Murdoch University finds its way to the Lost Generation

March 3, 2011

Murdoch University students will gain a unique glimpse into the lives of people with disabilities for the first time this year as a part of the Lost Generation Project.

The Project uses film or other mediums to tell the stories of people with disability who have lived in supported accommodation long-term.

It was developed by the Disability Services Commission and Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts Australia in 2007.

The Lost Generation films will be shown in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities' Introduction to Community Development unit, which focuses on community development in action. Students will examine how artwork and films communicate the ways in which people with intellectual disabilities contribute to their community.

Lecturer Dr David Palmer said the films offered students a unique chance to get to know some of those with disabilities.

"The films provide the audience with a beautiful way to „meet‟ people with disability and see them in a way they wouldn‟t usually experience, because the person may not be able to communicate in the usual ways," Dr Palmer said.

"The digital medium is ideal because it makes these films available to hundreds of online students, as well as those who attend on campus.

"I‟m looking at ways to develop the project by building two-way relationships between the students and the people in the films."

The Commission's Accommodation Services Directorate Executive Director Wendy Cox said the project had come a long way since its inception in 2007, gracing screens nationally and internationally.

"Community support for the 186 storytellers has been widespread and the celebration of their lives is a far cry from the days when they led largely invisible lives in institutions," Ms Cox said.

Ms Cox said the film had empowered storytellers, enabled them to reconnect with their family and friends and improved their health and self image.

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