We Know Your Name But Not Your Story – Indigo Shire Council Community Storytelling Program

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

  • WHAT: A bespoke school-based storytelling program called ‘We Know Your Name But Not Your Story’ with young people in Indigo Shire (based on the original concept developed  by Humankind Enterprises)   
  • WHY: To reduce isolation and give young people the skills to tell their own digital stories, as well as the ability to hold space for and listen to others’ 
  • WHO: Indigo Shire Council, in partnership with VicHealth
  • THE RESULTS: A collection of stories created by the young people, profiling themselves and people from the community, digital story-telling and story listening skills fostered amongst participants, social connections fostered

“What has impressed me most about working with these young people is their sense of enthusiasm, their high level of resilience, their creative vision and taking this opportunity in both hands and running with whilst none of us had any idea what was going to happen in the future. I hope more programs like this are established in more communities.” – Meg Sheehan, Indigo Shire Youth Officer

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

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. 

“My favourite thing that I learnt would be how to use Kinemaster for future videos…It takes a bit of time, but you’ve got to persist. It’s worth it.” – Oscar, student, Yackandandah Primary School 

The solution 

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

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

“I’m actually proud of doing it and I’d like to make more films about interesting people and their background.”- Audrey, student, Yackanandah Primary School

What emerged – the key outcomes

Through the program, we were able to:

  • Engage young people in further learning through interactive tasks that didn’t just involve sitting in front of a computer after a long day of at-home schooling that could pave the pathway for future career opportunities;
  • Build technical skills and confidence as storytellers and story listeners;
  • Highlight community stories and get young people more interested in their families and local community;  
  • ‘Pivot’ (😉) effectively from a face-to-face to program to a digital one, to keep kids connected during and after lockdown;
  • Support young people to explore, celebrate and communicate a positive narrative of their community.

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:

  • Stories from each of the students that shared their experience of at-home schooling and lockdown
  • 1 x video that captured and communicated an overarching story of what it was like to participate in the program 
  • 1 x classroom screening for participants
  • 1 x tailored version of our popular Stories for Impact Online Course featuring written and video tutorials on topics covered during the classrooms. The Online Course also includes relevant examples to make concepts more accessible and tangible, and all materials have been made available for participants for the 12 months following the program to allow students to further develop their skills in their own time




belonging, community storytelling, digital, school filmmaking, youth filmmaking, youth program, youth storytelling