Arts in Recovery Documentary Screening

Creative Regions’ Afloat project has drawn to a close, and a screening of their recent documentary called Arts in Recovery will be broadcast on 31 Digital tonight on the 18th March at at 7pm, and again on Friday the 20th March at 9.30am and Saturday the 21st March at 5pm.

The Afloat project was a participatory arts projects initiated by Creative Regions in two stages in 2010/11 and 2013, and received funding through the Creative Recovery – Building Resilience initiative of the Queensland Government. An overview of Afloat can be found at this link. And a further description is available on Placestories in the Creative Recovery Network community:

“Afloat is a Creative Regions project funded through the Creative Recovery – Building Resilience initiative of the Queensland Government.  The project is occurring across the Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, North Burnett and Fraser Coast Regions in response to the natural disasters of January 2013”


I was fortunate to be able to attend the premiere of the documentary at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts in December last year. It is powerful and emotional documentary, and demonstrates just how important the Arts are in disaster recovery work.

To discover more about arts in disaster recovery work, it is worthwhile tuning in to see this important documentary.

New England and North West Sound Trails

Another exciting storytelling project that is up and running is the New England and North West Sound Trails. The app for this project will be launched in June, 2014.

The sound walks started as an idea 2 years ago when members of the Uralla community decided to record conversations and tell stories about their town. These stories, conversations and memories will now form the first part of the New England and North West Sound Trails and is called the Uralla Sound Walk. A link to the first stories can be found here: Uralla Stories.

For further information, please also check out this link to The Story Project. This provides a platform for members from the community to tell and share their stories.

This is an exciting and creative project, and we will keep you posted. Make sure to ‘like’ the project’s Facebook Page to keep up to date on the project’s progress and developments.


An excellent resource of interest! “Making Art With Communities: A Work Guide”

In June 2013, Vic Health, in partnership with Arts Victoria and Castanet, published a valuable guide exemplifying key ways the arts is of great benefit in and for communities. This is an important and interesting collaboration between the Health and Arts sectors.

Below is a summary that describes the importance of the Making Art With Communities: A Work Guide:

“Art helps us to explore and interpret our stories and, in turn, share discoveries and learn more about how other people see the world. Participation in arts activities expand our networks, strengthen our social bonds and bring our communities closer together – the foundations for mental wellbeing.” (

Topics covered include:

  • Arts in the community
  • Working with communities
  • Working with artists
  • Developing the project concept
  • Managing the project
  • Managing people
  • Managing budgets and resources
  • Managing events
  • Completing the project.

Please click on this link for a PDF copy of the guide. It is worthwhile reading.



The Playback Oral History Project – State Library of Queensland.

The State Library Queensland is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for their Playback Oral History Project in 2014.

Below is a very brief summary taken from the SLQ Website. For further information, please click on the applicable links.

As a result from the State Library of Queensland’s Digitisation and Access survey it has been noted that the sheer volume of material captured over time and stored on magnetic tape is becoming progressively challenging to store, access and maintain in preservation for the future.

The Playback Oral History project aims to: “…digitise, preserve and provide access to 200 hours of Queensland’s un-digitised oral history material currently held in public libraries and local communities throughout the state”.

Expressions of Interest are sought for the following:

“From public libraries, in partnership with their nearby local museum, archive, heritage organisation or community group to:

  • identify twenty (20) hours of significant oral content from local collections for digitisation;
  • participate in a 3-day training workshop;
  • create and present new content using newly digitised oral history at a Heritage Tourism Symposium”.

A further description of this exciting project and contact details for Expressions of Interest can be found on the SLQ website, via this link.

The Communication for Social Change Award

Applications have opened for the 2014 Communication for Social Change Award. This is the only award of its type, and is open “specifically those that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to using communication to transform and empower marginalised communities” (

If you or your organisation has made a significant contribution in some way, or you know of others that have, it is worthwhile applying for this award. Winners of the award receive a $2500 towards travel to the awards ceremony, that will also help promote the impact and highlight the importance that communication projects have in development efforts.

