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‘Words to live by’

‘Words to live by’ is a Storytelling Series, first produced by Act Belong Commit in partnership with the Centre for Stories, and funded by Healthway.

The series aims to showcase how seniors in our community embrace the values of Act Belong Commit within their daily lives and champion positive mental health. The testimonial style videos focus on four inspirational people – Daljit, Doris, Segun, and Shelley. Their stories and backgrounds couldn’t be more different, but each of them has chosen to stay active, to stay closely connected to those around them, and embark on new experiences and challenges in the pursuit of more meaningful lives. You can find all of the Words to Live By videos on our YouTube channel including cutdown and audio described versions.

  • Segun Olowoyo is the eldest of six children and after the death of his father, emigrated with his family from Nigeria. Although blind, Segun finds purpose in learning at the library and is passionately engaged in the community of the City of Stirling.
  • Daljit Dhillon is a former engineer from India, a cancer survivor and a leader in the Perth Sikh community, which is where he finds his comfort and strength.
  • Doris Hill is the eldest of a large Aboriginal family, a Curtin alumni and continues to study to keep mentally active. Doris lives next door to her grandson and his husband – family is where she belongs.
  • Shelley McGinn is former teacher who emigrated from England, who now lives in Wanneroo and has thrown herself into volunteering and community theatre.

People in a cinema with an Act Belong Commit slide about 'Harmony Week' on the screen

Project successes

  • Launched during Harmony Week, (15-19 March 2021) the video series was released through a number of media platforms including print and digital news and social media. Shared by valuable Partner networks (including Curtin, Healthway, EdConnect, Volunteer WA, Umbrella Multicultural Community Care, U3A, State Library of WA, DADAA, WACOSS, CWA…) the videos have reached over 80,000 people.
  • Through a media partnership with SBS, cutdown versions have been continuously broadcast throughout 2021 as ‘no charge community support’.
  • A comprehensive ‘Partner Toolkit’ was developed detailing themes, content recommendations and promotional opportunities for Partners to share this message at times relevant to them.
  • A curriculum-aligned ‘Schools Toolkit’ was also developed detailing how to incorporate the subject matter into the classroom.

Special adaptations

  • To accommodate those with vision impairment, we released the entire series of videos with Audio description – this is a form of narration used to provide information surrounding key visual elements via a secondary audio track. Audio described versions of these videos can be viewed here.
  • Cutdown versions of the videos have also been produced which are optimised for viewing and distribution via social media channels (approx. 1 min) – you can find these on our YouTube channel.

A volunteer helping school students in a class room

Storytelling series – additional content

A fifth video was commissioned to highlight the mental health benefits of volunteering through Act Belong Commit’s partner organisation EdConnect, and was released in August 2021. The video again features Shelley McGinn, a former teacher who emigrated from England, who now lives in Wanneroo and finds meaning through volunteering. Shelley gives her time to the students of Spring Hill Primary, a Mentally Healthy School but proclaims she is the one who benefits. Shelley is a testament to the power of intergenerational relationships and the mental health benefits they provide.

Shelley McGinn + EdConnect

Want to use ‘Words to live by’ in your community?

Mentally Healthy WA encourages use of the Words to live by storytelling series as a means of providing inspirational testimony to living life guided by the Act Belong Commit principles. Feel free to visit our You Tube channel for easy access or get in contact to discuss your specific requirements.