Retired teacher Bill uses language and music to bring people together.
“On any day there are 20 different things that I could do, but I look forward to coming in and helping with Chorus because it’s a delight,” says Bill with a smile.
Bill, 78, is a retired teacher of 36 years and now volunteers with Chorus. He teaches English as a Second Language at the Chorus Bull Creek Activity Centre.
Some of the students have lived in Australia for 20 years or more and speak very little English. Bill explores innovative teaching methods.
“I pursue everything that works and I step back from things that don’t work,” he adds.
Bill starts the lesson by looking at the front page of the West Australian and uses words like ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ to describe the photo of the Megan and Harry interview from the previous night.
Bill also runs the Memory Café for people living with dementia.
“People with dementia tend to be like people with no English,” says Bill. “They’re there, but no one sees them, no one knows them, they’re isolated.”
Dan maintains that social relationships and engaging in conversation can lessen the effects of dementia.
We reflect on episodes from the back catalogue where Louise had explored some of these themes in a two-part series on dementia and three-part series on loneliness.
“It’s not an us and them or those with Dementia and without, it’s part of living,” recalls Lou of her interview with Sarah and Blanche.
“Social connection, connections to others and if we haven’t got that, loneliness plays such a big part on our mental wellbeing, whether we’ve got dementia or not,” says Lou.
Lou is leaving Chorus and for now, we will be taking a break from Chorus Voices.
“We’ve dipped back into their back catalogue which has just reminded us and reminded me, Louise, of the ground that we’ve covered, the conversations we’ve had,” says Dan.
“I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge you as not just the co-host of Chorus Voices, but for the leadership and the contribution you’ve made to the establishment of this organisation, Chorus. We’ve seen that through the lens of Chorus Voices today.”
So that’s a wrap – for now! This is our special 54th episode – please enjoy it and see you when we’re back from our break.
Podcast Hosts: Dan Minchin and Louise Forster
Opening Voiceover: Ryan Burke
Opening Music: “Wattlebird” by Dylan Hatton Music
Interviewees: Bill Green and Andy Lau
Producer/Editor: Judith Hatton
Executive Producer: Meaghan Ferries
Audio editing: Matthew Clark
Artwork: Maddie Bull
Thanks to: The students at Bull Creek Activity Centre
Mentioned in this episode: