G. O. L. D.
Growing Older Living Dangerously
Initiative of the Brisbane City Council
Dot participated in several of the GOLD programmes, particularly the water adventures.
This photo was taken on a yachting lesson out from Shorncliffe, Brisbane. She had also been canoeing & kayaking.
The feeling of being on the water is incomparable - the sea breeze, the sounds & patterns of the water,
the unexpected sightings of fish & birds, the excitement at being able to control and manoeuvre a yacht,
even the difference at hearing how sound easily travels across water, seeing all the land buildings from a different perspective BUT THE BEST MOMENT OF ALL
was coming back into the canal to take the yacht back and being lead by dolphins.
You never know if they will be there when you are so it is the surprise element as well as the fun of watching
and connecting with them.
These adventures were provided by the Brisbane City Council's G.O.L.D.
(Growing Older Living Dangerously) programme.
It gives the older residents of Brisbane an unimaginably precious gift in being able to participate in new adventures, stay active, achieve so much, interact with new people and see different parts of Brisbane as the activities are located in all different suburbs. The cost is sometimes free or ranges up to $10.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF G.O.L.D.?
P R I C E L E S S ......
One day we will all be old .. by the time our parents need aged care, we are usually at the age when the G.O.L.D. programme is available to us. We can go ourselves to enrich our own lives but also then be able to
encourage our parents to do the same or where possible go along with our parents so that both have the fun.
It enriches growing old - way beyond measure. There were so many elderly people having the time of their lives.
People can be healthy or aged .. many events are suitable for those with minor disabilities.
As well as the water activities, I took Dot to GOLD programmes in community gardens as she had spent her life growing things and even to a pottery class just to be able to work the clay.
By participating in everything possible in the programme and also finding other adventures, you find that you can
do way more than you thought you could, that you have the ability to face what were previously "fears" with "total exhileration".
By tackling new adventures, there is mental stimulation in the brain .. new neural pathways are laid down.
Once you have successfully completed something you never thought you could have done, there is a lifelong confidence
that in all areas, you can overcome anything. You will also gradually progress to more adventurous activities.
These are activities that 60, 70, 80 year olds are doing so it should be easier for those younger.
Being able to participate in the GOLD programme was the foundation for acquiring the ideas to "try new things"
when it came to giving Dot quality of life when she could no longer do that for herself. She had shown by example when she was younger that she enjoyed adventure. Through GOLD, she had even flown the Gazelle aircraft at the Redcliffe Aerodrome herself before she had the brain tumour. Being confined in a house didn't honour her spirit.
When I first tried GOLD, I did some art and craft activities, family research classes but also wanted to try something fun.
I was able to try
- water skiing
- abseil down small cliffs
- camel ride
- fencing with swords
- drive a power boat up the Brisbane River
- introduction to scuba
-even fly a Gazelle aircraft
My "G.O.L.D." water adventures
I had a lesson in how to drive this power boat up the Brisbane River
phenomenal experience to see the city from the water and have no traffic to contend with !
I also took Dot one time.
Just attending a GOLD activity takes you to places you wouldn't normally go.
This activity was early morning so the added bonus was seeing the city buildings in the subdued light and also
the hot air balloons are visible on the skyline taking off for their morning flights.
Great fun learning how to breathe underwater ..
"That's one small step for me, one giant leap for what it enabled me to do with Dot."
Another saying: "It's a long way to the top if you want to rock 'n roll ..
well, when you abseil .. it's a long way to the bottom of the rocks ..
but you'll run back to the top to have another go !
Shows the wide diversity of programmes offered through GOLD ..
Camel ride in a suburban Brisbane Park.
My flying lesson in the Gazelle Aircraft, Redcliffe Aerodrome - Dot had done it before me.
I took this photo as I flew near Dot's house so that she would have an aerial photo.
She had a love of water activities and lived where she had easy access to the ocean.
With each activity attempted and completed, there was always incredible joy having accomplished something new and challenging.
The first attempt at abseiling meant I had butterflies the whole night beforehand and even on the morning.
The instructors are patient, calm & encouraging .. they must be to have a novice take a step off a cliff !
Remember that these are activities for older people .. the reason I went was that in other GOLD lessons, I always heard
about 60-80 year olds who happily went along. So what was my excuse.
Having gone down the first time with intrepidation .. until half way down .. by the time I reached the bottom,
couldn't wait to get back up to try it again .. that fear was dispelled in a matter of minutes.
So having conquered that, why not try flying a small plane ! After all, much older people had tried it.
There is exhileration, intrepidation, awe, wonder & fun getting up into the skies but once you're there, it is such an
amazing view and a unique opportunity which doesn't come along often.
It is an absolute privilege to have the chance to take controls of the plane and have a go.
Once you try the things that have been missing from your life .. you'll really be able to smile.
IF YOU HAVE A GO AT SOMETHING TOTALLY NEW ....
YOU WILL HAVE BRILLIANT MEMORIES TO LOOK BACK ON.
YOU WILL BE INSPIRED TO GIVE THE SAME QUALITY OF FUN TO OTHER OLDER PEOPLE.
THANKS TO THE BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL
G. O. L. D. Programme
for setting us on the course of adventure
....... Excerpt from their brochure:
GOLD (Growing Older Living Dangerously), a Brisbane City Council Active and Healthy Lifestyle program,
provides free or low-cost activities for residents 50 years and over.
Growing older doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines. Sign up for a GOLD activity and make some
new friends. Start living dangerously today and check the program for details of what’s on.
Council recognises the important role that grandparents play in most children’s lives so we’ve included
Gold’n’Kids (GnK) activities for children, aged four years and over, and their grandparents to enjoy
together! Look for the GnK activities towards the back of the brochure.
We value your wellbeing so we deliver programs like GOLD to encourage you to be active and healthy,
learn new skills and develop new interests.
The Active and Healthy Lifestyle programs are another way Council is achieving our vision for the
For more information on what’s on visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au go to the Facilities and Recreation
tab and click on What’s On, or call Brisbane, Australia (07) 3403 8888.
As well as GOLD, Council offers a range of other activities for you to enjoy an
active and healthy lifestyle – no matter what your age, interest or fitness level.
These programs include:
• Active Parks Activities for all ages in a local park near you
• Black Diamonds Sporting, creative and adventure programs for
• Chill Out Creative and adventurous activities for 10 to 17 year olds
• Get Wild - Discover Natural Brisbane
Nature-based activities at various bushland and wetland locations
• Gonewalking Regular group walks for all fitness
• RAW (Real Adventure Women) Adventurous activities for women aged 16+.