Landmarks of Melbourne

Australian history incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Family & Local History

Landmarks of Melbourne
A song, story and slide show about Melbourne places, and the people and history of those places,  for 2/3 Local History

(Add pics 1 & 2 side by side here)

“The pupils were immersed in the ambiance Jan created as he ‘walked’ them through a timeline of events linked to the landmarks of Melbourne that make our marvelous city what it is today. The presentation provided pupils with a sense of place that connected them to the spirit of Melbourne from the early Kulin people and the story of European settlement.”     (Altan Riffat, Leading Teacher, Taylor’s Lakes PS)

Curriculum
For 2/3 Local History, plus year 1 if that works with school class structure

Cost
$5 per student. Minimum $500 per show
Travel/accom/road tolls may apply in some locations
Requires electronic whiteboard for projections

 (Add pics 3 & 4 side by side here)

Description


In this presentation Jan displays contemporary and historical images of Melbourne on an electronic whiteboard and sings songs and tells stories relating to each significant Melbourne place, taking students on a walk through the history of Melbourne – from pre-history with the creation of the Yarra and how Port Phillip Bay was once a grassy plain to familiar sights such as the MCG.

Included are Wurundjeri icons such as Bunjil the Creator, Melbourne Gaol where Ned Kelly was hung, Flemington Racecourse where Phar Lap rode, the Treasury Gardens and Captain Cook’s Cottage.

There is lots of student participation, singing and playing simple instruments. For each school I do my best to add pictures and stories of local features. For example at Taylor’s Lakes PS we included the nearby Organ Pipes National Park, and at Altona PS we included PM Julia Gillard’s house.

 

” As children remained transfixed, Jan covered the main features of our topic, including man-made and naturally occurring features. Jan’s performance was perfectly targeted to our grade 2 pupils. His capacity to educate was wonderfully complimented with captivating musical performance, theatrical personification and storytelling. He included pupils in the performance, which gave them the opportunity to experience things hands-on and share in the performance. Our topic is called Marvellous Melbourne, developed from our Aus Vels curriculum for level 2 (grade 2) history. We are looking forward to inviting Jan back again next year.”

Altan Riffat, Leading Teacher, Taylor’s Lakes PS

Wominjeka: The Reconciliation Workshop

Australian history incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Colonial, Indigenous & Reconciliation

Wominjeka: The Reconciliation Workshop

In this 90m minute workshop Jan teaches students to sing a song of respect for Indigenous people. The song contains many stories of black-white history which Jan tells with the aid of appropriate images. There is significant discussion and the song is recorded so students and choirs can sing it again at concerts, assemblies and Indigenous Welcome to Country.

Aboriginal,Torres Strait Islands and Australian flag
Lyrics below. Listen to song (link)

“The workshop sessions were invaluable, providing a context for students to understand the thousands of years of complex story within the song – inspiring dignity, awareness, understanding and appreciation as well as lots of laughs!” (Thias Sanson, Castlemine PS)

Curriculum
This can be for the entire school, and specifically for Year 4 (First Contact), 5, 6 and secondary
Australian Studies/History – Colonisation, impact on Indigenous communities, Reconciliation
& the on-going relationship between black and white Australians.

Cost
$5 per student with minimum $500 per workshop (90 mins)
Recommend 100 students per session
Travel/accom/road toll costs apply in some locations

Description

Wominjeka means ‘welcome’ in the Wurundjeri and Dja Dja Wurrung languages of Melbourne and central Victoria, and in this workshop I teach a song of respect for Indigenous people (listen & read lyrics below).

Within this musical experience students come to understand many stories of black-white contact, welcoming, conflict and reconciliation, including:

  • How Indigenous ceremonies compare with our customs of welcome and laws of visas and passports
  • Aborigines and First Fleet soldiers dancing together
  • The Woiwurrung welcome for John Batman when he came in 1835 to ‘purchase’ the land that is now Melbourne
  • The story of William Buckley, the convict who lived with Wathauring people for 32 years
  • The Stolen Generations story
  • Jan’s personal experiences with Aboriginal people, their hospitality and welcoming

As well as historical sources I also draws on the many book, radio, film, CD and music projects I’ve worked on with Indigenous Australians.

In this workshop students learn about respect for other cultures and to take responsibility, without guilt, for our history. I do not speak on behalf of Indigenous people

How It works

*   I teach students to sing the song & tell them the stories embedded in the lyrics
*   Students offer their ways of welcome and compare with Indigenous customs
*   Discussion of issues raised by the song and stories
*   Song is recorded to CD, which the school keeps

Schools may use the song later in concerts and other occasions, and as a dignified response to Indigenous Welcome to Country.

