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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
Some people experience retiring like hitting a brick wall, finding it hard to live on such a dramatically reduced income. “Beehive” is a Seniors employment co-operative where pensioners can work to earn a few dollars without affecting their Social Security payments.

1min 54sec

Pensioners Working Part-Time at a Co-Op is an excerpt from the film Hitting A Brick Wall (15 mins), an episode of the series Ageing in the New Age (7 x 15mins), produced in 1983.

Hitting A Brick Wall: For some people the act of retirement is an unexpected shock. How can one properly prepare? This program looks at several people who have approached retirement in different ways.

Ageing in the New Age: With an ageing population, the world is approaching a crisis and community debate is growing on the issues raised by ageing populations. Each program in this series of seven films deals with one of those issues: approaches to retirement, community support systems that foster independence, living on a pension, ways the elderly are still contributing to the community, the position of elders in different cultural traditions, the problem of dementia and managing financial investments. They are generally optimistic and uplifting programs, full of innovative ideas and inspiration.

Ageing in the New Age was produced by Film Australia with the assistance of AMP Society.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: Health/PE
Year: 9-10
Strand: The health of individuals and the community
Theme: Health Work

Key Concepts

The value of contribution; Sense of self; Pensions; Volunteering work

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Health and Physical Education: Health of individuals and populations
NSW:Personal Development, Health and Physical Education: Personal awareness, Personal choice, Promoting health.
NT:Health and Physical Education: Promoting Individual and Community Health HP 5.1, 5+.1
Qld:Health and Physical Education: Health of individuals and communities 6.1, 6.5, DB6.1
SA:Health and Physical Education: 5.4, 5.6
Tas:Personal Futures: Maintaining wellbeing
Vic:Health and Physical Education: The health of individuals and populations 6.1, 6.2, 6.4
WA:Health and Physical Education: self management skills, Interpersonal skills

Context / Background Information

Work is an important part of adult life. When the eight hour working day was introduced, it stated that the day was divided up into “eight hours work, eight hours rest, and eight hours recreation”. Many people either work more than eight hours and/or sleep less than eight hours. The eight hours that should be devoted to ‘play’ are often taken up with working, managing a household and caring for children. As a result, when they reach their retirement, some people do not have the skills or networks to know how to ‘play’.

For many people, their social network is based around work. When they retire that network is gone. They have no daily contact for social exchange and no prospect of future social functions.

For people who have worked in a regular job for a number of years, maintaining a structure in their lives can be important. Volunteering work offers this structure and a way to feel that they are still a valued member of the community.

In this clip, pensioners can work at a co-op without affecting their pension. At the same time this provides them with entertainment and activities.

Discussion Pointers

Discuss what students know about retirement age. Is there an optional retirement age? Is there a compulsory retirement age? How is retirement funded? How has retirement age and retirement funding changed over time?

Discuss the role of your job in defining you as a person and in maintaining your self esteem.

Discuss the amount of time your parents or other adults spend at work. What sorts of hobbies and interests do they have? What would they do when they are retired?

Discuss the sorts of activities retired people do? Are these stereotyped in the press?

Discuss the role of volunteering work in the community.

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. Before watching the video clip, find out what is meant by the terms: ‘superannuation’ and ‘pension’ and how they relate to retirement.
  2. What is meant by the term ‘means testing’ in relation to pensions?
  3. If you didn’t have to go to school, and you didn’t have to earn any money, think about how you would spend your time.
    • How would you develop a favourite interest?
    • What sport would you play?
    • What books would you read?
    • What films/videos would you watch?
    • What volunteer work would you find rewarding?
  4. Interview a retired person and ask them how they spend their time.
  5. Do you think men and women would cope differently with retirement?
  6. Watch the film ‘Cracker Jack’ and discuss the image of lawn bowls as a retirement activity.

Modules That Use This Clip

Health/PE Year 9-10, English Year 9-10, SOSE/HSIE Year 9-10