The Intergenerational Interdisciplinary Meeting Place
The topic of ageing and life span development has gained momentum in Australia. Many social discourses in society challenge policy-makers to strengthen social integration in the context of population ageing and changing family norms.
The Intergenerational Interdisciplinary Meeting Place is an effort to address those issues. It aims to create a society for all ages in which discussion on aspects of human development will be important for every person.
This Meeting Place presents many challenges. It aims to lead to a deeper understanding of life processes by question and deconstruction of prejudices, misconceptions and taboos in which we are all involved. It opens discussion of interesting themes that go beyond the perception of ageing as presented in literature and the media. In the long-term the goal of the Meeting Place is to deepen the understanding of the interplay between family culture, intergenerational relations, and interdisciplinary service systems and their impact on older people's autonomy and quality of life. Overall, the Meeting Place aims to build partnerships between families, communities, institutions, researchers and policy-makers.
The purpose of the Meeting Place is:
- to allow researchers, professionals, service providers and other interested persons to inform themselves about this unique effort, its progress, and its results;
- to be a resource where any visitor may find information about related issues and selected links to further data;
- to provide a forum for knowledge exchange that facilitates learning on how family cultures and service systems may enhance autonomy and delay dependency in old age; and
- to promote quality of life and improve the basis for policy and planning.
The Meeting Place aims to offer a network of multi-disciplinary opportunities:
- to identify the balance between family care and service systems and their relationship to quality of living for older people;
- to analyse the interaction role of families, service systems and individual coping on quality of life in old age;
- to determine culturally appropriate variations in family norms and transfers that enhance intergenerational solidarity across age cohorts in communities; and
- to address the issues of intergenerational ambivalence caused by individuals and families at risk of dependency.
For policy makers
The Meeting Place aims:
- to generate recommendations for enhancing efficiency, quality and user acceptability of services at the beginning of care provision to older people;
- to shed light on links between the family dynamics of intergenerational and caring relations and the access to service systems for satisfaction and quality of life; and
- to foster the design of culturally appropriate public policies that guides the extension of older people's autonomy in the remote, regional and urban communities and variable socio-economic settings.
For educational institutions
The Meeting Place aims to be:
- a drop-in centre and informal meeting place for students, staff, faculty, visiting scholars and alumnae, offering connections for intellectual and social networks and activities, including exploration of postgraduate life;
- a Hub for community engagement and public service to provide undergraduate students the opportunity for community service and a chance to get involved with neighbourhoods outside of the institutional environment.
- It offers high school students (Year 11 and 12) the opportunity to explore the field of community service prior to pursuing careers so as to foster a deeper sense of social responsibility within the campus community;
- a network to coordinate and support organizations for community engagement for groups and projects as a resource for individual student advisory services through one-to-one dialogue (Discussion Forum) and a directory, workshop, a website, a listserv, and speaker panels;
- a network for faculty, staff, and administrators to create forums and other events that broaden the campus exposure to issues concerning community service; and
- a publisher of an Annual e-Report on Community Engagement and a Directory of Community Engagement Student Guide at ACU.
The Meeting Place aims to be a forum to bring together student leaders, staff, tutors, and career services personnel to provide a central source for community information, opportunities for collaboration, training resources, advocacy for undergraduate public service, and fellowship and career information to:
- link students with service projects or programs;
- provide information about community resources and organizations;
- provide technical assistance on fund raising for programs, internship placements, and fellowships;
- advise students about careers and career planning;
- develop training programs (first aid, community development, mentoring);
- present workshops and seminars;
- publicise public service events; and
- support student projects that link academics and community engagement.