ECU's students studying Biographical and Autobiographical Writing prepare commissioned biographies for residents in the Elimatta Residential Centre for Senior Citizens. This requires a number of interviews, so students have to follow clear procedures that are checked and cleared by the University Ethics Committee. The unit had previously focused exclusively on student choice of auto/ biographical subject, but the new partnership widens student horizons by enabling them to engage with selected members of the community.
Both the residents of Elimatta and the students are stimulated by the experience of sharing life histories. The residents look forward to their student visitors and are extremely proud to see their life story in print at the end of the unit. The plan in 2012 is to widen this project from Elimatta and to have students writing biographies for people attached to the Association for the Blind (WA), Association for the Deaf (WA) and Mission Australia.
Associate Professor Jill Durey.
Elimatta Residential Centre for Senior Citizens, Mt Lawley.