Building inclusive communities starts with building understanding and respect between generations. The ‘Our Shared Space’ (OSS) Program was created 6 years ago in response to the community identifying personal safety as an issue, in particular, issues of safety between the younger and older generations.
The program was developed by council’s Youth Network Advisory Group (YNAG) and Clarence Positive Ageing Advisory Committee (CPAAC) consisting of representatives from across the City, and of varying ages (from 15 to 86 years old).
OSS has evolved into a key program tackling more than issues of safety, to include intergenerational divides and ageism. By working together, YNAG and CPAAC create a place where conversations and ideas are shared, culminating in a series of regular activities and events contributing to building inclusive communities.
The group focuses on what draws people of all ages together (rather than apart), and how they can showcase this by involving the wider community. This approach has seen a schedule of regular activities being held such as: sport and recreation days, craft and gaming; and a series of ‘Generation’ activities focused on trivia nights/days; walking, Tai Chi and activities.
Additionally, YNAG representatives were key note speakers at the 2nd National Age Friendly Cities Australia Forum, hosted by council and CPAAC in 2017.
This paper presentation will highlight how the program was developed, the challenges and the benefits, and how the program contributes to breaking down the barriers of ageism by being inclusive.