World Storytelling Day: The Dutch are encouraging us to start preparing for 2015

A Message from our friends in the Netherlands. 
It's been a month since World Storytelling Day 2014 and we started looking ahead to 2015 already.
In 2014 we had "Worldwide Storytelling Cafés" on three locations in the Netherlands and part of their program were the videos that some of you sent in. It was a great success! The audience enjoyed the recorded stories a lot and even applauded as if the storytellers were actually present. A very interesting experience.
We decided that we will continue this concept next year. So for those of you who've missed it this year or didn't have time to send in a video link: we will be looking for storytelling videos on the theme "Wishes".
All videos will be collected on one page on the Dutch website for world storytelling day, for everybody's convenience: to enjoy at home, or to use in your own WW Storytelling Café.
You can post links in the comments or mail to info[at]
For more info on the concept of the WW Storytelling Café you can contact me or send email to the address mentioned above.
For your inspiration: here's the link to the video page for WSD 2014
We hope to receive as many contributions for 2015 as we had this year!
On behalf of the Dutch committee for WSD,


27 and 29th of April our two sons have a birthday, to them it's one of the most important days of their year! So on the April 27, we have two sons the same age for 2 days.

For the first born I spent 4 weeks in hospital, then the remainder of my pregnancy at home in bed which totaled 8 months being only permitted bathroom privileges.
My husband worked every second weekend, he learned to cook, do all the cleaning and washing.
My late mother lived in another city, she made me a fruit cake once a month, mum and dad came to help the same weekend.

So what did I do all those months in bed?
I read, did jigsaw puzzles, crocheted, visitors were always popping in for a chat, watched TV in the evenings, and slept a lot.

The last month of the first pregnancy I was permitted up for 1 hour each week increasing to everyday by the time I went to hospital to have our first baby.
Second baby all was well and I didn't have to go to bed.
Now my babies are grown men with little ones of their own :)

Happy Birthday my sons!

Five Storytellers worked at the Bendigo Easter Festival Storytelling Tree (in Rosalind Park) 2014

This is how Bendigo Festival introduced storytelling to the public...

11am-4.30pm Each Day...
The StoryTelling Tree 
The greatest array of local and Melbourne-based professional storytellers, transform the Maple Garden into an entertaining space of theatre and imagination.

Narelle Stone
Narelle delights in engaging and entertaining people of all ages with stories incorporating puppets, props and costumes into her quirky tales.

Using live music a few clowning tricks with some mime and humour. Matteo's storytelling style is highly interactive, funny, a bit tricky, a bit scary and usually surprising. Adults  find themselves engaged laughing as much at the stories as at the children's responses to them

Anne E. Stewart 
Honouring Indigenous, Celtic, Asian and World stories, Anne is a versatile performer with the energy and voice to engage any audience. An acclaimed storyteller with an international reputation. 

Andrew McKenna 
Andrew McKenna has been a storyteller for more than 20 years. He has performed in festivals around Australia’s eastern states and toured Ireland performing at the Baboro International Children’s Festival, Waterford’s Imagine Festival and Limerick’s Lough Gur Storytelling Festival, as well as libraries and schools around the country. 

Niki na Meadhra 
Niki na Meadhra is a professional storyteller and theatre artist, based at Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne. She has 25 years experience as a theatre maker, community builder and educator. Niki initially trained as an actor, but also has extensive experience directing and designing theatrical events.

Matteo says, “The Bendigo audiences were enthusiastic about the storytelling. All we needed to do was start and an audience gathered. It is a testimony to the strength of the shows we put on that audiences stayed. In this festival setting there are so many things to see and do and distract. Still, adults and children were happy to sit by on a hay-bale and engage in the myths, faerie tales, the music, guessing games, the calls and responses, the puppets, masks, drawing stories, story narratives, string tricks, their participations and our teasings.

The festival provided a great PA system and a small marque under a beautiful maple tree. Hay bales for the audience, lunch, bottled water and even fine weather....
Below are some photos of the tellers in action. If I were smarter I would have?.......audience participation (fill in the blank)........ lived my life differently,  (well, in part anyway) and also I would have asked one of the others to take a photo of me too.        Cheers for now....Matteo."

Pics: (north to south):
Narelle Stone is local to Bendigo, on the first morning she had the home ground advantage.  Friends and community amongst the audience. We were off to a flying start.
Ann E Stewart from the Daylesford area.
Niki na Meadhra from Melbourne.
Andrew McKenna from Castlemaine, on day one, before Nikki dressed the tent with her collection of fine materials and curiosities. 

Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

Rockhampton experiences over 300 days of sunshine each year, which lends itself to tourism activities all year round and an abundance of outdoor activities.
The city lies on the Fitzroy River, approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) from the river mouth, and some 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane
The Capricorn district is the traditional home of the Darumbal Aboriginal people.
The European history of the area began in 1853, when the area that would become Rockhampton was visited by the Archer brothers Charles and William, who were seeking grazing lands. They were acting on information from earlier expeditions by Ludwig Leichhardt and Thomas Mitchell, who had explored the area in 1844 and 1846 and noted suitable land for grazing then.

A significant gold deposit at Mount Morgan to the southwest was discovered in the 1880s, and Rockhampton became the main port through which the wealth of Mount Morgan gold was channelled. Due to the wealth of Mount Morgan, Rockhampton weathered the severe economic depression of the 1890s and many of the town's substantial brick and stone public buildings date from this period. The historic streetscape of Quay Street still displays a number of substantial historic buildings, built when Rockhampton was envisaged as being capital of a state of North Queensland. Most prominent of these is the sandstone Customs House (1900), which today houses an information centre. Other important nineteenth century buildings include the Post Office (1892), the Supreme Court House (1888), and St Joseph's Cathedral (1892)

We stayed there for about a week in 2008 and it's a very long way from Tasmania, Australia.

