THEIR SMILES ARE WORTH IT: Akooramak resident Millie Mullins with SOTE students.
THEIR SMILES ARE WORTH IT: Akooramak resident Millie Mullins with SOTE students.

Elderly mother’s loss inspires Warwick school to step up

THE heartbreaking words of Japanese teacher Keiko Brailey’s mother drew her to the reality of those in aged care and spurred her to change how she taught.


Ms Bailey’s mother missed the bright and bubbly faces of children when she moved into an aged care facility in her 90s.

“She missed the young people,” Ms Brailey said.

“She said, ‘I hardly see the young people. Sometimes kindergarteners come up but they only stay short times and go home straight away.’

“I never forget what my mother said. That’s why I take the students every time.”

Taking her School of Total Education (SOTE) students for a special trip to Akooramak last Tuesday, Ms Brailey and students entertained the aged care home by singing songs and teaching them Japanese.

Resident Millie Mullins was almost left speechless by how much she enjoyed the visit.

“How can I describe them? They’re very good,” Ms Mullins said.

“When you get older and your children are gone, it’s lovely to see them and what they can do.

“Their talents are marvellous.”

While the students demonstrated their language and musical skills to Akooramak residents, they were also learning a thing or two, according to Akooramak carer Chris Cave.

“They’re learning what’s out there in the world and what’s going to happen later in life,” Ms Cave said.

Watching residents tap their toes and nod their head in time to the beat, Ms Cave said the school children helped bring a joy to the home that was priceless.

“They love seeing the children,” she said.

“As soon as kids come, they’re smiling.

“The smiles are worth it.”



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