An unconventional meeting of minds

While our oldest and youngest generations may seem worlds apart, new ageing well initiatives are bringing them together in a timely move to create meaningful connections.

Picture this: A group of young kids crowd around a pool table while an older man takes the first shot of the game, promising to show them “how it’s done”. He pockets three balls in a single shot before passing the cue to one of his young companions.

It’s a happy scene: young and old enjoying each other’s company. But while it could be a family get together – it’s not. The gathering is the result of a carefully conceived intergenerational education program, one of many designed by UniSA researchers to help build and sustain meaningful connections across generations.

And it’s no small feat. From kindergartens to residential care villages, people have been conditioned to learn, socialise and grow with their peers. In some ways this makes sense, allowing for age-appropriate development and learning, like-minded conversations and appropriate care where needed. But age-based segregation can create barriers, something that cognitive ageing expert, UniSA’s Dr Ashleigh Smith, says society needs to correct.

Please click here to read the full “An unconventional meeting of minds” published at the University of South Australia, written by Annabel Mansfield, and view the wonderful work being done in the intergenerational space by UniSA.

If you have an intergenerational program (research or practice) that you would like to share, or other examples of connecting young and old, we would love to hear from you. Please email

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