Thursday, December 22, 2011

Song for Chloe: a tragic story of a young beauty. JB Rowley

A beautiful nude hangs in pride of place in Melbourne's much loved pub, Young and Jackson's. Opposite Flinders Street Station and with a view of the timetable clocks, for decades folk have enjoyed a beer or wine at Y and J's before before catching the train home. No guest of the Vic Guild escapes town without a trip to see Chloe and civilised glass of wine.

Vic storyteller and author JB Rowley, has explored the true story of Chloe in rhyming verse.

This is a song I have written for Chloe.
Well, I have written the words but I can’t write music so I guess it is just a poem!

She came to Australia long ago
The star at each and every show.
They gave her a place of honour for all to view
But the wowsers they made a hullabaloo.
Chloe’s a disgrace, standing in the nude,
Take her away, they said, she’s far too rude.
For a work of art ‘twas a dreadful snub
But she found a home at Henry’s pub.

Long ago in Paris her name was Marie
But she’s our Chloe and always will be

The men they trooped from miles around
To drink with the queen of Melbourne town.
They brought their dreams and left their hearts
Then sailed away to war in distant parts,
Anzacs, Yanks, sailors, pilots and diggers all.
Then connies and truckies and fans of the football
And pollies and pensioners and workers from the farms
Deliriously, delightedly succumbed to her charms.

Long ago in Paris her name was Marie
But she’s our Chloe and always will be

She’s our Chloe but in Paris her name was Marie
‘Twas there she mourned a love that was never to be.
Heartbroken and wretched she died, they say
When she drank the poison she made that day.
But she lives on still; our bar room queen
Untouchable, unattainable, smooth and serene,
Loved by all who come these days
To drink with her in the bar at Y and J’s.

Long ago in Paris her name was Marie
But she’s our Chloe and always will be

pollies: politicians
truckies: truck drivers
wowsers: aggressively puritanical people
connies: tram conductors (phased out in Melbourne in 1996 which angered and saddened many Melbournians)
Yanks: a slang term for an American person sometimes used with affection and sometimes not. During WW2 the American servicemen were often regarded by their Australian counterparts with jealous anger because the Yanks, with their relatively high pay, had the resources to woo the local women.
Y & J’s: Young and Jackson’s hotel; a famous pub in Melbourne, Australia, at the corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street.
ChloƩ: an award winning life size nude painted by French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre in 1875.

More about Chloe here:

Storytelling Guild Vic welcomes Luis Correia Carmelo

Storytelling Guild Vic recently had the pleasure of welcoming Portuguese storyteller Luis Correia Carmelo to our beautiful city.

Some months ago, Luis contacted the Guild as he was planning to attend a conference organised by Victoria University, The Oral, The Written and Other Verbal Media. Looking for a place to stay while in Melbourne and some Australian storytellers to interview as part of his phD, Julie Perrin and Jackie Kerin were able to stretch out a friendly hand. Luis's visit was very brief so the usual gathering the Guild would organise for a special guest was not possible.

Both Jackie and Luis presented at the conference. Luis's paper was titled: From Male to female and back: personified death in traditional and artistic Portuguese storytelling. In his paper Luis analysed the gender shifts in how Death has been depicted in Portuguese folktale.

With so little time and battling jet lag, Luis was able to squeeze in a some sightseeing. Julie guided him through the Victoria Market and a bush walk at Cape Schanck. During the breaks in the conference Jackie was able able to to take him on a tour of the State Library of Victoria and the now, famously painted, Hosier Lane

It seems that having a a wine in the upstairs bar at Young and Jacksons with 'Chloe' has become a compulsory activity as far as the Vic Guild is concerned. Luis was duly led up the stairs and taken to meet the beautiful girl, so loved and so much part of Melbourne's story.

WIth the advent of the internet, it has been our pleasure to welcome several overseas storytellers - Naomi Wilds, Debbie Guneratne, Dr Nicola Clare Grove from the UK and Jan Andrews and Jennifer Caley form Canada.

And now with Vic storyteller, Gael Cresp organising gatherings on skype we will hopefully be meeting more wonderful tale spinners from around the world.

