Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    New opportunities for indigenous Australians to share their stories

    8/01/2008 8:23 PM

    Aboriginal stories will be the focus of a new national forum celebrating indigenous Australian storytelling, which will be hosted by Western Australia in February.

    Culture and Arts Minister Sheila McHale said the inaugural National Indigenous Storytellers’ Forum represented a unique opportunity to bring together indigenous Australian film makers, theatre producers, musicians, writers and performers.

    “This Forum will promote WA as leader in the production and presentation of indigenous cultural product,” Ms McHale said.

    “This is an opportunity for artists, many of whom work apart, to make new contacts, identify industry issues and develop projects collaboratively.

    “We recognise that in almost every instance, an indigenous artist does not simply tell a story. Aboriginal people bring a specific cultural knowledge and expertise to their work, and often this crosses generations, disciplines, cultures and regions.

    “Aboriginal artists deal with many issues associated with their practice including intellectual property, cultural protocols and managing relationships with producers, publishers and editors, which I imagine will produce some lively discussion and debate at the forum.

    “The Storytellers’ Forum will also provide professional development opportunities for participants and will culminate in a ‘pitching session,’ in which Aboriginal artists will have the opportunity to pitch an idea for a project to a panel of industry professionals.”

    The 2008 National Indigenous Storytellers’ Forum will be held on February 18 and 19 at the Film and Television Institute in Fremantle as part of the lead-up to the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

    The forum is supported by Aboriginal Economic Development at the Department of Industry and Resources and the Film and Television Institute WA.

    This event is free for indigenous practitioners to attend, but registration is essential through the forum website at or by contacting the Department of Culture and the Arts on 9224 7300.

    Minister's Office - 9213 6900