SKILL UP FOR RE­TIRE­MENT

Don’t stop learn­ing just be­cause you’re about to end your work­ing life. Lau­ren Ah­wan re­ports

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Front Page -

U PSKILLING for re­tire­ment may sound re­dun­dant but it has im­por­tant ben­e­fits for re­tirees and their com­mu­ni­ties. Gen­er­a­tional change spe­cial­ist Mal­colm King says re­tirees in­creas­ingly want to re­main in­volved in pub­lic af­fairs and make mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tions to so­ci­ety.

“Ed­u­ca­tion for peo­ple con­sid­er­ing re­tire­ment is one of the great re­ju­ve­na­tors of the mind,’’ King says.

“New ideas not only keep us up-to­date but they arm us with a whole raft of com­pe­ten­cies and ca­pa­bil­i­ties which help us in re­tire­ment.’’

While some ed­u­ca­tion of­fer­ings specif­i­cally tar­get re­tirees, many oth­ers delve into hob­bies and top­ics, such as pho­tog­ra­phy, gar­den­ing, IT and fit­ness, that those no longer in the work­force may only now have the time to pur­sue.

King says at­tend­ing cour­ses not only al­lows for per­sonal de­vel­op­ment but pro­vides an im­por­tant so­cial net­work for re­tirees, re­duc­ing iso­la­tion and im­prov­ing men­tal health.

TAFE coun­sel­lor Lynne Pais­ley says many re­tirees choose cour­ses that help de­velop their knowl­edge of an ex­ist­ing hobby, how­ever, oth­ers choose to study some­thing new.

“Peo­ple are want­ing to keep their brains ac­tive,’’ Pais­ley says.

“Many (re­tirees) find that, once they’ve done one course, they have fun and en­joy it, so then they do an­other one.

“We’ve got older peo­ple do­ing lots of ce­ram­ics and cour­ses like that, and art cour­ses.

“A lot of older peo­ple like to gar­den so they choose (cour­ses in) kitchen gar­dens or grow­ing veg­eta­bles.”

Grace Mas­se­los, 81, holds a PhD in early child­hood de­vel­op­ment and, since re­tir­ing as a preschool teacher and teacher ed­u­ca­tor, has com­pleted cour­ses at the Aus­tralian Patis­serie Acad­emy, as well as cour­ses in lan­guage and lit­er­acy.

She en­rolled in a pub­lish­ing course and self-pub­lished a book on a re­cruit­ment drive for World War I and staged three lo­cal pho­tog­ra­phy ex­hi­bi­tions after com­plet­ing a pho­tog­ra­phy course.

Mas­se­los is cur­rently tak­ing pi­ano lessons and at­tend­ing lec­tures at the Univer­sity of the Third Age.

“There’s a lot of peo­ple out there that are hun­gry for in­for­ma­tion, hun­gry to do some­thing and hun­gry to meet with their peers,’’ she says.

“I could have just kept cook­ing and tak­ing pho­tos on my own but I’ve learned so much do­ing the cour­ses.”

Pic­ture: JEREMY PIPER

IN­SPIR­ING: Re­tired teacher Grace Mas­se­los has done cour­ses in tart-mak­ing, book pub­lish­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy.

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