Print off the worksheet (see the Learning Activities page for more activities). The interviews with Older Australians focus on their life experiences and their views about certain issues. What you need to do in this activity is to listen carefully to the interviewee(s). Some possible questions to ask yourself as you listen to the various subjects include:
- Who is talking in this source? - When were they born? When did they move to Australia? When did they marry? etc - Why did they leave school? why did they move to Australia? Why do they think that being older is good/difficult? etc - What events do they remember as being important in their lives? What do they think about younger people? - Where were they born? where have they lived? Where is their family now? - How do they feel about being older? How do they think they are treated by others? How do they think they should be treated?
Gathering Information – use the Older Australians' stories to begin a research project into 'immigration', 'growing up in Australia', 'life during the war' or some other topic of your choosing.
Print off the worksheet (see the Learning Activities page for more activities). This worksheet is the basis for a research assignment into the subject's life or a broader theme which the Older Australian discusses (or a theme which is raised by more than one interviewee. There is space for five sources of information. The aim of this task is to sort through all of the information you find to extract the essential, key information that will help you to begin answering your research questions.
- In the outer boxes, identify the source you are consulting. Be sure to list the title, author and details of publication. This will help later with your bibliography. You should aim to use a mix of books and websites (in addition of course to an oral source - either one of the interviews on this site or your own source!)
- In the middle boxes (moving in towards the centre) you should list the IMPORTANT or KEY information each source offers you. The spaces are deliberately small - you should only use dot points and only write down important facts/figures etc. This will help you to 'boil down' the information into something that is more manageable.
- The final space (the centre) is the place for you identify the 'Common Threads' (similarities etc) that each source has revealed to you. For example, if you are examining migrant experiences of moving to Australia, your research might indicate that migrants were "scared", "excited", "welcomed", "avoided" by the communities into which they moved. If you are researching how life has changed in Australia (social customs, people's employment, care for the elderly etc) you might find from several different sources that Australia has grown more multicultural, or that people stay in the same job for shorter times than previously, or that quality care for older Australians is getting harder to provide due to the ageing population and the cost of care.
This activity is only one step in the research assignment process. Use this template to help you assess your sources of information.
Storyboard – detail a selected Older Australian's story – use this as a basis for an imaginary documentary or film plot or create an actual film using multimedia software.
Print off the worksheet (see the Learning Activities page for more activities). Once you have listened to the stories from older Australians, choose one which you will focus on. (You can, of course, choose to obtain your own interview with an older Australian you know, such as a relative) or someone from your local aged care facility. Be sure to follow strict guidelines in setting up this interview - involve your teacher and obtain all of the necessary permissions.
You may need to listen again to the account. Use the worksheet to list, in sequential order, the key events and people in this person's life. This raw material could be the basis for a piece of writing (a biography) or for a documentary style media presentation or movie.
Some links to assist you with utilising your research in interesting ways (and resulting in a fantastic final product!) include:
Conducting your own interview with an Older Australian
It is hoped that the materials on this site might inspire you to arrange your own interview with an older Australian. Forging friendships with people with such rich life stories can be a very rewarding experience for both people involved. It might be your grandparent, your next-door neighbour, or someone down the road at your local aged care facility.