A passion for dancing, an award-winning smile and a love of life has been captured in a portrait of Regis Woodlands resident, Margaret (Peggy) Jansen, by a young local artist as part of a nationwide project that pairs centenarians with teenagers.

The Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers (Embraced) saw 102-year-old Peggy paired with talented 17-year-old Daisy Khinsoe – and the result is an impressive portrait which captures the centenarian’s life adventures and experiences.

“I have loved getting to know Peggy and hearing her amazing stories of dancing with her sister whilst wearing costumes made by their mother, and even the time she spent learning to sing and performed in three different operas in WA,” says budding artist Daisy.

“Hearing Peggy’s life stories has put so many things into perspective for me, and it really has been inspiring to learn from a woman who is so strong and humble, and who has such incredible wisdom and interesting, sacred stories.”

Born in Leadville, Peggy moved to Scotland when she was just 18 months old so that her family could care for her paternal grandmother who was Scottish – and there she lived until she was 10 years old, until she moved back to Australia, this time to Sydney with her mother and siblings to care for her maternal grandmother who was very unwell.

After her father initially stayed in Scotland to continue to care for his mother, the family were reunited in Perth four years later, after which Peggy began work at Swan Barracks, followed by the taxation department and then the education department.

Bucking the trend for her generation of women, Peggy only married when she was 39 years old, to Bertus Jansen, who she had met at dance classes. The couple had many happy years together, before retiring and enjoying hobbies including gardening, listening to music and daily walks.

Krupa Shah, General Manager of Regis Woodlands, says it’s truly amazing that two very different generations can collaborate and create an outstanding portrait, as well as learn so much from each other.

“The Centenarian Portrait Project is a wonderful inter-generational arts initiative that brings together the young and old, who might otherwise never cross paths,” she says. “Our entire team here at Regis Woodlands has been very happy and grateful to become part of what has become a wonderful national initiative.

“The companionship developed between Peggy and Daisy has been delightful to see, and it’s clear that working together on this project has given both individuals an enormous sense of purpose, self-esteem and also joy.”

Find out more about The Centenarian Portrait Project by Teenagers from Embraced via their website.

Regis offers a diverse range of care options including residential aged care, home care, retirement living, day therapy and day respite. Regis is one of the largest providers of aged care in Australia and cares for more than 7,000 residents each year.

Aged care self portrait in Perth