Saturday, January 28, 2012

Annual General Meeting: Sunday 4th March 2012

It's that time of year! If you have been unable to make past gatherings - this is the one not to miss. It's your chance to be involved and contribute to the planning and ideas for 2012.

Storytelling Guild of Australia (Victorian Branch)


Sunday 4 March 2012
2.00 pm

Mentone Public Subscription Library
36 Florence Street Mentone
rear of the the Community Assistance and information Bureau
gold coin entry

All up we need five or six committee members: president, secretary / public officer, treasurer, maintainer of the membership list, Face book coordinator, and Blog coordinator.

The following people have indicated their willingness to be nominated:

  • President: Gael Cresp
  • Blog coordinator: Jackie Kerin
  • Facebook and mailing list coordinator: Beth Cregan

This leaves us with gaps for two critical roles:

  • Secretary / Public Officer
  • Treasurer

Without these we cannot continue to exist but it is possible that the Treasurer’s position could be taken up by someone who was not a member of the Guild on a voluntary basis.

Please email Gael if you are willing to take on any of these roles.

Following the AGM there will be the:

(Extraordinary General Meeting).

At the EGM we will discuss the planned name change of The Storytelling Guild of Australia (Victorian Branch) to Storytelling Australia and report on the progress of a National Group called Storytelling Australia.

Jackie Kerin: storytelling adventures off the back of a bike

pic: Kamishibai at the Home Cooked Comics Festival. Story: The Two Brothers swapped with Derek Carpenter at the Kamishibai Library of Swaps

When I first studied theatre, I was fascinated by the idea of taking stories out of buildings and into public spaces - markets, parks, streets ... Although having enjoyed a classical drama training at NIDA in the 70s (yikes! that seems a long time ago) my heart has always skipped a beat when I see a good open air performer. In my younger days I would have been too scared to attempt such a thing but with age I find I care less about the possibility of failure.

Its long been the practice to collect stories from oral traditions and lock them away in books and when folk like me liberate them and put them back on the tongue, we usually find ourselves telling them behind closed doors in schools and libraries. For some time I have been playing with the idea of taking stories back outside - 'plein air' storytelling.

To this end, I bought a new bike. But it had to be a special bike that could handle the load. There was only one up to the task - a Pilen.

Pic: Telling stories for Hobsons Bay Library as part of the Midsumma Festival

I was drawn to the idea of Japanese kamishibai storytelling but creating my own stories and using original artwork. It has taken almost a year from the time my friend Ted Smith built me the Kamishibai stage to getting the bike and rig working. Many have helped along the way. But at last I'm travelling the roads and bike paths of Melbourne.

Pic: Port Phillip Bay and a load of stories.

Some of the folk who have helped me:
Ted Smith built the kamishibai stage and helped design the rig.
Peter Santos from psbikes sold me the Pilen and helped design the rig.
Tom is helping with the stands to support the back: clickstands I'm still using some tent poles!
Bernard Caleo who thinks outside the square.

See you in the park!

website: Jackie kerin
Bookings: The Storytelling Garden

Sharing stories with colleagues and friends around the world

Matteo, Mariella, Jackie, Anne

It's been a busy couple of months with storytellers dropping by from Canada, the UK and Portugal.

There is alway so much to share and so little time.

With storytellers spread out across the State it's not always possible for everyone to connect. Anne Stewart lives in Daylesford, some distance from Melbourne and missed out on meeting our most recent guests Martin Jefferd (UK) and Mariella Bertelli (Canada) at the Gathering. Simply not good enough for one of our life members to miss out on all the fun! Matteo kindly arranged to collect Mariella and bring her across the Westgate Bridge while Anne jumped in her car and travelled east. The meeting point was Jackie Kerin's house where the kettle was on and lunch was waiting.

Of all the Vic storytellers Anne is probably the most travelled having made trips to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, the Welsh Festival Beyond the Border and others.

Swapping experiences and building networks and friendships around the world is especially exciting for storytellers working in the oral tradition.

