Thursday, October 29, 2015

Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages: The revival of Victorian Aboriginal languages

The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages has a comprehensive and informative website offering guidelines for those interested in incorporating Victorian languages and stories into their storytelling practice

Wearing my Storytelling Australia Vic hat, I attended a public lecture at Melbourne University given by Paul Paton (Gunnai Monero, Executive Officer VACL) and Mandy Nicholson (Wurundjeri, Project Officer VACL): The revival of Victorian Aboriginal languages.

The lecture began with a Welcome to Country from Colin Hunter Junior (Wurundjeri Elder).

We were asked to consider for a moment the richness of Australian Languages prior to 1788 – upwards of 250 with 600 dialects. Currently only 15 – 20 are still being learned as a first language. The First Australians were, and many still are, multilingual. Fluency in five or six languages is not unusual.

All the Victorian languages are in revival mode. Mandy referred to them as having been ‘asleep’ but now with energy coming from the communities, they are being revived.  She emphasised the connection between language, identity and well-being and the cruelty of past practice when Aboriginal people were forbidden to speak their languages. 

There are 38 recognised languages in Victoria. We were asked to respect Community protocols around language. And here I will quote from the text on the back of the language map I brought home with me.

‘…The learning and teaching of Aboriginal languages can be a sensitive issue for Indigenous communities and care needs to be taken when considering using language. When seeking access to Aboriginal languages, it is vital to understand the issues involved and to work together with local communities. It must be noted that Victorian Aboriginal languages are in revival mode and Traditional Custodians are the only ones with the authority to share language…’

The VACL website is a rich resource providing language maps, apps, information about school language programs, contacts for permission to use language, pronunciation and protocol questions. It’s worth checking out the online shop. There are bilingual stories, dictionaries and teaching resources.

Paul suggested people look at Nyernila – listen continuously: Aboriginal Creation Stories of Victoria. It can be downloaded for free HERE.

Please if you wish to learn more, I encourage you to explore the VACL website HERE.

You may also be interested in the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL) University of Melbourne  HERE.

Also Melbourne Museum Bunjilaka HERE.

If you are attending events that you think are of interest to the Storytelling community please write them up and drop me line. . I love receiving news and stories of your events and adventures.

Jackie Kerin ( blog editor)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Our overseas summer visitors will be here soon

Every year Victoria is visited by storytellers from interstate and overseas and we pride ourselves on our hospitality. This summer we have visitors arriving from England, Wales and Brazil. They would love to meet you

Cadu Cinelli

Welcome for the first time to  Cadu Cinelli. Cadu tells stories in Spanish, French, Portugese and English. He is an actor, visual artist and storyteller with post grad degrees in Jungian Psychology, Art and Education and Meditation in Art. Together with colleague Warley Goulart he coordinates Os Tapetes Contadores de Histórias a storytelling troupe based in Rio De Janeiro. Cadu will be with us December to March.

Cadu has sent us a greeting video. Please contact him directly if you would like to arrange performances, workshops or just to say ‘Hello’ from one storyteller to another.
Contact for Cadu:

Christine Willison

From Wales, Christine is familiar to many of us who attended her wonderful workshop on The Mabinogion in Ballarat at the Art Gallery. She will be here from December 3 to February 2. Christine is both an author and a storyteller with a background in visual arts. She is no stranger to Australian Schools having toured around Brisbane and is a familiar face in many Victorian Steiner Schools.
Christine's Website HERE

Martin Jefferd

Martin, from Bristol, will be in Melbourne January 4 to January 26. Martin has been instrumental in kick starting some story action in Tasmania with his connections to a well-know cider brewery in the Huon Valley. He has shared many apple stories with us. Martin is counting the days till he will see the grandchildren in Australia, sandals and shorts packed! We have even had him and Chris working on the apple trees here!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Story Door: True Live Storytelling has kicked off in Woodend 2015

Kate Lawrence launched The Story Door on Friday October 2 in The Leadlight Room at Holgates. These nights are themed; the tales shared must be true, no reading, and preferably, 5 minutes long  (give or take).

