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Title: It's a Magical Thing: Intergenerational Learning at The Royal South Street Society

Author (s):  Mary-Rose McLaren

Abstract:  The Royal South Street Society was originally established to meet an educational need in nineteenth-century Ballarat (a gold fields town in Victoria, Australia). It is now the organising group for a substantial eisteddfod that involves thousands of competitors in performing arts and debating, and hundred of volunteers. This paper considers the experiences of some of the competitors, volunteers and organisers in order to explore the ways that the intergenerational experience of the competitions builds community capacity within the city of Ballarat. The nature of the learning that takes place through participation, for both competitors and volunteers, and the ways in which individuals become connected to their communities through this experience, are examined. Also considered are the ways in which intergenerational relationships developed through the competitions foster a sense of belonging and worth both for the young, who are usually the competitors, and for the older members of the community, who are often the volunteers.

Category: Arts/Oral History/Culture

Keywords: Community capacity, learning, community connection, intergenerational relationships, empowerment, performing arts, social capital

Reference: McLaren, M. R. (2008). It's a Magical Thing: Intergenerational Learning at The Royal South Street Society. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 6( 1): 7-24.

Peer-reviewed journal: yes

Link to Full Texthttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J194v06n01_02

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