Rural City of Wangaratta, Victoria


The Rural City of Wangaratta, like many places in the developed world has an ageing population. How might this affect Wangaratta's future?

Is it true that life is changing so fast that things that were relevant to older generations are of no interest or conceivable use to current generations? What sort of a future could we create if we communicate with each other across generations?

How can local council plan for changing demographics and a changing future? What will we need to live productively with each other in the future?

Generations Wangaratta invited old and young and in-between to reflect on the stories and experiences of the past and the present in order to imagine a shared future. A series of arts based events and activities contributed to the creative skills, negotiations and understandings needed to bring that fulfilling and meaningful future into being for us all.

The Wangaratta Ukulele Showband has been developed as part of the Generations project – it is an easy way for a range of people to come together and enjoy a fun activity.  The ukulele is a relatively simple instrument to learn, it is inexpensive and appeals to a range of age groups. Over sixty people aged from 7 – 70+ are participating in the first round of beginner’s classes.
Developing musical skills in a fun relaxed environment, participants have learned to play a range of songs and performed at St John’s Retirement Village, St Catherine’s Aged Care Home and at a special concert to celebrate the completion of their classes.   Members of the group are continuing to meet, learn new songs and polish their performance skills, with further gigs anticipated in the future.
"...meeting with people of all ages who were open to fun and learning something new. I loved the singing and the sense of community it gave me." 
- Wangaratta Ukulele Showband member
Sharing stories is an important way for individuals and groups to communicate, develop understanding and create relationships. Through the Generations project we would like to develop skills in the community that can support the collection and presentation of stories utilising digital technology. With assistance from the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE fourteen people participated in a Digital Short Film Training Program – involving nine evening classes and two weekend workshops. It is hoped that this group will now not only be able to collect and document a range of local stories using contemporary media, but also support others to develop short films, digital stories and multi-media presentations. As the Generations project continues to grow – we anticipate there will be a broad range of groups and individuals who would like to share their experiences, developing stories that provide insight and develop awareness. Everyone has a story to tell!
If only we could see into the future.  Economists, scientists and sociologists believe we can – following trends, collecting data, estimating outcomes.  What about the rest of us?  Can you for a moment imagine what the Rural City of Wangaratta will look like in 2010, 2020 and 2030. Looking forward and understanding where our current path is going to take us is an important part of life and the Generations project is encouraging people in the Rural City of Wangaratta to imagine what the future might look like.  Older than we are now – will we feel differently, want different things and will the world look different? To raise awareness about the Generations project and to encourage dialogue about our collective future, the Wangaratta Rural City Council commissioned two artists to create a series of postcards called an "Imagined Future".  There are six postcards in all with two each depicting images of what life will look like in 2010, 2020 and 2030. Keep your eye out for these mini works of art in cafes and businesses around Wangaratta and the surrounding area – and let us know what you think – What’s your imagined future?  Email your imagined future to


The Generations Project over the three years of the project has developed a series of resources including the digital hubs and the Big Ear, which we hope the community will continue to use - both with the existing content of the Digital Quilt and the Sound Portraits but also by creating new content.
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The Generations Project is ending with a fantastic piece of art called the Generations Digital Quilt. It features sixteen short films created from local stories and over fifty short interviews with people in Wangaratta talking about what they value from one generation to the next. It is an outstanding piece of contemporary art - which we are all very proud of.