If you are interested, or know someone who is, please refer them to this link: 2014 CSC Award.



New Update from the Twitterverse.

It has been a few months since the last Twitter update, but many fantastic things have been happening around the world with community uses of co-creative media.

Upcoming conferences include the 5th International Digital Storytelling Conference in Ankara, Turkey from the 8-10th May.  This is a large conference with a diverse array of digital storytelling research, exhibitions and displays. Click here to subscribe to the Twitter list for that conference.

Another international event coming up soon is the 8th Digital Storytelling Festival to be held in Wales on the 14th June.

Also, there is the interesting Laundromat Project tweeted by researcher, designer, artist and educator Pip Shea.  Also, check out Pip’s free downloadable PDF booklets.

There is some really interesting research on Video4Change, and links to this work have been tweeted by researcher Dr. Tanya Notley. Definitely a link worth checking out. This is in addition to many great links from Witness, who are celebrating 20 years. The Human Rights Channel has also been nominated for a Webby.

Also worthwhile reading are the regular blog posts from the MIT Center for Civic Media, that has included blog posts about Engage Media and their work.

March saw a lot of tweeting from the Australian Arts community in relation to Creative Australia, the Australian Government’s 2013 national cultural policy. This is in addition to the future of digital radio, and government funding in the community broadcasting sector, that was also making an impact on Twitter that month. This campaign is ongoing. Make sure to visit the “Commit to Community Radio” page for further information.

These are just a few of the many things that have been happening around the world. Please make sure to keep following the @ozccmorg Twitter feed for regular updates.

Co-Creative Communities Forum Twitter Update!

It was a busy couple of months heading towards the Co-Creative Communities Forum in Melbourne last month. The forum was held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on the 8-9th November.

Co-Creative Communities was a successful forum with a wonderful and diverse group of Community Arts, Media and Community Cultural Development organisations taking part from all over Australia. It also produced a very busy forum Twitter feed from attendees and participants, full of commentary, insights, links and discussion as the panels presented various projects, ideas and initiatives. This ignited great discussion; both at the forum and online in other parts of the country.

Here is a link to some of that discussion that has been archived on Storify. It provides a brief overview of the narrative of the day. Plenty of discussions happened offline as well, and it was a very exciting and enriching forum.

Ben Eltham’s article about the Co-Creative Communities event was posted online, and provided a great summary of first day.

But please check out the Storify link for the extended Twitter story!


Recent Highlights from the Twitterverse.

Community Uses of Co-Creative Media’s Twitter stream has been going for a few months now, so we thought it would be a great idea to post a roundup of what is out there with digital storytelling and co-creative media practices in the wider community and around the world.

Recent highlights include a story from the well known StoryCorps, with a Kickstater campaign to fund a TV series of their animated digital stories. This looks really interesting, and the use of crowd funding is quite a fascinating idea, as it allows potential audience members to invest in the program that they will eventually watch. So, both the audience and storytellers are involved in getting it on the air.

Another very interesting piece of information is the recent post on the research of The Future of Storytellingconducted by Latitude 42 via the CBX Twitter feed. This research emphasised:

“1. How are audiences’ expectations around storytelling evolving as media experiences become more multiplatform, more customizable, and more participatory?

2. How can content creators and technologists make stories come alive, by allowing audiences to delve deeper into them or by bringing them out into the real world?

3. What are some best practices and new opportunities for the future of storytelling?”

Reference: CB Online 

Another great community project is the The Creative Recovery Pilot Project. This is fantastic. It is a 16-month initiative across three communities, including the regions of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and Cassowary Coast in Queensland, that were hit hard by recent flooding and natural disaster in 2010-2011. It is really worth checking out, and to also see how stories have been shared on the online platform by Feral Arts called Place Stories.

