What an enriching and engaging session children and carers had with Merryn Trescott from Digi Youth Arts. Merryn began with an Acknowledgement of Country and shared her story of returning with her father to their country. Their country is Wiradjuri country in NSW, a river runs through their country and there are boundaries now across the land that weren’t always there, indigenous boundaries were rivers and mountains and now boundaries are roads and railroads and post-codes, invisible boundaries. Merryn shared how it is important to connect with ancestors when you are back on country and about cleaning up country and making it better for the next people.
The children became part of the story as Merryn laid out a meandering string to navigate the boundaries created by the string maze to collect items to bring back for their kin. Many of these young children chose to bring back one of life’s essentials, water, amongst firewood, eggs and eucalypt leaves.
The string then became a river with the children lying beside it and quietly pausing to think about the sounds of animals they might hear near a river, there were kookaburras, lorikeets and insects while Merryn was the wind resulting in a fabulous and quite realistic soundscape of river sounds. The children enjoyed this calming transportation to pause and reflect about nature.
A circle was then formed in the way many generations have formed circles to talk and communicate. A connecting game of transferring a clap around the circle resulted in a lot of hilarity developing a level of comfort for the children to then share their own stories of who they are and the place they come from. Many connections were formed in shared likes or pets and family position reinforcing the power of storytelling and how it brings people together to form connections.
Thanks Merryn for bringing the children into the story and making it alive through sound, movement, music, reflection and shared story-telling.
Merryn is a trans-disciplinary collaborator specialising in theatre and film. She is a proud Wiradjuri woman and her connection to culture informs her practice. Merryn aims to use her creative skills and practice in a socially engaged fashion to bridge the gap between indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Working with Digi Youth Arts has informed how she approaches projects with the correct cultural protocols. She believes this mindset is not only applicable to Indigenous Australians but to work created by people of all cultures and is an important framework to utilise during any artistic practice.
Storytime@Adderton is held every Thursday from 10:30am to 11:30am with a different storyteller each week sharing their culture, experience or background. Our storytellers come from a diverse range of communities that call Australia home from migrants, Indigenous Australians and people with lived experience of disability. Book your free Storytime spot for next Thursday!