Cathy’s a new face on the street

July 23, 2021 BY

STREETFACE subject Cathy Roth (centre) stands underneath her portrait with (L-R) City of Greater Geelong healthy ageing officer Tanya Hall, G21 project support worker Liz Dando, Barwon Health health promotion officer Susan Parker, and Cr Sarah Mansfield. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

LOCAL organisations and councils have partnered to deliver the latest version of STREETFACE, which will also be displayed outside of Geelong for the first time in the project’s 12-year history.

Featuring nine stories from residents across the G21 region, this year’s STREETFACE shines a light on older members of the community who have experienced major transitions in their lives.

Each story highlights personal resilience as well as the physical and mental health benefits of movement, not just during challenging times but as a staple behaviour for wellbeing.

One of the decals is located on the Gheringhap Street side of Geelong’s Busport and features Cathy Roth, who became a carer for her husband John after he was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.

The decal explains that Cathy quickly found ways to allow her husband to keep a sense of himself and found him activities that allowed him dignity and self-respect, but also realised it was vital to her own health and wellbeing to focus on herself.

“It’s really quite staggering to drive around the corner and see it (the photo), but the cause is such a good one, the purpose behind it is such a human one,” she said.

“John has been very, very open and very good about talking about his story of dementia, and it’s something that’s so rife in the community, and unless we’re prepared to face it and work with it, we as a community are letting each other down.”

Geelong’s other STREETFACE decals, on display until August 27, are located at:

  • City Hall
  • Geelong West Town Hall
  • Leisurelink
  • Bellarine Community Health, Portarlington
  • Civic Centre car park, and
  • Grovedale Neighbourhood House.

A STREETFACE decal will also be displayed at Kanyana Seniors Centre in the Colac Otway Shire.

The project, first run in 2009, involves G21, the City of Greater Geelong, Colac Otway Shire, Golden Plains Shire, Barwon Health, Dementia Australia, Bellarine Community Health and Humans in Geelong.

This year’s STREETFACE theme connects to G21’s Health and Wellbeing Pillar and the collaborative work through its Healthier Eating and Active Living initiative to address barriers and enablers to health and wellbeing.

Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said it was great to see the STREETFACE project bringing awareness to another important campaign.

“Each year STREETFACE reinforces the adage that every person has a story,” Cr Asher said.

“Through the compelling personal narratives, we also learn some common threads and universal truths that help us to take care of our own health and wellbeing.

“It’s exciting to see this year’s STREETFACE become a partnership with neighbouring councils, G21 and other partners working together to raise awareness for active living in our community.”

The community is also being encouraged to take part in the online survey, which includes a series of questions on this year’s project and theme. Head to the council’s Your Say website.

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