One really interesting, and well publicised use of community co-creative storytelling, is the recent National Geographic collaboration with the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation. By using the Cowbird Storytelling Platform, this allowed both the magazine and the community to tell their stories unfiltered, and to share these with the world.

The Information and Cultural Exchange’s (ICE) recent blog post The Empowering Nature of Storytelling and self esteem, also shared a wonderful short summary of the Koori Kinnection Project, and the great things that storytelling has done for young people with the telling and sharing of digital stories and similar creative practices.

This is only a short collection of the wonderful projects that are out there, and we will be posting many more regular round ups and highlights of such great projects and initiatives that we come across via Twitter and other online travels.





An introduction…

“Human beings have always told their histories and truths through parable and fable. We are inveterate storytellers.” Beeban Kidron

This recent quote has really resonated with me.

My name is Elizabeth Heck, and as a PhD student attached to the ARC/Linkage Project Community Uses of Co-creative Media, I thought I should introduce myself.

Before embarking on research in this area, I was involved in short film making, after gaining my BA (Hons) in Film and Television Production here at QUT. My Honours project was a solo documentary project on Community Television, and my interest in community media goes back a long way.

Thinking back, one of my favourite media projects was as a line producer on a program called Spark TV, where I was one of a passionate team who curated short films from student and emerging filmmakers for community broadcast and screenings. We linked these short films together via animations and other creative means from local animators. We were always excited by the talent that was out in the community, and it was wonderful to be part of project that gave those short films and stories a platform to be shared and enjoyed by others.

A passion for emerging and student film & media making also led me into the field of Media Education, and after I gained my Bachelor of Education, I taught secondary Film, Television and Media Studies. It was very rewarding to see an enthusiasm for media amongst my students. One of my favourite parts of lessons was sharing wonderful discussions with my senior students about the media.

After a short time off to have my two children, I returned to QUT to further my qualifications and undertake a research orientated degree of a Master of Education. This was particularly rewarding, and further ignited my passion for media research, community media making and learning. At that time, I became the Administration Officer for the Australian Teachers of Media, Queensland branch; the professional development organisation for Queensland media educators. As part of this, I manage the ATOM Qld Twitter feed. It is a very valuable learning and professional development tool, and I have really enjoyed curating the content of that feed, for both teacher resources and learning purposes, and relevant promotion for the organisation. I do have a thing for Twitter I must admit! My last M. Ed paper was on the value of using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, for media teacher professional development. Personally, I have learnt a lot through social media platforms such as Twitter. The sharing of knowledge and information on this platform has been incredibly valuable in enhancing my own learning experiences.

My PhD research is delving into how learning occurs through community uses of co-creative media practices, such as digital storytelling, from the workshop process to broadcast and distribution platforms at the intersection of community media and arts organisations. Digital storytelling as a means of creative expression in social learning. I look forward to researching, sharing and learning further with this project and I am very excited to be involved in this research area.

In addition to my research studies, I do very much have an interest in photography. From my DSLR to iPhoneography and Instagramming. I can’t resist taking a photo! It’s become a daily habit.

On the importance of storytelling, I thought I might pop in the fantastic talk from Beeban Kidron, film maker and a founder of Film Club, a UK organisation established to bring the joy of the cinema and storytelling to kids outside of school time. Her focus here is on film storytelling, but the overall message is universal, as to the transformative power of story and how it can ignite passion and enthusiasm with young people, in this instance, to fire great discussion, shared experience and also informal learning. This talk resonates with me, as someone who has taught film and media to young people and to see the passion  that such storytelling viewing and creating generates.

What is exciting now, is the opportunity for people in the community to make and share their own stories with co-creative media practices. To produce their own narrative and identity, impart new ideas, share, listen and learn from each other. It is an exciting era for personal and community based storytelling.

I am now part of the team tweeting for the @ozccmorg Twitter feed and will be posting regular round ups in future blog posts about what’s going on out in the Twitterverse in Digital Storytelling, other co-creative media practices and related areas of interest.