Changing the community one story at a time

A BRAND new not-for-profit organisation based in Hobart’s northern suburbs is helping to change the narrative around literacy in the community.

Founded by Moonah residents Emily Bullock and Kate Gross, the ‘Story Island Project’ is dedicated to supporting young people to improve their literacy skills through creative storytelling projects.

Operating in both school and community settings, the storytelling workshops aim to get young people excited about writing and give them the tools they need to be confident writers at school and beyond.

The new organisation was officially launched at the Moonah Arts Centre on Thursday 24 November and featured special keynote speaker Catherine Keenan, executive director of the Sydney Story Factory and 2016 Australian of the Year Local Hero.

“The launch was a great opportunity to celebrate the work we’ve done so far and the amazing stories from the young people who’ve joined us in our workshops,” Ms Bullock said.

The Story Island Project was inspired by the 826 Valencia writing centre model – a United States-based model that is renowned for its creative, project-based approach to supporting young people to write.

Throughout 2017, the Story Island Project will be embarking on a major community storytelling project to celebrate the diverse stories of people who have lived, worked and travelled along the Brooker Highway.

Named “Stories of the Brooker Highway”, the project will involve many people from across the northern suburbs, as well as a number of local schools and community organisations.

“We will work with local school students to write creative responses to the stories we collect,” Ms Gross said.

“So, at the end of the project, we will end up with a diverse collection of real and imaginative stories that respond to the highway and how it shapes our lives here in the northern suburbs.”

These stories will be celebrated in an exhibition at the Moonah Arts Centre in August/September 2017.

To contribute to the Stories of the Brooker Highway project, visit

Caption: Story Island Project co-founders Kate Gross, left, and Emily Bullock, right, with Sydney Story Factory executive director Catherine Keenan at the organisation’s launch at Moonah Arts Centre.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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