Skype Storytelling Cafe info here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

News from Vic Guild co-ordinator Gael Cresp: Skype Story Cafe and AGM

Skype Story Cafe

This blog has seen some wonderful reports of storytelling through this
year - it is heartening to see the variety of events and diversity of the
audience for our skills.

Skype Story Cafe
My main contribution this year has been a tentative beginning of an internet story cafe. A report of the first one is on this blog and our second attempt is to be on December 16. I am expecting tellers from New Zealand, The United Kingdom and from Germany to join folk from Queensland and Victoria.

Limitations of internet and technology keep the numbers small (maximum 6
people) but I hope this will improve with time.

The photo is one I took during the first internet story cafe. I keep reminding myself of jerky and grainy early new reel footage of horses and carriages in Melbourne and telling myself to be patient.

The AGM for the Guild will be held during the first weekend in March 2012 - either 3rd or 4th. Please keep this weekend free and look out for information about plans for storytelling in the future. To keep the Guild going we must have at least 6 committee members - the most critical of whichare a Public Officer (Secretary) and a Treasurer.

I would like to thank Jackie and Beth for their wonderful efforts to keep the blog and face book pages going this year.

Have a restful and happy time over the next few months and let's spring into the new year with enthusiasm and verve.

Gael Cresp

International School of Storytelling. Courses June - July 2012

click poster to enlarge

Dear friend of storytelling

In 2012 through the International School of Storytelling, Ashley Ramsden and I will offer an opportunity for you as new and experienced storytellers to deepen your familiarity with the language of the heart: storytelling.

We will offer two courses: a 3 week workshop 'The art of storytelling: where the heart comes alive' 25 June to 13 July, followed by a one week workshop 16 to 20 July 'Next steps: beyond the basics'. Both will be held at the Augustine Centre in Hawthorn.

If you have any queries, please email me I'm currently in the UK working with Ashley and Roi Gal-Or on the 12 week course 'The now of storytelling' and won't be back in Australia until 23 December so my phone number is +44 7404 440 769. If you want to speak to someone in Melbourne, please contact Gillian Jones on 9459 8460 or 0411 340 407.

We will have a limited number of places in each workshop. Please contact me if you would like to reserve your place.

If you know of others who may like to hear about this, please spread the word through your networks.

With warmth and love


Sydney International Storytelling Conference 2012 June 1-3 2012

Dear Storytellers,
We are excited to announce that registrations are now open for attendance at the "Weaving Stories Together" - Sydney International Storytelling Conference 2012 . For information and to register go to Take advantage of the Early, Earlybird rates!
Weaving Stories Together
Sydney International Storytelling Conference 2012
Hosted by the Australian Storytelling Guild (NSW) Inc
This is a call to all and any who have a passion around the art and practice of Oral Storytelling to put in a proposal for workshop and/or performance and/or poster for the SydneyInternational Storytelling Conference scheduled for June 1-3 2012.

This conference promises to be a great opportunity for listeners and tellers of stories to develop skills, enjoy performances and interact with others who have a love of Storytelling.
1. We are seeking proposals for workshops around the following areas:.
  • Development of storytelling skills and techniques.
  • Storytelling in Education – Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Adult
  • Storytelling for building community – seniors, youth, church, business etc
  • Storytelling for healing and well being
  • Oral history and historical storytelling
  • Storytelling and culture
Workshop sessions are 100 minutes in length.
We are not looking for academic papers or talks. Workshops should be an engaging and interactive process for participants and concentrate on developing practical skills.
Please find call for contributions for workshops submission form at
2. We are seeking proposals for performance in concert
There will be two opportunities for public performance of stories
  1. Saturday evening concert 2. Sunday afternoon Family Concert
Please find call for contributions for performances submission form at
3. We are seeking proposals for posters
This is a great opportunity to share your professional storytelling knowledge and research or information about a special storytelling project and meet others who have a belief in the ‘Power of Stories’
Please find call for contributions for poster session submission form at
Conference convenors - Christine Carlton and Cynthia Hartman - Australian Storytelling Guild NSW Inc
Conference enquiries: Email: