9 Nov 2019

The Visit – Viewing of interactive media artwork
Sat November 9th 12:00-1:30pm
UNSW Galleries, UNSW Art & Design, Paddington

The Razz – Panel Discussion
Sat November 9th 1:30-3pm
EG02, E Block, UNSW Art & Design

Becoming Colleen – Viewing
November 9th 3pm (58mins)
EG02, E Block, Art & Design, UNSW 

VENUE: UNSW Art & Design, Lecture Theatre EG02

An afternoon of events challenging stereotypes of ageing.


Does anyone get “old” anymore?

Once associated with conservatism and conformity, the ageing population at some point stopped conforming. Those reaching retirement age today have lived through 60s counterculture, through punk, disco, new romantic and rave culture. They’ve always had their own music, their own identity – they were defined against the stereotype of the old guard. Babyboomers it seems are living up to the exhortation of Dylan Thomas’ famous poem that “Old age should burn and rave at close of day”.

The Razz celebrates this enduring drive to rave with a panel discussion embracing the diversity of ageing experiences in a range of communities including LGBTQI, migrants, and those living with HIV+.

Caroline Baum, writer, journalist, former broadcaster, curator and photographer and host of the COTA 2019 Policy forum on ageism and relationships, will moderate the Razz panel discussion. Speakers Lloyd Grosse aka DJ Butt Naked, Elaine Paton, Robyn Kennedy and Sandra Pankhurst will explore the experience of homelessness, and of feminism and ageing

The Razz will include a private gallery viewing of the interactive artwork Confabulations, and a screening of the documentary Becoming Colleen.

Artist Biography

Caroline Baum - Moderator

Caroline Baum is a writer, journalist, former broadcaster, occasional moderator, curator and photographer, and author of ONLY: A Singular memoir. She has an ongoing interest in ageing and representations of ageing and will moderate the Razz panel discussion. Caroline is a carer, and has written about age-related issues for the Guardian and hosted the COTA 2019 policy forum on ageism and relationships Australia 2018 forum on loneliness.

Sandra Pankhurst

Sandra standing in front of grey background, hands clasped

Trauma Cleaner, Activist

Sandra has lived many lives. Sandra (then “Peter”) was adopted into an abusive family, relegated to a backyard bungalow, malnourished, excluded from family-life and escaped home in his teens. Marrying young, he realised it was not possible to continue his life as a husband and father. He left to become Sandra, a drag queen, sex worker and undertook gender reassignment in the early 80s. She became Australia’s first female funeral director and CEO of her own business trauma cleaning, celebrated in the book The Trauma Cleaner. An active advocate for aged care rights, disability, mental health, Sandra is the ageing ambassador for The Big Anxiety.

Elaine Paton

portrait of elaine

Theatre Director, Writer, Teacher, Mental Health Activist

Elaine Paton has used her theatrical training and performance skills to highlight mental health issues. Her theatre project ‘Moment(o)s’ used various aspects of Whitchurch Hospital, a place in the UK that cared for the mentally ill and where both parents were cared for. Elaine is a performance artist, feminist, director and advocate for better mental health care. Elaine’s artistic practice constantly challenges the stigma and shame that still surrounds being mentally unwell.

Lloyd Grosse (aka DJ Butt-naked)

portrait of lloyd

HIV activist, turntablist, noisemaker, communication professional

Lloyd Grosse (formerly ‘DJ Butt-Naked’), was given three years to live back in the late 80s when he was first diagnosed with HIV.  Lloyd has worked as an advocate, including at the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, for people living with HIV and has experienced loss of friends and clients who died of advanced HIV. He never imagined that he would live to middle or older age and to see the end of AIDS. He advocates for an approach to ageing that recognises the hard-won rights of older people the kinky sex community.

Robyn Kennedy

portrait of robyn

Activist, 78er, Member of Committee for World pride 2023

Robyn Kennedy is a proud 78er with a long history of involvement in LGBTIQ activism commencing in 1975 when she joined the Executive Committee of CAMP NSW. Robyn has worked at senior levels on social and affordable housing, homelessness, Aboriginal housing, disability and health and is an authority on social issues including issues of ageing and marginalisation. Robyn reflects on the events of 1978 and notes how many people taking part have moved interstate to rural parts of NSW and are in an older age band now, with a lot of members of the group on aged and disability pensions.

The Visit

avatar of an ageing woman

The Visit, an interactive media artwork created with women with dementia, exploring their experiences of the way in which people perceive and interact with those with a diagnosis. We meet ‘Viv’ as she talks about her life, her health and her concerns. The Visit is on show at THE EMPATHY CLINIC throughout the festival with special engagement events for seniors, carers and people living with dementia.

Viewing time: November 9th 12:00-1:30pm
Venue: UNSW Galleries, Art & Design, UNSW 

Becoming Colleen

Becoming Colleen.

Becoming Colleen (Winner of the Audience Award at Mardi Gras Film Festival – Written, Directed and Produced by Ian Thomson) not just a story of ageing it is the story of a love shared between two people that goes beyond gender, and the simple pleasures in finding the perfect pair of shoes. Colleen, a transgender woman shows us that at 82, you are never too old to become the person you always wanted to be, and that life is a series of events that fold into the transitions we make as we age.

Viewing time: November 9th 3pm (58mins)
Venue: Lecture theatre EG02, E Block, Art & Design, UNSW