A new bilingual book in English and Chinese, A Golden Age in Flemington: 10 Years of Active Ageing will be launched on Tuesday 26th March.
It provides a case study for service providers working with CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) populations or those interested in learning more about multiculturalism and ageing
The book documents the self-directed activities of a community of Chinese seniors to actively engage with their broader community over 10 years. It reflects on the challenges, positive outcomes and aspirations at each stage. The Moonee Valley City Council funded the book.
Edith Chen was part of the Flemington Golden Age Women, from its earliest days. Their challenges included limited understanding of services and professional roles and responsibilities, limited understanding of the culture around them and the complications of communicating via an interpreter.
The book begins with life stories of individuals highlighting the diversity of the group. It explains the 3 waves of Chinese migration to Australia and describes how the group “mobilised, set up a platform for dialogue and participation and communicated in different ways”.
“These people had actually lived in a very segregated way for the past 30 years” said Edith. “Initially there was no common language”. The Flemington group speak 3 dialects between them and multi-lingual group members were crucial to its development.
A later group, the Moonee Valley Golden Age Women includes a blend of people from Chinese and other backgrounds. This book is the latest of their projects.
Edith hopes that sharing the experiences of the Flemington community will help other CALD and senior groups and build understanding among support services.
COTA Victoria CEO Ronda Held described the group. “These are women who’ve been very pro-active about supporting one another and tackling the issues that they’re facing in growing older in Australia.”
“We’ve worked with them on a number of programs that have supported that in terms of physical well being and also thinking about the cultural differences in terms of ageing in their own country and aging in Australia and how they’re going to cope with that” said Ronda.
Ronda and Edith stress the importance of bilingual services and the opportunities for immigrants to learn English as soon as possible. “We ran the challenging ageing program bilingually which not only helped with the subject matter but also as they were keen to improve their English. They’re embracing continued learning” said Ronda.
A Golden Age in Flemington: 10 Years of Active Ageing is available through the National and State libraries as well as some local libraries. Copies can be obtained by contacting Edith Chen at email@example.com or 0403 297 438. Due to the high printing cost, a $20 donation for each copy obtained would be appreciated.
Ronda Held and Edith Chen will speak at the book launch, 26th March, 10:00am, Kensington Town Hall
RSVP by 20th March via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS (preferred) 0490 767 925
Media enquiries: Edith Chen 0403 297 438