Stories of Influence returns

Stories of Influence returns

Since beginning as Gorgeous Yarns at Nowa Nowa five years ago, Stories of Influence @Lake Tyers Beach Hall continues to attract stories that have been hidden away in letters, diaries, reports, hearts and minds.

Stories are shared in film, print, walking books, art, songs and performance and reshape people’s preconceptions and truths.

Word of this gathering, which runs from October 18 until October 20, is spreading and Melbourne City of Literature now recognises Stories of Influence as one of its regional presenters.

People speak of ‘unlearning’ and making connections between local stories and those crafted by well-known writers. This year, artist and storyteller, Ray Thomas, will share his visual story, Seemin no debil, hearim no debil, speakim no debil, which has relevance in the International year of Indigenous Languages. Lynne Kelly will speak about her new book, The Memory Craft, which is a how to remember book that draws on ancient wisdom to build memory techniques into modern life.

Walk and talk with Harry Saddler, author of The Eastern Curlew, on the magic and mystery that guides this migratory bird weighing one kilogram that in its lifetime flies as far as to the moon while it crosses the globe.

For some, these stories affirm the love they have for Lake Tyers, and recordings of words and music inspired by Bung Yarnda (Lake Tyers) will be launched at the event.

Conversations began last year and continue as families share their journeys of finding out about their brutal past through film, Zoom and discussion.

Shane Rees will speak of Uncle Max Harrison and Wayne Thorpe’s plans for ceremonies on Brodribb River to bring healing to the land, involving descendants of survivors and perpetrators.

The McColls, of Sale, will speak of their journey of involvement with Dhakiyaar vs the King, which gives insight into two cultures, two laws, two languages and two families getting to know each other. Cal Flyn, young Scottish author of Thicker Than Water, will link with Lake Tyers via Zoom to speak about her finding out about her great, great, great uncle Angus McMillian’s acts of cruelty in Gippsland.

This is a personal perspective on how nationalism was forged in Australia, like in Canada and India, through the displacement of First Nation people. Each story fills in gaps in knowing and invites a reshaping of what people know.

Stories of Influence is not all about the past. Greening Australia’ s Martin Potts, who will also speak at the event, works in landscape restoration guided by cultural stories creating dynamic connections between farmers, Aboriginal families and conservationists. Storytelling is more than fact.

Be entertained on Saturday night by singer/songwriter, Jan Wositzky, as he performs A Bundle of Sticks: They came for the gold and dug up democracy, an old story with a timely message. Most people know of the Eureka Stockade, but not many know of the 1851 meeting at Forest Creek.”

Local singer/songwriter, Todd Cook, will play tracks from The Silent Boat and Brilliant Green.

A multitude of workshops ensure there will always something going on. Tim Coronell, of Small Press Network, will assist writers in taking the important step of publishing through either self-publishing and marketing or publishers interested in their genre.

Dr Lynne Kelly, author of The Memory Craft, will introduce the best memory techniques from ancient times and the middle ages to methods used by today’ s memory athletes. Lynn has tested these methods will demonstrate the extraordinary and capacity of brains at any age.

The 30th anniversary of Victorian Writers Centre will be celebrated by a panel of writers, which is to be chaired by program director, Kath Cuthbert.

Writers and storytellers need readers and listeners. Stories of Influence is a weekend of engagement about conversations close to people’ s hearts and minds.

For more information visit the Stories of Influence Facebook page.

Tickets are available online at or at Just Books in Lakes Entrance and Bairnsdale.

PICTURED: Jan Wositzky will perform A Bundle of Sticks: They came for the gold and dug up democracy at Stories of Influence @Lake Tyers Beach Hall, which runs from October 18-20. (PS)