Aged care residents star in short film to highlight mental health

Aged care residents from Uniting Annesley in Haberfield, 6.5km west of Sydney’s CBD, and Uniting Locke Haven in Petersham, 6km southwest of the CBD, have made a short film, which shares scripted personal stories about living with mental illness as an older person and the importance of community.

‘The Out of Tuners’ was written by Annesley resident Christine Tubbs and stars five residents from each facility who assume different ‘characters’ to talk about their mental health experiences and entering aged care.

Hannah Buckland, Uniting Annesley Case Manager, said the project has really inspired and excited the residents who performed in it.

“The short film was conceived by Christine as a way for the residents to get together to celebrate Mental Health month and a wonderful way for everyone to feel included and recognised for their contributions,” said Hannah.

“Many of our residents have experienced homelessness as well as mental illness, so feeling seen and heard and appreciated is so important to them and this film was a great opportunity to do that.”

Uniting Annesley, home to 88 residents, is one of the first residential aged care homes in Australia to be certified as a fully government-funded aged care homeless facility. The nearby 46-bed Uniting Locke Haven is currently going through the same accreditation process.

“Annesley and Locke Haven are home to some of the most vulnerable elderly people in our community, and they are often very isolated. Projects like this help to engage them and make them feel included,” Hannah said.

Led by Uniting Exercise Coordinator Portia England, the residents from both homes all auditioned for their role and to be part of the ensemble and visited each other’s homes to rehearse both the speaking and dance scenes.

“For many of them it was their first time being involved in performance arts and in some cases, to actually be part of group activities,” said Portia.

Both homes have joined together to form a Mental Health Hub with the aim being to share education, resources and training for staff and provide residents with opportunities to take part in group projects to keep them engaged and less isolated.

Click here to watch ‘The Out of Tuners’.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Antonia Norris

Researcher and Contributor

Antonia has led the operations and growth of the and within the DCM Group in Australia and New Zealand for several years. This has included the research and creation agedcare101 in 2016, the creation of the DCM Institute and Te Ara Institute, the joint contribution of Care & Living with Mercer (CaLM) and the TV series, The Best 30 Years, screened on NINE nationally.



Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.