First Nations storytellers gather around virtual campfire for Our Stories 

[by Ryneisha Bollard]

Our Stories.jpeg

Uncle Mickey Kumatpi O'Brien, Aunty Stephanie Gollan and Ema Bovoro. Image: supplied

Three storytellers from Aboriginal language groups across South Australia are sharing their cultural knowledge as part of a free online experience presented by Adelaide Festival Centre’s Something on Saturday program.


Our Stories invites viewers to take a seat around the proverbial campfire to hear from Senior Kaurna Man Uncle Mickey O’Brien, Ngarrindjeri Elder Aunty Stephanie Gollan and young Adnyamathanha woman Ema Bovoro.


The launch coincides with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, with young people aged seven years and older encouraged to immerse themselves in the virtual event.


Our Stories includes a basket weaving demonstration with ‘Aunty Steph’, who shares the unique coil technique her people have passed down from generation to generation.


“We’ve been using this technique for thousands and thousands of years, so by teaching it to others online, it’s telling an old story in a new way,” Aunty Steph said.


“It’s still very popular, because it’s quite easy once you know how to get started with the first few stages.”


The collection of campfire stories is followed by an illustration workshop with Adelaide-based Yorta Yorta artist, illustrator and graphic designer Karen Briggs, who recently released her third children’s book.


Karen talks about her illustration process and demonstrates how to create a storyboard. As part of Adelaide Festival Centre’s centrED program, schools can download the Our Stories learning resource featuring exercises for students to explore their creativity through storytelling.


Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director Douglas Gautier AM: “For many thousands of years, Australia’s First Nations people have been telling stories as diverse in theme and character as the languages in which they’re told. They speak to the geography, environment, value systems and cultural protocols of the country and people they belong to. It has been a great privilege to work with local storytellers to share knowledge from their countries to our screens.”


Our Stories was made possible with help from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Development: Project Assistance grant from the Department of Premier and Cabinet.


The video can be viewed at until September 25, with audiences encouraged to check out the Families at Adelaide Festival Centre Facebook page for behind-the-scenes insights and other updates.



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