Throughout October 150,000 senior Victorians participated in events as part of the 2018 Victorian Seniors Festival.
Now in its 36th year, the Seniors Festival is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services to offer senior Victorians the opportunity to get social, try something new in their local area, and celebrate the golden years.
This year, Celebration Day kicked off the festivities on Sunday 7 October with an estimated 19,200 people attending to enjoy music and dance at Federation Square and Deakin Edge as well as active living demonstrations and a broad range of exhibitor presentations along the River Terrace.
During the eight days of free public transport for Victorian Seniors Card holders, the Festival Hub at Melbourne Town Hall presented free concerts, dances, theatre, information sessions, displays and health checks. 9,720 people attended these Hub events which provided some great activities including Salsa Dancing lessons, Laughter Yoga, a Centenarian morning tea with a special welcome by Peter Hitchener.
The AGL Concert series in the Melbourne Town Hall included some wonderful trips down memory lane with rockabilly legend Lonnie Lee playing the grand old hits of the 50s and 60s, as well as a performance by the pioneering Australian reggae rock band No Fixed Address, which was followed by a fascinating interview with the lead singer Uncle Bart Willoughby, and Uncle Selwyn Burns, talking about their intertwined histories that have transformed generations of Indigenous arts practice.
Once again the dancing in the Melbourne Town Hall proved very popular, along with a number of LGBTI Elder dance clubs across the state. The Seniors Festival also includes the Coming Back out Ball – a spectacular social event celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual., Trans and Gender Diverse and Intersex elders. The dress code was gold, formal and fabulous – and the entertainment dazzled.
For seniors wanting a quieter style of event, there were Tai Chi sessions, Croquet sessions, IT classes, and classes for researching your family history in the printed program.
Further afield, the Festival included a Silo Cinema session in Quambatook, lunch and entertainment sessions including luncheons at Greyhound racing clubs, and the Country Concerts series held across regional Victoria.
There is a selection of photos from this year's festival in the 2018 festival photo gallery.