Storytellers rocked up from Trentham, Kyneton, Gisborne, Woodend and the suburbs of Melbourne. 

 For the inaugural Story Door the theme was ‘Firsts’. We heard tender tales of first love, first kisses, the first time singing at a Karaoke night, preparing a body after organ retrieval, drought, learning to ride a bike, academic life, working as a story busker and moving house. The stories shared were poignant, hilarious, revealing and generous.

Kate lives in Macedon and is keen to connect story-lovers and build a community of tellers in her region. To this end she is running workshops and monthly open storytelling.

One of the connections Kate has made is with Cassis Lumb from Kyneton. Cassis not only told a story at the inaugural Story Door, she revealed she has a stunning voice and passion for Karaoke! Cassis also hosts story evenings at Alice and Co.

Kate is a member of Storytelling Australia Vic and has enjoyed the support of members who have assisted her on the journey so far. Friend, Jackie Kerin and current president of SAV, has this to say, ‘We’re a community of creative folks with all kinds of skills. We can support each other in so many ways, technical advice, editing, directing, front of house, promotion or moral support if needed. It’s just a matter of asking and making the most of the networks we’re building for Vic storytellers.’
Visit Kate on her Website (workshops and Story Door info) HERE
You can also find Story Door on Facebook HERE

The dates for Story Door: 7.30 pm
November 6: Race Against Time
December 4: Endings

Holgates Hotel High Street Woodend

Kate is exploring recording stories with a view to podcasting (by permission). Storytelling Vic is looking forward to building the collection of stories, video and audio, on our website.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CANAKKALE. GALLIPOLI. LEST WE FORGET in Central Victoria 11 October 2015

There are many of you living outside of the Melbourne Metro area who are enjoying the opportunities to attend workshops, participate at open mic events and see storytelling shows. Jan Wositzky has a show on in the Central Victoria region. Enjoy and don't forget to introduce yourself to Jan and say 'Gidday'. If you have an event coming up outside of the CBD, let us know so we can share the details.

Dear Friends,
Just a reminder that the final local performance in Central Victoria of CANAKKALE. GALLIPOLI. LEST WE FORGET is this Sunday. So love to see you and if you've been please pass this on to others. It's a house concert and there's a limit of 60, and Keith & Jenny serve a very generous afternoon tea. and if you're coming, please book.
Thanks, all the best, Jan.

WHEN          Sunday 11 October 2015 at 2 pm
WHERE        Dandura Alpacas, 121 Fenton Drive Harcourt North Vic 3453
COST            $20. Includes afternoon tea
                      (Primary school age kids and under are free)
BOOK:           Keith or Jenny: 03-5439 6525, or email:

Opening set from duo 'Summer Rain'

Mr Jan 'Yarn' Wositzky

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Memberships for Storytelling Australia Victoria are due to be renewed on 31st of October 2015.

Membership gives you:

·      The opportunity of being part of a unique and dynamic organisation that seeks to connect storytellers locally, nationally and internationally
·      Discounted entry to SAV events
·      The right to stand for election to the SAV committee
·      Regular email updates
·      Feature blog posts if you have any news or events to promote
·      Support to realise your storytelling dreams


If you would like to know the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything, membership no 42 belongs to Gerry Nelson so you will have to ask him!
 For all details on how to renew or join, visit our Membership page HERE

And for members who wish to be publicly listed on the SAV site there is an extra fee. We do not recommend individual storytellers, all enquires are directed to this list. If you wish to be listed have a look HERE and see how storytellers represent themselves.

Any questions you have about membership, listing, concessions etc. please contact Teena Hartnett, our Membership secretary:

And finally, a thank you to Teena for passing on opportunities that come our way, promoting SAV and creating our membership cards. All the roles on the SAV committee are voluntary and we acknowledge the hours spent by the team.