Claire Glenn and digital multimedia artist Stu Nankivell, who will use the recorded interviews to create a 15-minute documentary.
Resident John Ellis, who was interviewed by fellow Port Adelaide supporter Tam Wall, found the experience ‘very rewarding’.
“A lot of knowledge that I learnt years ago came up again...it helped the younger generation know what we went through,” he said.
Mr Ellis said he liked the chance to play with modern technology.
“Communication between the young ones has evolved,” he said.
Tam Wall through the project would be a great opportunity to get to know the residents, and didn’t have a problem with giving up some of her holidays to do so.
During her time using some of the older technology Tam struggled to get a tape inside the old-fashioned tape recorder – a sign of the times that generated some laughs.
Ms Glenn said she loved the idea of the old and the young sharing stories and connecting with one another, and worked with Mr Nankivell to facilitate it.
“We decided quite early on that we were going to make a documentary because the stories we were hearing were so interesting, and we feel that film is a really good medium for sharing,” she said.
“At the beginning both sides were a little apprehensive, but then once they started talking and became more comfortable with one another it was great to sit back and listen.
“It was amazing to hear the things people had been through… their school being bombed in World War 2 and machinery falling on them at the mine – it was really eye-opening.”
Ms Glenn believes strong bonds of friendship were formed between the residents and the young people during the project.
“Stu and I became friends with the residents as well, so it’s been a lovely process,” she said.
The documentary, Life Lessons, will be premiered at the Whyalla Film Festival on Saturday, October 27.