150 older people from CALD communities attend Inner West Expo

On 16th April 2015, Co.As.It., together with four other community service organisations held a Multicultural Healthy Ageing Lifestyle & Wellbeing Expo at Club Burwood RSL. This expo was designed to cater for the needs of the older Italian, Greek, Indian, Indonesian and Portuguese communities of Inner West Sydney. The expo partner organisations were Greek Welfare Centre Community Services, Sri Om Foundation, Indonesian Welfare Association Care, Sydney Multicultural Community Services (Sydney MCS) and one other; Wesley Mission, Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centre Inner West.

Italian community listens to information on positive psychology.

Italian community listens to information on positive psychology.

Whilst the focus of the expo was on wellbeing and lifestyle in older age, also included were two information sessions for each community delivered in their language. The topic of the first information session was “Planning Ahead” delivered by solicitors who spoke a community language. The information session focused on facts that one should know regarding will making, obtaining power of attorney and enduring guardianship. Most of these speakers were sourced by the Speakers Bureau of the Law Society of New South Wales.

Estate Planning for the Indonesian community.

Estate Planning for the Indonesian community.

The second information session of the day was delivered mostly by psychologists who spoke in community languages. This session’s topic was ‘Positive Ageing” and included information on positive strategies to adopt in facing and traveling through older age. Strategies outlined included the benefits of exercise, socialization, maintenance of intimate relationships and continuing involvement with one’s personal passions and interests.

Italian community listens to information on positive psychology.

Italian community listens to information on positive psychology.

The many questions that were posed to the speakers were a testament to the interest sparked amongst those in the audience.

The twenty three stalls were well attended on the day and participants included: HACC Inner West, Podiatry Inner West, Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centre, Art Therapist Seiko Furuse, Human Services Multicultural Services, Rosa Ghidella, Naturopath, Podiatry Inner West, Alzheimers Australia NSW, Inner West Community Transport, Continence Foundation, Law Access, Public Guardian, Transcultural Mental Health Centre, Falls Prevention Program, National Hearing Care, OPAL, Domna Giannakis, Holistic Counsellor/ Psychotherapist, Burwood Police Local Area Command , Co.As.It., Greek Welfare Centre Community Services, Sri Om Foundation, Indonesian Welfare Association Care and Sydney MCS.

Laughter Yoga time

Laughter Yoga time

Just before morning tea, a laughter yoga practitioner, sourced by Sri Om Foundation, led the 150 audience members through a delightful routine eagerly followed by all. A light lunch was served followed by performer, Sisca Hunt, who awed the audience with an evocative Balinese dance sequence set to Gamalan music. Ambient interval music was performed by Jack Patane on saxophone and keyboards.

Portuguese community information session on Planning Ahead.

Portuguese community information session on Planning Ahead.

Lucky door prizes were drawn and were donated by Greek Welfare Centre Community Services, Sri Om Foundation, Indonesian Welfare Association Care and Co.As.It.

Feedback provided by the audience and stall holder participants showed that there was something for everyone at the expo. The older community members indicated their enthusiasm for another event like this one to be developed in future.

Balinese dancer Sisca Hunt.

Balinese dancer Sisca Hunt.

Stall holders, mary Lou and Michele from Transcultural Mental Health.

Stall holders, Mary Lou and Michele from Transcultural Mental Health.