PLVN Stories Matter Seminar

Overview:           Liz Pidgeon

Local and Family History Librarian, Liz Pidgeon, is the co-convenor of the Public Libraries Victoria (PLVN) Local Studies Special Interest Group (SIG). She was also part of the organising committee on the recent Stories Matter Seminar hosted in partnership with the Multicultural Services and Programs SIG. Presentations from seven library services were invited to recognise how our local communities are rich with diverse and unique stories and how they collect, activate and share community narratives. 

Keynote speakers included Ramsay Scholarship recipient and Early Years Outreach Officer Sarah Bingle on her work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Families, Professor Alistair Thomson and the Australian Lives oral history project and archaeologist, TV presenter and writer Adam Ford on his work in exploring stories of the past, giving us insights for today.  Other presentations included capturing stories of Australian First Nations and refugees from the State Library of NSW and the local grants and Victorian Community History Awards program available via Public Records Office Victoria.

Presentations will be available soon via the PLVN website., opens a new window


Kate Hansen, Arts & Culture Coordinator and Carolyn Jury, Seniors and Volunteers Coordinator presented a lightning talk as part of the conference. See their conference highlights below. 

Five Highlights:                Kate Hansen

  • Hearing Shane Charles from City of Melbourne share reflections and insights into traditional Aboriginal culture and storytelling.
  • Feeling like I want to be an Archaeologist when I grow up! Adam Ford introduced us to the life of an Archaeologist, sharing stories of place in Australia and internationally.
  • Being captivated by social history snippets Professor Alistair Thomson captured and organised in his project Australian Lives.
  • Being excited and inspired by passionate and innovative public library staff sharing their community story projects.
  • Sharing the Hindsight journey with the #PLVNStoriesMatter18 community and presenting with my colleague Carolyn. We had a long, committed and fun ride!

Five Highlights:                Carolyn Jury

  • Shane Charles was definitely an inspiration. To listen to him talk about storytelling through different expressions was fascinating and very moving – stories in the Aboriginal culture are passed down through generations via dance, song, poetry, painting and prose, and more.
  • I was fascinated with the presentation by Adam Ford– he is such a showman! He made those old bones come to life with their own stories.
  • Sarah Bingle - Strengthening the cultural identity of communities through libraries has been involved in a bi-cultural partnership to link Indigenous children in the Cranbourne area with their culture, to foster their sense of belonging, to develop their early year's literacy skills and connect them with their local libraries.
  • The Hindsight presentation was very well – received, with lots of positive comments and requests for more information. My heartfelt thanks to Kate for putting in so much of the legwork for this seminar and beyond – the entire Hindsight experience has given us pause to reflect on our own lives, and I am very grateful to have been able to participate in such an experience.
  • Life on a Plate presentation by staff at Altona library was fascinating , bringing together a culture of foodies from every suburb within the LGAs, and giving support in putting together a multicultural cookbook reflecting those different cultures.

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