Thursday, January 30, 2014


Members and non members, please join us,  for the 
Dreaming and Planning Day. 
Let's talk about how we can work to support each other and make the dreams a reality!

If you can't make it send your apologies and ideas via  friend or email our secretary Anne E Stewart. 

If you haven't met us before, rest easy, you will be made very welcome!

Our facilitator: KATE LAWRENCE

Time and Venue: HERE

  • Register for the Sydney International Storytelling Conference HERE
  • Inaugural Australian Fairytale Conference: HERE
  • World Storytelling Day March 20. The Dutch Storytelling Foundation invite you to participate      HERE

Friday, January 24, 2014

WORKSHOPS: Niki na Meadhra. La Mama Learning Program 27 & 29 MARCH 2014

27 & 29 March 10.00am - 1.00pm
La Mama Learning Program invites you to a Storytelling Workshop presented by much-loved Melbourne Storyteller Niki na Meadhra. Explore skills in both contemporary & traditional oral storytelling.

For teachers, take away activities and resources you can apply in your classroom for all levels of Aus VELS & for VCE students. Also suitable for actors and those with a story to tell.

Niki na Meadhra has taught performing arts for over 25 years in schools and Universities. Her storytelling practice, HEARTH TALES, is based at Abbotsford Convent, where she hosts regular storytelling events.

Bookings and venue details at La Mama: HERE

Monday, January 20, 2014

Storytelling Australia (Victoria) banner at the Turramurra Folk Music Camp 2014

Storyteller Susan Pepper designed and stitched this banner for us. Quilted so it won't crumple and small enough to carry in planes as hand luggage, its admired wherever it goes. Here it is at the Turramurra Folk Music Camp where storytelling workshops were part of the 2014 program. 

Susan is a passionate lover of wildlife and the natural environment. The camp is located in the Otways in a strip of Land for Wildlife. Wedge-tailed eagles circled all weekend, yellow robins, kookaburras, fantails, gang gangs, black cockatoos, shrike thrushes ... were just a few of the sightings.

Susan, the banner put smiles on the faces of all who saw it blowing in the breeze and I know you would have loved seeing it flying in the bush!

I'm looking forward to taking it the to the Port Fairy Folk Festival in March and then to the Sydney International Storytelling Conference in June.

Storytellers, please, if you would like to use the banner it currently resides at my place but it belongs to all of us.

Jackie K

Friday, January 17, 2014

Storytelling Australia (Tasmania) 2014

There has been some energy of late – a wish to reboot storytelling in Tasmania. The storytellers are there but as group have drifted apart. Many of us miss the Tasmanian contribution and some are working hard to reconnect. Recently emails have been flying across the continent as the older storytellers debate the history of the Australian oral storytelling revival in the 1970s.  There seems to be unanimous agreement that it began with Tasmanian Patricia Scott. Mary French from the ACT emailed “It is to Pat Scott - who was a well-known identity in Oatlands … that I owe my passion for storytelling.”

Jenni Woodroffe (WA) kindly forwarded this obituary written by Launceston Storyteller Prue McCausland for the IBBY Australia newsletter No 15 Nov 2012

Patricia Scott probably had more influence on the development of storytelling in Australia than most other individuals.  It was her work and dedication to promoting storytelling that inspired many current and former tellers and raised the profile of storytelling in Australia in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Her involvement with the Children’s Libraries Section of the Library Association of Australia and, more particularly, her participation in the IBBY conferences of this period made her well known to those interested in children’s literature and storytelling.  Throughout the  ‘70’s and ‘80’s she ran many workshops and in-service courses, and gave talks, lectures and demonstrations in many schools, tertiary institutions and community centres throughout eastern Australia and elsewhere.

Patricia’s interest in storytelling began when she first heard the late Joyce Boniwell (later Saxby) who was a librarian with the Tasmanian State Library in Hobart in the 1950’s and a charismatic storyteller.
 In 1950 while working at the State Library of Tasmania, Patricia was seconded to the then Bellerive Library.  It was an opportunity to establish a weekly after-school story session, and, in those pre-television days, children flocked to hear the stories. (One, at least, a friend of mine, remembers these sessions vividly.)

Patricia later travelled to Toronto and worked for eighteen months with the highly regarded Children’s Library Services, where storytelling was a central part of the service. Here wasere was the opportunity to tell to children from a range of cultural and social backgrounds.  Back at the State Library she held several senior positions, undertook further study and was also President of the Children’s Libraries section of the Library Association of Australia.

In 1970 she moved to Victoria as a lecturer at the Library Training School and In-Service Officer for the staff, State Library of Victoria. Her degree studies had previously been suspended because of a back operation but she was now able to complete this at Melbourne University gaining a BA (Hons Politics) 1974.  In between times, she visited schools and colleges when possible, to promote storytelling.   She resigned from the State Library to complete a Masters degree but her mother’s illness meant frequent visits to Tasmania and finally, in 1976, she returned to be with her father in Oatlands in southern Tasmania. 

It was then she decided to see whether she could make a living as a freelance storyteller.  She began by telling stories to as many children as possible with the hope that teachers and librarians would follow suit but realised that it was necessary to encourage them through workshops and demonstrations.

 The years after this not only included the various IBBY conferences, The Pacific Rim Conference (Melb 1980) and the Conference on Child Language Development (Launceston 1980), but also visits throughout Australia and working for extended periods in Ballarat, Goulburn and Kuringai CAE’s. At Goulburn, as writer-in-residence, she worked with all staff and students and visited many schools. There were trips to outback Queensland and the Northern Territory, lecturing and telling, and a memorable time on Palm Island. These were the means by which so many people around Australia were introduced to storytelling and its power, and convinced of its value.

Back in Tasmania, with encouragement and support from others, she organised weekend workshops and helped establish the Tasmanian Storytellers Guild. Visitors included Bob Barton from Canada, Dorothy Butler and Liz Miller from New Zealand, Anne Pellowski from the USA and many interstate storytellers and writers. With Tasmania’s small, scattered population, it was hard to keep the Guild alive and it finally went into recess in 1993.

For her contribution to storytelling and children’s literature Patricia received the Dromkeen Medal in 1988 and the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1991.  She was a nurse, librarian, student of history and politics, teacher, writer, printmaker and most of all, storyteller – a fortunate life, fortunate for all of us. 

Patricia Scott, AM

28 March 1926 - 29 July 2012

So here we are, years later at the Cygnet Festival. The festival buzzed with poetry and the indefatigable Phil Rush from the Huon Valley co hosted the  Poet's Breakfasts with Yvonne Gluyas. Words flew in all directions. And the storytellers gathered for a Masterclass, shook off the rust and got to work. At the close,  contact details were exchanged and future gatherings are in the planning. 

For further information about Storytelling Australia (Tasmania) contact: 
Lauceston (north of the State) Prue McCausland:
Storytelling Tasmania has a Facebook Page HERE