Friday, April 23, 2010

Books, Banjo and Bushmen. 29th April

Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre
29th April 2.00 - 3.30pm
2 Newham Way. Central Square.

As part of The Independent Type exhibition there are a series of workshops and presentations including the curator talk with Steve Grimwade and Adam Wallace on self publishing and writing for children. Arnold Zable, Jared Henry and Glenys Osbourne all have something on offer.Check out the website.

Pictured are my mates Dave Davies (seated) and Greg O'Leary. Our session is called Books, Banjo and Bushmen. We three met at the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club and discovered a shared love of storytelling and music. Dave is a reciter of some of the great 19th century poets and writers including CJ Dennis and Henry Lawson. But more than that, he is knowledgeable about these artists who have contributed so much to our lives and literary history. Greg is a collector of bush tunes, a raconteur and founder of the Newport Bush Orchestra. A giant in the national folk scene and a jewel in the western 'burbs of Melbourne. I'm proud to share a gig with these two and am in perpetual awe of their gifts.


This is a free exhibition that celebrates Victoria's literary history, from the first stories to the contemporary scene. It highlights the stories, the voices and the spirit of independence that has made Victoria's literature unique. The touring exhibition is presented by the State Library of Victoria and Public Libraries Network.

The exhibition can be seen at the Altona Meadows Library and Learning Centre. Hobsons Bay Libraries are supportive of local writers and storytellers and they have used this opportunity to display and celebrate the work of writing buddy Claire Saxby, myself and Andy Griffiths. As you can see, Phar Lap finds himself, yet again, in a glass case! Thank you to Rosemary and all the others who have worked so hard on this exhibition and for their generous and kind support of local authors.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Williamstown Literary Festival 2010

Greg O’Leary and Jackie Kerin


‘Before there were books, there were stories. The tradition of storytelling is connected to the book, like blossom to fruit.’ JK

Once upon a time, when there was no TV, no decent light to read by and when few were literate anyway - stories, poems and songs were swapped around the kitchens and campfires.

Join these yarn spinners, Greg and Jackie as they trade some of their favourite tales and tunes from Australia’s colourful past.

Greg O’Leary is a musician/raconteur. A collector of anecdotes and bush tunes, his great love is reviving the Aussie fiddle tradition and finding old fiddlers from which he can learn He is the founder and leader of the Newport Bush Orchestra. This is Greg’s first appearance at the WLF

Jackie Kerin is one of Australia’s travelling storytellers. Working in the oral tradition she travels to schools, cultural institutions and festivals. She breathes life into folk tales from around the world as well crafting her own stories from times past. Jackie is a member of the Storytelling Guild (Vic).

DATE: 1 MAY Saturday

TIME 4.30

VENUE: Marquee Williamstown Town Hall

COST: $7.00 ($5.00) Book online: or call 9932 4074.

book early it makes us happy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Storytelling Guild welcomes Susan Gilchrist from Ohio

pictured: Susan Gilchrist (left) and Nell Bell share stories. Nell is a founding member of the storytelling Guild (Vic). At 84, Nell is still telling wonderful stories.

Susan Gilchrist is our most recent storytelling guest from overseas. Since developing a website and facebook, the Guild has become accessible to the world.

Visiting Melbourne (on a honeymoon trip) Susan requested to meet with some Victorian tellers and we were delighted to organise a supper and storyshare.

Susan has lived in, Wisconsin wedged between the Mississippi and the Great Lakes, for over 40 years. Recently she moved to Ohio with her new husband and now enjoys the delights of Lake Eerie.

As part of the Maddison Storytellers’ Guild for over 30 years Susan co-ordinated the group that meets once a month to share stories. Her interest in stories is broad ranging from folk tales to condensed novels, newspaper articles and personal stories.

Susan told us a wonderful autobiographical tale about her time on a Hopi reservation in north Arizona in the summer of 1968.Together with her friend from college, she stayed with an elderly Hopi woman who found their practical skills somewhat lacking!

As we all took a turn to share as story – the quality of the tales and the uniqueness of each teller was spellbinding. There is something very special about a circle of people trading stories quietly in the warmth of a home.

JB Rowley, Cora Zon, David Demant, Janet Tucker and Claudette D’Cruz were all there to make Susan welcome. We were especially pleased to see Nell Bell. Nell has been housebound with a bad knee for many months. Julie Perrin kindly opened her doors to us. This is the third home storyshare the guild has hosted and we are grateful to members who support these random events.

If you haven’t made it to a home storyshare – rest assured there will be a gathering in your neighbourhood some time in the future …

We wish Susan all the best for her new life in Ohio.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Newport Artists Market : The Story Space

The Newport Artists Market is on the first Saturday of every month at the Newport Substation. With the help of story friends and the support of the market committee, storytelling is now a regular part of the market. April was a busy one! Claire Saxby was in the chair for over an hour telling stories and sharing her books with visitors to the space. Dharma, songstress and creative force behind EVERLASTING BOOKS (238 Somerville Rd Kingsville) was in fine voice. EVERLASTING BOOKS stocks a wonderful collection for young people - many of the old favourites are to be found on her shelves. She is also a great supporter of local authors. Pictured with Dharma is Julia Reichstein from the Storytelling Guild (Vic). Julia's day job is as an archivist but she is soon to try her hand at improvisational puppet theatre. A relative new member to the Storytelling Guild - it was lovely to have her join us on Saturday.


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