Flashback is a program that aims to provide a platform for elderly members of society to share their experiences and explore their creativity, with a possible opportunity to publish their stories in the future. It creates an avenue for social interaction and promotes intergenerational understanding between local seniors and aspiring writers from The University of Sydney.

How does it work?

The proposed arrangement is for up to ten seniors (per group) to gather once a week for two hours, over a ten-week period. Students from The University of Sydney will be facilitating these sessions and be provided with writing templates, organised by Enactus. The possible program locations will include local cafes, library rooms or community centres, and Enactus will be responsible for securing a location for the duration of the program. The pilot programme however will be hosted at the The Brighton Retirement Village in Croydon.

The session will be broken up into parts; the first 20 minutes are expected to include a short lecture covering some stylistic and writing skills, the second part of the program, lasting for approximately 50 minutes allows the seniors to share their experiences through a group discussion, with various weekly themes. The remaining time provides them with the opportunity to write their stories. This is where the facilitator oversees the process, assisting the seniors with transforming their ideas into a written medium.
Over the course of the ten weeks, the seniors will aim to produce 1-2 pieces of work (short memoir essays, short stories, poems and various other creative pieces), which will be edited and published in a bi-annual magazine. Publication of stories is entirely optional, and there is no pressure to write or publish. For those seniors who are not physically capable of writing their stories or have no interest in doing so, the facilitator will take this responsibility. The magazine will be sold to the general public, university organisations, schools and other interested parties through physical copies and online distribution. All profits from sales will be reinvested into developing the writing club.

What is the cost of the program?

Our ten-week program is different to other existing programs based on our primary focus of promoting social interaction and sharing wisdom amongst the community of seniors. Hence, we are not focused on charging high prices for the program. Our pilot program is designed to be entirely free for seniors to join. Enactus will provide some basic writing equipment like pen and paper, but seniors are encouraged to bring their own items to the weekly meetings if they wish to do so.

How can you contact us?

If you/your organisation is interested in becoming a part of this program, or have further enquiries, please contact us at flashback@enactussydney.org