Friday, March 27, 2009

ArtPlay at Birrarung Marr

ArtPlay is where learning, imagination and play come together to expand the minds and lives of our youngest generation. What a wonderful way to end the week. How good is it to work with a professional team who understand and respect the very young.  In their beautiful building on the north bank of the Yarra - ArtPlay created a perfect space for stories for me and the children today. Thankyou.  

ArtPlay is located in Birrarung Marr behind Federation Square.

Monday, March 23, 2009


A large part of my work with The Storytelling Garden is visiting kindergartens. These 'Children's Gardens' are usually buried in the back streets of suburbia - in winding cul-de-sacs, attached to primary schools, churches or Infant Welfare Centres. I am an expert with the Melways!  Through storytelling in kinders I have become familiar with many places in the western suburbs of Melbourne and beyond. This week I have been working in Sunbury and Essedon but I have bookings south of Ballan and Bannokburn. The ability of 3 and 4 year olds to learn rhymes and stories astounds me. And the quality, dedication and patience of the teachers working and preparing our children for school is an eye opener. I meet women who I can only describe as living embodiments of spoken children's culture - handclaps, riddles, rhymes, chants and stories. It's all alive an well and being passed on to the next generation.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pirate Funday

Put this on your notice board! 

PIRATE FUNDAY is a fundraising event for FDCC, a charity dedicated to supporting children in rural Cambodia.

Sunday 5 April

82 Nelson Place  Williamstown
10.00 - 4.00

Children under 4: free
Children: 4 and over $15
Adults: gold coin
all activities included in the price

I will be there telling salty tales  and representing the Storytelling Guild of Vic. Hope to see you there. JK

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Phar Lap Club Family Day

The Phar Lap Club had its first party for the year in the Bluestone room at Flemington Racecourse. There was a jumping castle, animal farm, pony rides and plenty to eat and drink. It rained today for the first time in months but after such a long dry spell, no one was complaining. My friend Kate (who took this stunning photo) assisted me and while I told the story of Phar Lap the Wonder Horse she handled the sales. I am certainly getting value out of my vintage suit! After the party Kate and I meandered down to the track and enjoyed watching the horses and jockeys in the mounting yard and a thundering race.  Flemington looked stunning -  roses galore. The Phar Lap Club puts on a phabulous party - we were made very welcome by all the staff and party goers. Thanks Kate, Kate and all the kids and phamilies.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Port Fairy Folk Festival

This weekend has been one of music, dancing, food and storytelling. The Port Fairy Festival weekend would have to be my favourite couple of days in calendar. It was especially exciting this year as I entered the Pat Glover Memorial Storytelling Award and received the GONG! Pat Glover was a local PF identity who was passionate about the art of storytelling. His daughter continues to represent him on the day. The award is a wonderful opportunity to meet tellers from around the traps. In particular my old mate Julie Perrin was there with an exquisite tale to tell and I finally met Stephen Whiteside who is the man behind the C.J. Dennis Festival at Toolangi. Rob England was absent this year. A past winner - no one speaks more movingly about the plight of the Coorong. Finally - I have to say - the story I told was PHAR LAP THE WONDER HORSE. I am so proud of this story and the book so powerfully illustrated by Patricia Mullins and published  by the Melbourne Museum. Thank you Port Fairy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gordon Institute of TAFE

This morning The Storytelling Garden sent me packing to talk to students of Child Care at the Geelong TAFE. This is one of my favourite gigs as  I get to talk for an hour about my work with preschool children. An hour is never long enough - its a big topic! I always pack way too much in my story box but there is so much to share about the magic of working with very young children. We chanted, sang, did string stories, finger rhymes, Auslan and read A Nest for Kora by Claire Saxby - and that was just the tip of the iceberg!


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