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Lorna Howes with the memoir created by Mackillop students Lucy Evans, left, and Isabella Fonyodi (ABC/Emma Siossian)

An intergenerational project has seen Catholic secondary school students in regional New South Wales compile memoirs for aged care residents. Source: ABC News. 

Two year 11 students from Port Macquarie’s MacKillop College helped Lorna Howes document 93 years of achievements and memories into something her family can treasure for generations.

Flicking through her specially crafted memoir, Ms Howes was elated at how weeks of conversations with the students translated into print.  

“I’m just overwhelmed by how beautiful it is and particularly the two beautiful girls at the school who compiled it for me,” Ms Howes said. 

“When I saw the photographs of my parents, I felt a bit weepy as they’d be well over 100 today.”

The memoir is one of dozens created as part of the Through Our Eyes project – a partnership with St Agnes Catholic Parish aged care homes and high schools in the Port Macquarie area on state’s mid-north coast.

Aged care residents are paired with small groups of year 11 students who bring literacy and technology skills to compile books of the residents’ memoirs.

MacKillop College’s Marg Gobius, who helped lead the project, said the students and residents had formed a special connection.

The students dedicated an afternoon a week to the project over a couple of months.

The older generation was able to share and have their stories recorded, while the students learned from them, and broadened their confidence and conversation skills.

St Agnes’ Care and Lifestyle’s Justine Warner said the project had helped reconnect the residents to the wider community.

“Just seeing their life story and who they are as people being validated has been a real joy.” 


Elderly residents share their life stories with teenagers in memoirs project, benefiting the young and old (By Emma Siossian, ABC News)