Inner West Independent

Community to ‘reconnect’ at Inner West Seniors Festival

The Inner West Seniors Festival has begun. Photo: Supplied.

By SHARLOTTE THOU

The Inner West Seniors Festival will take place from Friday 25 March to Monday 3 April, as part of the broader NSW Seniors Festival.

The festival – with a ‘reconnect’ theme – aims to “celebrate the role seniors play in the community and acknowledge the important contributions they make”.  

Inner West local Melinda Vassallo will run the Street Art Walking Tour at Newtown Square on 27 March.  

Speaking to City Hub, she said she was “incredibly excited” about the event, especially given that the pandemic had affected many of her walking tours in recent years.  

A tour group in front of local artwork. Photo: Supplied.

She said the walking tour had been booked at full capacity and welcomes the opportunity to host similar events in the future. Vassallo added that the tours were “more popular with the seniors than some of the regular tours” and credits this to participants being those who grew up in the inner west who “want to come back and have a look and see what’s going on around here”.  

“It’s really good to look at the place we live in in a different way,” she said.  

As part of the festival, the Inner West Council’s Green Living centre hosted an intergenerational event this week on climate action. The event encouraged youths and seniors to start a discussion about climate action to foster more collaboration across communities. 

Seniors and youth are two of the key groups who are promoting climate action. Each group has incredible stories and skills that could benefit the other and help build community resilience in the face of climate change,” a council spokesperson said.  

Inner West councillor says Seniors Festival can be a ‘catalyst’ for change 

Inner West Labor councillor Mat Howard. Photo: Facebook.

Inner West councillor Mat Howard said he was “excited and inspired”, and that the festival presents a “great opportunity to reconnect to culture, people, art, activities, dance, the environment, community and country”.  

He also spoke on the theme of reconnection, which he believes has “special importance given the long, lonely few years we have just had”.  

We know older people are more likely to experience loneliness and social isolation, which can lead to serious mental and physical welfare issues, and this has been a significant issue over the years of the pandemic,” he said.  

Looking to the future, Howard told City Hub the week should be a “catalyst for finding new ways to keep older people engaged and our community inclusive”.  

“This Seniors Week, we will be holding events and activities through our aquatic centres, libraries, sport and recreation partnerships and community centres. Council has developed a Healthy Ageing Strategy and works collaboratively with not for profits to keep older people engaged in the community in the long term.” 

The week will feature events such as plays, tours, workshops, and courses. More details on the festival’s full offerings can be found here. 

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