Australian digital stories

QLD LogoI have been looking at digital stories lately. I found out that there are five North Queensland stories created as part of the Storylines – Q150 Digital Stories project. These are true life experiences.

Over the last week or so we have had the students trialling the Flip cameras. They found them very easy to use and a lot of staff have thought of ideas for using them in class. It has ranged from keeping a record of science experiments, filming sporting drills, recording monologues in drama and creating some short videos based around the Year 7 novel, Little brother, by Allan Baillie.

These Queensland stories are of historical interest and varied in their subject matter.  Our students could easily use the Flip cameras to capture important stories from their own families, suburbs or subject matters they are interested in. 

    1. Michael Brumby (Archivist) talks about the history of the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Archives (about the gold mining history of the area as far back as the 1880s).
    2. Professor Terry Hughes, (Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies) talks about being a coral reef ecologist.
    3. The legend of the Saint (on Castle Hill) The story of eight students from James Cook University in Townsville in 1962 who painted a picture of Leslie Charteris’ Saint on Castle Hill.
    4. Stories from the Q150 Steam Train – Belinda Jeffrey talks about her first published novel, Brown Skin Blue.
    5. Stories from the Q150 Steam Train – Matthew Condon talks about writing and the reasons he is travelling on the Q150 steam train.

Brown skin blueThe one I was most interested in was #4. with the author Belinda Jeffrey discussing Brown Skin Blue, a first-time novel. We recently purchased this story for our library and it offers a very Australian story to our boys. A story about a boy searching for his identity (and that of his father), the story of his family, his history. Barry survives his tough childhood and a neglectful mother to get a life-changing job on a crocodile jumping tour boat. It is a story about resilience after a painful childhood and is for more the mature readers (older teens).

In the videos Belinda talks about her ideas for the story. The biggest inspiration seems to have come from Belinda seeing a crocodile jumping tour in the Northern Territory. A family holiday in the Top End also had a powerful effect on our author, who has created the teenage character called Barry Mundy.