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Crystal Brook Kindy and Roseview Aged Care’s joyful connection

If you want something done, and done well, leave it up to to the good folk of country communities. The Southern Flinders town of Crystal Brook is a shining example of what happens when people unite and work together on a passion project like no other. Named the ‘The Path of Intergenerational Connection’ the project literally began as that – a path – a path to join the local kindy and the hospital’s aged care facility, known as Roseview.

Karena Wilson is the dedicated and passionate director at Crystal Brook Kindy and in 2016, visits to Roseview began as a new way to engage young learners and connect with the community. The children and residents would spend time together telling stories, reading, singing, playing with lego, or helping each other with puzzles. After a few years of regular visits to their elderly neighbours, some of the more curious older folk decided they wanted to visit their little friends down the road at the Kindy, but the pathway was deemed unsafe. With support, the children and residents jointly presented a proposal to their local council, to upgrade the pathway. The funding was approved – an incredible and heartwarming feat for members of the community who aren’t typically seen as change-makers.

 

But the path of intergeneration connection was only just beginning. There were changes going on inside the heads and hearts of the community too. The connection between Roseview residents and the young learners at Crystal Brook Kindy is held in such high regard by the locals of Crystal Brook, that it has become an embedded and adored activity the town is immensely proud of. Not even Covid got in the way of their visits, with the children sitting outside of residents’ windows, lighting up the faces of their elderly pals each week. The difference these visits have made to the quality of life for the children and the local Roseview residents is immeasurable. For one resident, these connections were such an important part of her final years, that the kindy children formed a guard of honour at her funeral.

With a yearning for something more and to encapsulate the importance and value of the connections being made, Karena and her merry band of helpers set about sourcing grants to extend the path and create an outdoor space at the entrance of Roseview.

In March 2022 the community was consulted about a development at Roseview and what they would like honoured within the proposed space. Together with concept planners, artist Karen Carr held community workshops with Roseview residents, current and past kindy students, the local indigenous community as well and the wider Crystal Brook community to make handmade tiles that will adorn tables and pods within the upgraded area. The project will see the space transformed into a community meeting place – a focal point, rest stop, and conversation starter for people of all ages to visit. It will nurture and support intergenerational relationships, help people connect, and improve quality of life. It will provide an aesthetically pleasing and welcoming space for visitors who can sit amongst joyful artwork, reflecting the Nukunu people and the wider community. It will be a world-class project, a gift to the community from the community, to say thank you, and continue to nurture the wonderful connections and gifts that intergenerational relationships provide.

Concept Site Plan

There’s just one hitch, the ‘shovel ready’ project needs cash. Together with grants and some generous community donations, the little town that could is almost there. One last financial injection will see the project come to life and breathe a breath of fresh air into a community whose youngest and eldest are at the heart of it all.

To find out more about this inspiring project or ways you can help click here.

 

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