These photos were done in HDR - something different.

The Roundabout

The clock on the Post Office

Rockhampton Post Office

Fitzroy River

If taking a stroll along the banks of the Fitzroy River we can see this sign.

Anzac Day, Australia

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia, a day we especially remember service men and women who have served our country. ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand. New Zealand is not a part of Australia and we here in Australia require a Passport when going to New Zealand.

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only 13 years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had made a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left us all a powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the “Anzac legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways they viewed both their past and their future.

Anzac Ceremony:
At the Australian War Memorial, the ceremony takes place at about 5am and or 10.15 am in the presence of people such as the prime minister and the governor general. Each year the ceremony follows a pattern that is familiar to generations of Australians.
A typical Anzac Day ceremony may include the following features: an introduction, hymn, prayer, an address, laying of wreaths, a recitation, the Last Post, a period of silence, either the Rouse or the Reveille, and the national anthem. After the Memorial’s ceremony, families often place red poppies beside the names of relatives on the Memorial’s Roll of Honour, as they also do after Remembrance Day services.
Part of taken from the link

Memorial in City Park, Launceston, Tasmania.

In the Launceston City Park their is a memorial and statue to commemorate Launceston's Boer War The war was between the South African Republic (ZAR) and the British in 1880 - 1881, then in Second War (1899–1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war—involving large numbers of troops from the Empire, which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies (with a promise of limited self-governance). These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa.

Sturt Desert Pea_Swainsona formosa.

Sturt Desert Pea, Swainsona formosa photo taken in Western Australia a few years ago.
It's an Australian plant in the genus Swainsona, named after English botanist Isaac Swainson, famous for its distinctive blood-red leaf-like flowers, each with a bulbous black centre.
The Pea is also a wild flower in some areas of Australia, will grow in an arid environment. 
It grows low and is very pretty in a mass.

Happy Easter & The thought of being Kidnapped!

 Happy Easter :)

There was nothing like being a Policeman's daughter back when I was an 18 year old.  I had commenced my training the year before at a Private Hospital here in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia and loved every minute of it.
I did my study, plus going on duty. Days off were filled with joy and lots of fun. I had met my future husband not knowing that he would be at the time :)

I often noticed that no matter where I went there were always 2 men that seemed to be near by, but of course I thought at that time it was a coincidence plus really didn't take that much notice and went along my merry way doing what I normally do.
One day there was rather a lot of noise as in shouting, cars screeching their tires, men running everywhere, sirens and so on.  I remember being grabbed by the arms and waist by a man, pulled away from seeing what was going on, and the friend next to me, the same.

So why all the commotion?  I was told later that I was about to be kidnapped and have my face cut/disfigured in many places.  Not good to hear, and thinking how lucky I was to be rescued.
The two men that I always saw were special policemen who had followed me everywhere I went, day and night, they were my bodyguards without me knowing it, to take care of my safety.  Seems there was no way that I was permitted to go out alone or be alone for approximately 6 months until the supposedly kidnappers were caught.

My father being a Policeman of high rank had previously been responsible for several criminals being sent to prison for several years when I was much younger.  These same prisoners were after revenge and I was the target.  Of course someone told my father so hence the 'bodyguards' for me without my knowledge.

Thank goodness this type of  'thing' doesn't happen very often, well as far as I know it doesn't here in our country.

City Park

Launceston City Park I have posted recently, so a few more photos.

A little background of Launceston from Wikipedia:
Settled by Europeans in March 1806, Launceston is one of Australia's oldest cities and is home to many historic buildings. Like many Australian places, it was named after a town in the United Kingdom – in this case, Launceston, Cornwall.

Launceston has also been home to several firsts such as the first use of anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere, the first Australian city to have underground sewers and the first Australian city to be lit by hydroelectricity. The city has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons.

The Rotunda and I can't seem to find when it was built.

Queen's Jubilee Drinking Fountain (1887/1897), City Park, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

‘Bilarni’. A new show from Jan (‘Yarn’) Wositzky 2014

Victorian Storyteller, Jan Wositzky, has been researching and writing about Australian author, bushman and raconteur Bill Harney for twenty years. The result is a one-man storytelling show. For 70 minutes, Jan weaves personal anecdote, song and recitations of transcribed oral texts into a tale that is moving, funny, absurd, raw and at times tragic. Bill Harney ‘Bilarni’ (1895 – 1962) was born of English parents and grew up in Queensland. At 12 he took off droving and what followed was a rich and richly recorded life. Largely self-educated, he was poetically articulate and throughout the 40s 50s, in Australia, his voice was heard and his stories familiar on radio, and his books devoured. Bill Harney was famous in his day and remains a legend in Queensland and the Northern Territory where his relationships with Aboriginal people ran deep.

In ‘Bilarni’ Jan examines the man and the myth; the story as he tells it is neither sentimental nor uncritical. He brings great depth to the telling with rich layers of information, multiple Aboriginal languages, Australian dialects, and ‘Englishes’ superb evocations of characters that could only be encountered in the north of this continent. Jan’s musicality is evident throughout, particularly so when it comes to the mastery of Harney’s rhythmical speech patterns. Lovers of language and literature will be seduced by Harney’s depth of feeling and perceptions, expressed so eloquently. This a storytelling at its best!

‘Bilarni’ will be enjoyed by anyone who loves a good yarn and a wild ride.

Sign up for Jan's e news HERE
Facebook HERE
Catch the show at the National Folk Festival Saturday 19 April HERE

Jackie Kerin