GenXchange initiative to connect generations
Sunshine Coast seniors have been invited to participate in a knowledge, conversation and skills sharing experience with University of the Sunshine Coast students through the genXchange program.
The genXchange initiative is the brainchild of Charlotte Mellis who, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Libraries, USC and the Maroochydore Neighbourhood Centre, brought the program together locally.
Sunshine Coast Libraries will be the central meeting place for 20 of USC’s occupational therapy students who will gain credit for their participation in the program by exchanging skills, passion and friendship with Coast seniors.
Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the partnership with Sunshine Coast Libraries reflected the growing trend in libraries to be a focal point for communities – a place where all generations can meet to read, relax, share life experiences, gain knowledge and learn new skills.
“Libraries have always brought people together from all walks of life and the genXchange program is a perfect fit for how libraries function in today’s society,” Cr McKay said.
“The program could see outcomes such as a community garden project, the sharing of new technology or multilingual skills, in exchange for wisdom, unique genfriends, exercise buddies and more.”
The Sunshine Coast is the forerunner for other genXchange programs across Australia. Charlotte Mellis collaborates with universities across Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania to run similar programs.
Ms Mellis said the program is supported by her degree in psychological science from the University of Melbourne and extensive business experience across corporate, not-for-profits and start-ups from technology to social enterprise.
“I successfully trialled the concept on the Sunshine Coast last year and the bonds that form between students and seniors can be a lasting legacy for both generations,” she said.
“We have students from last year’s program who still meet regularly with their program buddy.”
It is proposed to roll out the program more widely during 2017-2018 in Melbourne, Castlemaine, Hobart, Sydney, Toowoomba.
See the genXchange website and join the program at http://genxchange.org/
8 October 2017.