Unexpected Heroes

Photography exhibition celebrating the lives of older Victorians


Traveler, magician and volunteer; at 86 years of age Rids van der Zee is full of life and living it well. He has traveled the world performing magic and bringing joy to thousands of people. Rids’ positivity and zest for life can be seen in the time he spent volunteering at the Mother Theresa House for the Dying in Kolkata and at a children’s camp in the Dandenongs. Rids will join 19 other Victorians to tell their life stories in Benetas Unexpected Heroes, a unique art project held during Victorian Seniors Week. This project, initiated by leading aged care provider, Benetas, began in 2015 as a photography exhibition celebrating the untold stories of older people. This year’s event will continue to celebrate life and community and features stunning portraits by prominent Australian photographer, Gina Milicia.

Benetas CEO.” Sandra Hills said the campaign is all about increasing understanding and respect for older people. “Benetas is deeply committed to advocating for older people in our community and ensuring their voices are heard. This year’s campaign showcases the amazing real-life stories of members of the Benetas community,” said Ms Hills. “Older people should be understood, celebrated and respected. We have so much to learn from older people and Benetas Unexpected Heroes is our way of opening up a dialogue together across generations.”

As a wider community initiative, the general public also has the opportunity to share stories and photos of their ‘unexpected heroes’ and upload them via Benetas social media using #unexpectedheroes

“We want people to share stories about their heroes because it’s amazing what you discover under a few wrinkles.”

Entry to the exhibition is free of charge and it runs from 28th September till 7th October (excluding public holidays and weekends). Benetas is proud to celebrate the lives of older Victorians to share their voices and strives to improve the wellbeing of all older Australians through its social dividend, advocacy and research.

When: Wednesday, 27 September to Friday 7th October

Where: KPMG Lobby, 147 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

[Source: Lyn Toh, Benetas Senior Media & Communications Advisor, 0400 224 852]