Uni students help Mercy Place Lathlain residents document life stories

L to R - Alfred Brown (Resident), Luh Putu Estalita (UWA), Kea Mason (Curtin), Natalia Berelowitz (Curtin) & Janene Grant (Resident) Picture: Jon Hewson
L to R - Alfred Brown (Resident), Luh Putu Estalita (UWA), Kea Mason (Curtin), Natalia Berelowitz (Curtin) & Janene Grant (Resident) Picture: Jon Hewson

WRAPPING up a combination of voluntary work and work placements at Mercy Place Lathlain, a group of speech pathology and social work students have given life to the notion that everybody has a story to share, no matter your age.

Natalia Berelowitz and Nikkeah Mason, both speech pathology students at Curtin University, and Luh Putu Estalita who is studying social work at UWA as an overseas student from Indonesia, have assisted residents at Mercy Place in creating storybooks about their life, which have been used as a tool to help overcome speech problems and create social connection.

The trio have jointly spent more than 300 hours supporting and spending time with residents because of the partnerships with both universities.

Mercy Health Lathlain service manager Surabh Nair said the benefits of the partnerships extended both ways, with the students and residents involved genuinely enjoying their time together and forming strong bonds.

“Our residents love spending time with younger people and the life books that have been created have really allowed them to share stories about their younger days and also showcase their hobbies, talents and life lessons,” he said.

“Many of our residents share some of the same interests with the girls, particularly reading and music, and we’re incredibly grateful to Natalia, Nikkeah and Luh for their dedication to our residents, which has seen them put in a great deal of their own time voluntarily to help brighten their days.

“They are deeply committed students who I have no doubt will go very far in their chosen professions.”

Mercy Health is a Catholic not for profit provider of aged care.

In WA, the organisation houses over 300 people across six residential centres.

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