Francis Hartnett of The Silver Fox.
Francis Hartnett of The Silver Fox. Melanie Keyte

Silver Fox Community expanding into Brisbane

THE Sunshine Coast's Silver Fox Community is expanding into Brisbane and Sally Anne Atkinson, the city's first female Mayor, has agreed to be patron.

Founded by Francis Hartnett in January last year, the organisation is a non-profit group whose aim is to provide the opportunity for seniors and school students to learn from each other through life experience and knowledge.

As an example, Year 10 students at Sunshine Coast Grammar at Forest Glen and Montessori International at Sippy Downs last year worked with Silver Fox and Amnesty International volunteers on a program to assist asylum seekers and refugees who have come to Australia from Third World and war torn countries.

They produced a welcome and information pack aimed at allowing newcomers to settle and integrate into our Australian way of life. They held a "Welcome to Australia Walk” and this year will develop an app for world use.

"Our logic is that if we're going to invigorate the imagination of students through our intergenerational projects, they need to be compelling,” Francis said.

"This year we've invited indigenous elders and the LGBTI community to be involved in projects that will raise awareness and attempt to find solutions to issues. Our foremost aim is to combat ageism.”

"We now know that social attitudes towards 'getting older' makes a difference of up to 7.5 years in how long we live”.

"Fewer people are retiring these days. Of those who do, most are waiting longer to retire than previous generations.

"Some people are simply extending their current careers whilst others want a new opportunity to contribute toward something they feel passion and purpose for. This is what the Silver Fox Community makes possible.”

Francis said Silver Fox plans to reach five cities with five schools across Australia within three years.

"Brisbane is our first expansion and we're delighted Sally-Anne has agreed to be our patron. "She embodied our values and the energy we need to look to lead by example.”

Silver Fox is currently looking for Ambassadors to mentor young students in the classroom with literacy, living and local history activities. Professional men and women who are over 55 years are being encouraged to apply.

If you, or if you know someone who would like to volunteer, visit silverfox.org.au and complete the online form or write to admin@silverfox.org.au and a form will be sent to you. 

Caption and pic from Gail


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