The generational divide

By Sheree Hoddinett

Apparently, I was born in the olden days. For those playing at home, I don’t exactly class 1984 as the olden days. But according to my seven and nine-year-old daughters, Mummy grew up in the olden days, my parents in the olden olden days and my grandparents, you guessed it, the olden olden olden days. I was even fortunate to spend a few years with my great grandparents, so I’d hate to think what my girls might say about the time they grew up in!

It just goes to show, the kind of world we now live in. Kids, or at least mine anyway, are a little lost on the concept of the ‘olden days’. Maybe to them the time I grew up in, right from the 80s until they were born (2013 and 2015) seems so long ago, it’s another time! I’m sure quite a few of the region’s older residents find this more than amusing given their time on this Earth even doubles my lifespan thus far.

The recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II certainly made me think a lot about major world events and the short or long-lasting impacts they can leave on generations. Even though Her Majesty was certainly not a young lady anymore, knowing she was gone affected me more than I thought. Not that it’s the first time I’ve felt this way. There’s no denying we live in a world today that varies greatly to that of a world I remember from 30 years ago when I was very much a carefree kid. Some of it good, some of it bad.

There are so many things I can recall so clearly, so many years after they have happened.


  • Where I was when I learned of the death of Princess Diana. I was only 13 years old but knew it was a sad day.

  • The September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre – I was in my final year of high school and shocked to watch footage of planes directly hitting the buildings. I can still picture it clearly all these years later.

  • The bombing attack in Bali – Knowing that so many Australians were caught up in a horrific event that claimed so many lives was unbelievable.

  • The Boxing Day Tsunami – watching the footage of the waves that kept rolling in was crazy and scary to see.

  • Sydney hosting the Olympic Games – although not directly involved, it was amazing to see the Olympics taking place in Australia, my home country.



  • When Osama Bin Laden was captured and killed – this was a momentous day for many around the world, but it certainly wasn’t the end to the horrors of war.

  • The new millennium ticking over and nothing catastrophic actually happening – who can forget the clock ticking over from 1999 to 2000 and bam, nothing actually changed, life went on as normal.

  • The ending of one of my favourite television shows – Friends. So it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a show that is loved by many around the world and sadly came to an end after 10 seasons. It’s still one of the most watched shows on television today.

  • When the internet erupted (and then Google too!) – how did we survive before the internet?! AND

  • When I got my first mobile phone - a Nokia 3310. The best thing about it was playing the game Snake on the way home from university on the train. Now we can play all kinds of games on a mini computer in our hands.


A lot has changed on so many fronts and these are just a few things I came up with off the top of my head.

Now if I sat down and asked my girls, especially my eldest, about some of the things they have seen happen and what they might mean to the world, sadly I have a feeling it will relate to something that I have no idea about. Possibly Pokémon, some new kids show on Netflix, a game they have on their tablet or the latest star on TikTok. Now at least if they mention the kids show Bluey, I might have a fighting chance.

So many monumental things have happened in the world in such a short space of time. We know and hear even more about these events because of our access to the internet and of course, social media. Once upon a time, news slowly filtered our way. Now it’s instant. That in itself is both a blessing and a curse.

Although I have a few silver sprinkles of hair and I wear glasses occasionally, I’m hardly what you call old, let alone born in the olden days. Ask me again when I crack the 40’s barrier!

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