The Summer Foundation: Giving a Voice to the Hidden

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The Summer Foundation: Giving a Voice to the Hidden

It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to live in a part of society where you’re seemingly hidden from the world. Through 22 powerful stories, The Summer Foundation will help uncover the hidden lives of young Australians with disability living in nursing homes. They live in these homes because there is simply nowhere else for them to go.
The Home to Home Digital Story Exhibition, presented by The Summer Foundation with thanks to the Sidney Myer Fund, features a collection of digital stories created during a series of workshops, including one in Geelong, across Australia in 2014. Storytellers developed scripts, narrated voice-overs and collated images and footage to produce insightful videos about their unique experience of living in a nursing home, being at risk of living in one or being a parent of a young person in a nursing home.
Through these stories, we are invited to glimpse what life is sometimes like for young people living in residential aged care where the average age of fellow residents is 84, where there is no choice about what time to go to bed, what to wear, or what and when you eat. The emotions of grief, frustration and sadness are deeply present in this collection of stories. But so are the themes of perseverance, strength of character and hope.
“As an Occupational Therapist in private practice, I have the privilege to work with young people in Nursing Homes through the NDIS and previously through the YPIRAC program. I have seen first hand how inappropriate these facilities are for young people to be living, despite all the efforts and care from the staff to make them feel like home. Therefore I was determined not to miss the Home to Home exhibition,” said a visitor to the Newcastle exhibition.
“I am sure that the exhibition has opened the eyes and touched the hearts of the people of Newcastle and will do in other cities that it travels to, so that this important social issue won’t be hidden away any longer.”
The Summer Foundation was established in 2006 to advocate for changes to human services policy and practice related to young people in nursing homes. This will be the Summer Foundation’s third free exhibition for 2015, with previous exhibitions taking place in Newcastle and Cairns.
CEO Dr Di Winkler said, “The Summer Foundation has a strong role in speaking with politicians, policy makers and other agencies about the issue of young people in nursing homes. But what really matters is giving young people and their families the opportunity to tell their story, from their perspective, and be heard.
“This is a group of marginalised and largely forgotten people, and these exhibitions are a chance to recognise and remember why policy needs to be changed to ensure there is an appropriate range of housing and support options available to give everyone the best chance of living lives of their choice.”
When & Where: Deakin University, Waterfront Campus – Open daily (9am-6pm) from September 8-15. Free admission