Recently I have been discovering some of the most amazing story sites in Australia. In particular, I have been impressed by the number of stories being collected in the rural sector.
I heard about this one on Radio National (I spend a lot of time travelling in and out of Canberra by car). HEYWIRE is a space and a competition for young people from regional Australia. This is where young people can share their stories and opinions, and find the news that affects them. Some of the winning stories are very powerful and really leave you struck by the impact of living in rural communities.
The other one is Place Stories. I joined this community a while ago as it gets used quite a bit by the Natural Resource Management sector. Place Stories has two main parts:
- PlaceStories Software – a Windows program for managing digital media (images, text, audio) creating digital stories and publishing (locally or to the web). The PlaceStories software is provided free for registered members to download and install on a standard PC (XP or Vista). (Such a pity you can’t use it on a Mac without installing Parallels).
- PlaceStories Communities – customised websites – sub-domains of the main PlaceStories portal. Each PlaceStories community has tools to support private and public communication of members including digital storytelling, messaging, chat, forums, blogs, news pages, events calendar, group email.
Another one is the Northern Territory Library Service Community Stories project. The funding for this project was a result of the Northern Territory Library winning the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2007 Access to Learning Award. Funds from the award are being used to enhance the delivery of library services and programs to remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
There are a multitude of these sites in Australia and it would be wonderful to have a single access point to find them. In the meantime just enjoy the stories – some of these are incredibly memorable.