Anne has a website generously sharing her journey as a storyteller. She has also recently updated her photo on the Guild page: Anne E Stewart

Matteo explaining the 'bunyip' to Mariella

And speaking of sharing ... please enjoy this video from Vic Guild friend Luis Correia Carmelo from Portugal. Luis has a stall he can erect in parks and other outdoor settings. He charges between 1 and 5 euro for a story

Monday, January 16, 2012

Vic Guild welcomes Martin Jefferd and Mariella Bertelli

Martin Jefferd

Thanks to the internet, the Vic Guild has been relishing building relationships with storytellers nationally and internationally. We recently had the pleasure of hosting an event to welcome Martin Jefferd from Bristol (UK) and Mariella Bertelli (Canada). Mcd by Vic storyteller, Matteo, it was wonderful to see not only some of the Guild's longest serving members but a scattering of new faces as well.

The stories were kicked off by JB Rowley - a children's fairy tale about how wattle came to be. This ignited a feisty discussion on the recent split of the Acacia species ... ahh the peripatetic imagination of the storyteller!

Following on, our guest Martin Jefferd, took to the chair. Beginning with news of the story scene in Bristol, Martin urged that we check out the Bristol Storytelling Festival. Martin tells traditional tales to adult audiences. He delivered us a story with heart - a classic tale containing good advice from the 'Henwife' - 'Look after the animals and the animals will look after you'. Martin enjoys seeking out storytellers wherever he travels. He found us on the net and we are grateful to have enjoyed his warmth and generous sharing.

Mariella Bertelli

Mariella is a friend and colleague of Jan Andrews and Jennifer Caley who visited us last year. Mariella tells wonder tales, personal stories and uses kamishibai and toy theatre to craft stories. Her speciality is tales from The Decameron - the 14th century medieval allegory by Giovanni Boccaccio. Although now living in Canada, Mariella grew up in Rome. The richness of her telling is deepened by the musical lilt in her accent. With sensual language and a gleam in her eye, Mariella added layers of innuendo to her tale of the Italian chef who stole the leg of a crane to feed his mistress. Mariella suggested we look at the Canadian storytelling website here and the Federation of European Storytelling.

' But it isn't easy, said Pooh to himself, 'because poetry and hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you, and all you can do is go where they can find you.' A A Milne. (The House At Pooh Corner).

'When the heart overflows it comes out though the mouth.' Ethiopian proverb.

Julia Reichstein

With these quotes, Matteo invited Vic tellers to take to the chair and share a story or two with our guests. We were thrilled to hear from Kate Lawrence and Julia Reichstein (for both it was their first time in the chair) and old-timer Jim Rush. Jackie Kerin closed the day with a fusion folk and history tale set in south Australia in 1837

Sometimes we need a reason to make the effort to gather and there is none better than extending the hand of hospitality. Because of Martin and Mariella's afternnon tea, we had the joy of seeing long-missed tellers Suzanne Sandow, Patricia and Renata, Janet Tucker, Susan Pepper and Graham Davey.

Once again, thank you to the Mentone Public Subscription Library for opening their doors for our gathering, in particular Jean Critchley, Tony Brooker, Sue Blackford and Julia Reichstein.

JB Rowley and Graham Davey

Julia, Jackie, Matteo and Jim ... and yes we do need a new banner!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Invitation: Vic Guild Storytelling Gathering. Hosted by Matteo.

Storytelling Guild Victoria invites you to join us in welcoming Mariella Bertelli (Canada) and Martin Jefferd (UK).

This event will be hosted by our very own Matteo and kindly supported by the Mentone Public Subscription Library.

The Vic Guild has a reputation for hospitality. Last year we enjoyed hosting Canadian storytellers, Jan Andrews and Jennifer Caley, New Yorker, Diane Wolkstein and Luis Correia Carmelo from Portugal.

We aim to have events in locations around Melbourne and surrounds and this is the first time we have gathered in this southern bayside area.

Please bring a story to share or ears to listen

Where: Mentone Public Subscription Library 36 Florence Street Mentone 3194 (rear of COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE AND INFORMATION BUREAU) Mel 86 K6

When: Saturday 14 January

Time: 3.30pm – till stories end!

Cost: gold coin donation

RSVP: Jackie Kerin:

Phone: 0412 2100 98

The library is small so please let us know if you will be joining us. It helps to know numbers. If we haven’t seen you for a while, perhaps now is the time to reconnect and share a tale or two.

And finally, thank you to The Mentone Public Subscription Library for opening their doors for our gathering, in particular Jean Critchley, Tony Brooker, Sue Blackford and Julia Reichstein.

Storytelling Guild Vic


Mentone Public Subscription Library is walking distance from Mentone Station (Frankston line)