Argentinian drumming is helping a group of Illawarra women socialise and keep active.
Each Monday afternoon, laughter and beating can be heard from the Coniston Community Centre as Barbara Malcolm guides the group through the music.
"It's women drumming from the heart," says Malcolm, the Illawarra Older Women's Network (OWN) Wellness Centre co-ordinator.
"Drumming is also helpful for your co-ordination and memory."
OWN has groups throughout Australia and provides activities to women aged over 50 in a safe environment. Malcolm adds that it's not just a place to meet others, but also a place to help inspire women to keep active.
"We meet a lot of women who are socially isolated," says the spritely 79-year-old.
"A lot of women who lose their husband find it difficult to move on and this is the time when they have to get inspired."
Malcolm had been a member of the Wollondilly OWN group before moving to Coniston four years ago and helping to set up the Illawarra Own Wellness Centre.
"I had just moved to the Coniston area and there were a lot of older women here," she says.
"We didn't have a library or any other places to go."
Malcolm had been an OWN member since 1999 and started the Wollondilly group in 2003.
"In 1998 I retired from work and we sold our property and we moved into Picton town itself," she says.
"I was just thinking to myself 'what am I going to do with my time?'."
A cancer fight that knocked Malcolm about for 15 months wasn't going to stop her from getting back to her OWN group.
She searched far and wide for someone to teach Argentinian drumming to the Picton group, with a teacher eventually travelling from Campbelltown for the sessions. When the teacher was no longer able to attend, Malcolm fine-tuned what she had learned and took over the teaching role.
"Once you start to learn, the rhythm appears and you can sit down and drum forever," she says.
"The whole class is a mass of laughter."
She laughs when she says that it might seem highly unusual for a woman with an Irish-Welsh background to be playing Argentinian beats.
Other classes available at Illawarra OWN are tai chi, gentle exercises, folk dancing, Thai yoga and ukulele. The Argentinian drumming classes run for an hour, while the beginners' class goes for 30 minutes.
"It's grown and grown and over the years the classes have gotten bigger," Malcolm says of the membership of 140 women.