SharingStories Digital Storytelling program is one of the major programs run as part of the SharingStories Foundation. It works with young people in remote indigenous communities, transferring digital media skills in order to support a creative digital storytelling practice. This process enables children to develop a creative voice with which they can explore, tell and share their own stories as well as participate in the creation of cultural recordings with their own elders. The program not only builds confidence in new technologies, it strengthens identity and builds community capacity through workshops that engage young participants with Elders, Country and Culture.
Workshops run in Jilkminggan, Wugularr, Maningrida, Manyallaluk, Amanbidji, Kalkarindji, Pigeon Hole, Yirrkala and Elcho Island in the Northern Territory, Bidyadanga and Jarlmadangah in the Kimberley, Wilcannia in NSW and Lockhart River and Palm Island in QLD. It runs overseas in Tikari Tarapur and Buddha’s Smile School in Varansi, India and also with a group of children in Iquitos, Peru.
SharingStories Digital Storytelling program involves a continuous refreshing and extending of skills. It also involves, where possible, the training of community facilitators. We provide selected content to Indigenous Community TV (ICTV) and Indigitube for distribution and screening. The program provides equipment that remains in communities for the purpose of ongoing content production. SharingStories Foundation maintains a moderated platform for young indigenous people in remote areas to upload and share their content and engage in creative dialogue both with each other and viewers of their stories.
We also employ a curricular consultant who works closely with teachers in participating schools to design tailor made curricular units. These units focus on culturally relevant learning to achieve a broad range of curricular outcomes through implementation of digital storytelling practices. Outcomes include IT, Learning Technologies, Standard Australian English, Essential Learnings & Society as well as Environment objectives, amongst others.
SharingStories directors would like to thank all those who have so generously given time and energy to the realisation of this program, particularly our sponsors who have made it possible, in particular Jeff McMullen and Michelle Flaskas from The Ian Thorpe Fountain for Youth have been essential to the programs growth and development. Clare Cahill from Adobe who has offered ongoing support and guidance, Moshe Rozenzveig from Head On Foundation who has been a great help with securing cameras for workshop participants. Kate Merrifield, Deborah Johns and Darren Fittler from Gilbert and Tobin for their legal assistance in the securing of Deductible Gift Recipient Status (DGR) for SharingStories Foundation.
We would also like to thank those that have given and continue to give huge amounts of their time, creative ideas , thoughts and skills with little or no renumeration. Mick Hennessey, Jason Matthews, Nina Howard, Krista Scott, Mervin Mulardy, Roy Wunyumbi Ashley, Patrick Butcher, Johnene Watson, Djungadjunga Yunupingu and Murray Butcher for their role and contribution as members of the advisory council. We would also like to thank all those cultural facilitators who guide SharingStories trainers and participants on the ground and make the work possible. Thank you also to Simon Green who was actively engaged in creative dialogue and technical development during the projects conception and to Simon Coate for ongoing support .
Thanks also to Professor Sisir Basu and the students at Banaras Hindu university for maintaining the Tikari Tarapur element of the site, to Daisy and Rajan Kaur Saini Ajan for all their work at the Buddha’s Smile School , to Carlos, Juan Carlos and Justin Touyz for maintaining and developing the Iquitos content and to all the staff, teachers and principles that have supported and assisted and continue to assist in the creation of content in the indigenous Australian communities that are involved in the SharingStories Digital online project.