Partner: Indigo Shire Council
What makes this project special
One of the things we love most about storytelling is how it enables people to connect with others from different walks of life, both in the process of sharing your story and in listening to the stories of others. Digital storytelling in particular, is a powerful process for facilitating connection between different generations and demographics within the community.
This was the motivation behind ‘We Know Your Name But Not Your Story’, a digital storytelling program which was first run in Corangamite Shire in 2017, and designed and facilitated by the awesome folk at Humankind Enterprises.
After seeing the incredible impact that this program had in Corangamite Shire, Indigo Shire Council wanted to run a program with the same ethos, to amplify the stories of young people and nourish connection in the community. With the turbulence of 2020, it also highlighted how they are rising to challenges, and ready to change their community, and the world for the better.
A bird’s eye view
The background – for those who want to dive a little deeper
Community connection is incredibly important, and so too is cultivating a sense of place and belonging. The blueprint for the ‘We Know Your Name But Not Your Story’ program was first developed in Corangamite Shire in south-western Victoria in response to reports that young people were feeling increasingly disconnected from their local community. After a successful youth-led design process and program implementation by Humankind Enterprises in Corangamite, Indigo Shire Council wanted to adapt and roll out the program in their local government area in the north-east of the state in early 2020.
The challenge was to design a program that empowered the young participants to become effective storytellers, including how to effectively listen to the stories in their community and the technical skills of selecting and editing cinematic footage together.
The program was originally conceptualised to have young people in Indigo Shire sharing and listening to stories with older generations in the community. However, partway through the program, the onset of the pandemic and restrictions throughout Victoria, not to mention the high-risk if any of the older participants were to contract COVID, resulted in the need to quickly adapt the program.
Instead of a face-to-face program over one term across two schools, our Stories for Impact facilitators shifted to a virtual workshop delivery, within the school day, for students from years 5 and 6, to support them to learn storytelling skills safely and from home. We also ran a storytelling mentoring program outside of school hours for other young people in the Shire.
Together with Indigo Shire Council, and inspired by the original concept run by Humankind Enterprises in Corangamite Shire, our skilled Stories for Impact team developed a bespoke program to train young people in the technical side of digital storytelling and to help them tell emotive, heartfelt and human-centred stories.
The students were encouraged to tell stories about community members with whom they could safely engage in line with COVID restrictions. This meant telling stories about family members and about themselves. The result was a collection of stories that, together, form a time capsule of sorts, encapsulating what it meant to be a young person in Indigo Shire during the 2020 pandemic.
The process needed to be as student-led as possible, from editing stories through to synthesising the final video using individual pieces of content. As such, the program included:
- MASTERCLASSES: A term of digital storytelling masterclasses at Yackandandah Primary School for 14 students in Years 5-6
- MENTORING: A month-long digital storytelling mentorship for 16 and 17 year olds, held on weekends, to help them develop digital stories
- WORKSHOP: A full day, face-to-face weekend workshop, after COVID restrictions had been lifted
What emerged – the key outcomes
Through the program, we were able to:
Story artefacts – what was ‘created’
‘Story artefacts’ is what you have in your hands as a result of a storytelling process (e.g. videos, blog posts, animations, illustrations). Throughout the ‘We Know Your Name But Not Your Story’ program, the students created: