New initiative connects generations

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Community Seniors Sunshine Coast Council

NOTE: This article is older than 12 months

Sunshine Coast seniors are invited to participate in a knowledge, conversation and skills sharing experience with USC students through the genXchange program to be launched at 11am on August 1 at council’s Maroochydore Library.
The genXchange initiative is the brainchild of Charlotte Mellis who, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Libraries, USC and the Maroochydore Neighbourhood Centre, will bring 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.
“Council was pleased to be a partner of this initiative which supports our commitment of delivering Australia’s leading healthy, smart and creative region.
“genXchange also aligns with our Social Strategy commitment of delivering a range of benefits to build and support an even stronger community through knowledge sharing across generations.
“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.”
Seniors interested in participating in the genXchange program are encouraged to register online via council’s library website or by talking to the friendly Maroochydore Library staff before the end of July.
Registered seniors are invited to attend the genXchange Launch Party at Maroochydore Library on Tuesday, August 1, from 11am to 3pm.
Enjoy a delicious catered lunch, fun networking activities and the opportunity to register for weekly one-on-one or group projects with your new #Genfriends.

Sunshine Coast Regional Council :
Locked Bag 72 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560, Sunshine Coast Wide
07 5475 7272
1300 007 272
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
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