06 Mar Excuse me while we dance
On a busy Thursday morning in Sydney’s west, a group of more than 30 women meet at the local community centre in Auburn. It’s loud, it’s buzzing and everyone is speaking Turkish.
They are between 50 and 65 years of age, social and energetic. Everywhere you turn someone is doing something different. Some play gin rummy and others enjoy painting. A group chat loudly and laugh, as some sit doing word searches quietly, happy to be amongst it all.
Meliha has lived in Australia for 35 years. A local Auburn resident, she talks of Turkey with fondness. “I love my country and I used to go back every year! The trip is long, 19 hours,” she says.
Quiet and reflective, Meliha takes in everything around her. She loves being a part of the Uniting Healthy Living for Seniors community group. “This is a great place for socialising, although some people here are too young! You can’t laugh at home by yourself, it’s good to come here and share laughs with others,” she says.
Meliha is an active woman who loves bowling and table tennis. “I also love swimming and learning new things. I fill my days with new things all the time,” she smiles.
“I also come to the centre on Tuesdays, which is Tamil group,” she adds. “They are a group of people from Sri Lanka. I speak to them in English, and I really enjoy going along to their group.”
Meliha says the Tamil group is interesting, completely different to the Turkish group she attends on Thursdays. “They are so quiet and polite.” She laughs. “I learn other things with the Tamil group and I like having different friends from around the world.”
Meliha lives on her own, although her family is close by, she says the Healthy Living for Seniors program is great because it keeps away “loneliness”. Other members of the group agree and all want to contribute, with anecdotes of what life without the group is like. That is, until the Turkish music begins. Meliha and her friends scurry past with, “Excuse me, we can’t talk now, we want to dance!”
Get in touch
To find out more about our Healthy Living for Seniors program and how it can support you to stay healthy and connected, call us on 1800 864 846 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.