News & Events

iGEN moves online until students and residents can meet again


This week our iGEN students have successfully engaged with residents of Bethlehem via Google Meets. Students and residents were able to share stories of what their day-to-day life has been like during this period of lockdown and what they are looking forward to most once the lockdown ends.

We were all very grateful for the opportunity to reconnect and aim to continue this over the coming weeks, until the time when we can meet face-to-face once again.

Below are some observations and feedback from Ms Kylie Paxton (Leisure & Lifestyle Coordinator, Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged) about the first three sessions this week.

Mr Ben Fitzpatrick, Deputy Principal – St Mary’s

“Rita was very happy to be able to show off the handmade Mr Squiggle she had spent over a year making and to speak with her favourite student again.”

“Lindy was blown away when she received cards from the students and brought them along with her to the first two sessions. She expressed that being able to see and talk to the students again had made her day.”

“Thelma, who hadn’t interacted with the students in person before, wanted to come along to see what it was all about. Once there, and after feeling comfortable with the help of her fellow resident Marg, she gladly took hold of the microphone and engaged in conversation with the students.”

“Marg, who was familiar with the students, was excited to see them and said she couldn’t wait for them to visit in person again.”

About iGEN: Intergenerational Learning

iGEN is an intergenerational Learning partnership between Mercy Health, Australian Catholic University and Catherine McAuley College.

Year 10 students in the iGen program engage with residents of a local Aged Care Home, Mercy Health Bethlehem. They undertake pre-education modules including infection control, ageing, dementia and Mercy Model of Care. Attending Bethlehem twice a week, students engage with residents in a wide range of activities, including gardening, cards, painting, exercise, reading the newspaper, cooking and bingo.

Research into the benefits of this program is being conducted by ACU in preparation for the next phase; semester-long programs catering for a range of pathways in the health and business sectors.