Stephen Jenkinson On Elderhood

Join internationally distinguished culture activist, teacher, ceremonialist and author Stephen Jenkinson as he addresses the critical role of elderhood and the wisdom we could have access to if only we seek it out.

For most of the 200,000 years of human life on earth, we have learned from our elders. We have been cared for, guided by, challenged and initiated into the world by the wisdom elderhood gifted to us. Our lives and our communities have been strengthened by those who have come before us.

Today, the journey of personal development surrounds us with self-help books, leadership forums, retreats, therapists and life-coaches, yet there is a significant lack of intention to engage deeply with our elders as a key component of our education. Elderhood today is often understood more in terms of its absence rather than its presence.

In a pursuit to prolong human life through everything from bio-technology and pharmaceuticals to anti-aging skin creams, we are a culture increasingly obsessed with eternal youth. How does this compromise our ability to value age and the wisdom which comes from those who understand and respect the finality of life?

It is often said that age carries wisdom, yet at a time when we have more older people than we ever have before, why are there so few elders among us? What constitutes an elder and how do we re-engage with generational wisdom-sharing?

Stephen Jenkinson is one of the world’s most engaging truth-tellers and philosophers on the topic of wisdom, death and elderhood. Join us for this unique evening to explore how our society could reconnect with the wisdom and humility of elderhood.


6.30pm             Doors Open
7.00pm             Welcome and Introduction
7.05pm             Stephen Jenkinson on Elderhood
8.15pm             Audience Q&A
8.30pm             Event Concludes
8.40pm             Book Signing

Please note, this event is also running in Melbourne on 26th April. Please click here for information on our Melbourne event.

This event suitable for all ages. 


'In a troubled time, the willingness to proceed like you’re needed is a radical act'

– Stephen Jenkinson

About Stephen Jenkinson

Stephen Jenkinson teaches internationally and is the creator and principal instructor of the Orphan Wisdom School, founded in 2010. With Master’s degrees from Harvard University (Theology) and the University of Toronto (Social Work), Stephen is redefining what it means to live, and die well. Apprenticed to a master storyteller, he has worked extensively with dying people and their families as an educator and advocate in a major Canadian hospital, a prominent Canadian medical school, palliative care and hospice organisations. Stephen is the author of Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble (2018) and award-winning Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. Stephen Jenkinson is also the subject of the feature length documentary film Griefwalker (National Film Board of Canada, 2008), a lyrical, poetic portrait of his work with dying people.

About Special Events

Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.

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Stephen Jenkinson On Elderhood


Major Event


Full price: $55.00
Concession: $45.00
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee) 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original event date.

For general ticketing and box office enquiries please call 0481 263 041 or email [email protected].