Recommendations, audio & lyrics below

Links
Enquiries & bookings
See choir singing song in 0pening Ceremony of the 2009 Castlemaine State Festival

Thank You for the Welcome
Words & music: Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky © 2009

Listen to song (Jan solo version):

Verse 1

Thank you for the welcome to your country
Thank you for the welcome to your land
Can we two walk as one underneath this sun
Thank you for the welcome to your land.

Verse 2

Thank you for the welcome to your country
Thank you for the welcome to your land
Can we two walk in peace by your shining creeks
Thank you for the welcome to your land.

Middle 8

Some of us came in chains, some with a Bible or a gun
Some to make our fortune some came for the sun
Some of us sought refuge to start our lives anew
In this in this old land
In this in this old land.

Chorus

Wominjeka, wominjeka, wominjeka (Wurundjeri & Jarra version)
Bin barre barne, Bin barre barne, Bin barre barne (Wathaurong version)

Middle 8

Some of you shed your blood when the whale boats hit the sand
Some of you danced with us, dancing hand in hand
Some of you were stolen from your home when you were young
In this in this old land
In this in this old land.

Verse 3

Thank you for the welcome to your country
Thank you for the welcome to your land
Can we two walk with love under the stars above
Thank you for the welcome …

Chorus

Wominjeka, wominjeka, wominjeka
Bin barre barne, Bin barre barne, Bin barre barne
Thank you for the welcome to your land.

Notes
Wominjeka means welcome in the language of the Wurundjeri people of the Melbourne area and the Dja Dja Wurrung people of central Victoria. Bin barre barne means welcome in the Wathaurong language of the Geelong area.

When sung in the country of other Aboriginal languages, the local word for welcome can be included. Please consult with local Indigenous people.

The dancing referred to in stanza three took place three days after the First Fleet arrived at Port Jackson in 1788. The white colonists were mapping the harbour, and a group of black Australians cheerfully called them ashore. A painting by Luit. Bradley records what then happened: under the trees by the beach, they all – black and white – held hands and danced.

 

Enquiries & bookings

 Recommendations

Dear Jan,

The whole school community was moved by the students singing your ‘Thank You For The Welcome’ song in Reconciliation Week.

Parents commented on how the 3-6 students were so focused on the singing, really enjoying it, with such integrity, as they sang it for the Jarra elders.

The two workshop sessions were invaluable, providing a context for students to understand the thousands of years of complex story within the song. On behalf of the teachers who had the privilege to sit in on your workshops, we thank you for engaging the students in such rich sessions of storytelling – inspiring dignity, awareness, understanding and appreciation as well as lots of laughs!

 Thais Sansom

Performing Arts Teacher, Castlemaine South Primary School

Dear Jan,

I want to express my thanks for your role in the 2009 Castlemaine State Festival. Your idea to dedicate a work of thanks in response to the Jarra Welcome to Country was thoughtful and progressive. The occasion was moving and profound. As the Minister for Arts Lynne Kosky announced, it was the best Welcome to Country she has ever experienced.

Again my thanks to all involved.

Martin Paten
Festival Director, Castlemaine State Festival

Dear Jan,

I am happy to provide a recommendation to Jan Wositzky’s ‘Wominjika: The Thank You Workshop’.

I’m a Wamba Wamba man (Swan Hill, Victoria) living near Castlemaine in central Victoria, on Jarra Country. Acknowledging Country is part of my protocol as an Aboriginal person, when I am performing on another person’s land.

The Castlemaine State Festival opening incorporated a Welcome to Country by Jarra traditional owner, Uncle Brien Nelson; myself giving an Indigenous acknowledgment of Uncle’s Welcome; and Jan’s song ‘Thank You for the Welcome’ – a non Indigenous thank you and acknowledgment of Country.

As I said during that ceremony, “It takes someone special to write a song like this one”, and Jan has done something special here.  I believe Jan’s proposal to run workshops in schools which aim to teach this song and it’s message of thank you and acknowledgment of Country, should be taken up by all schools.  It provides an important way, through music, that we can better understand our place in this land.

Ron Murray – Wamba Wamba
Enquiries & bookings

Wominjeka: The Thank You Workshop – Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky at Uluru

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Author Workshop

Australian history/English incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Storytelling & Writing

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Author Workshop

Curriculum
Secondary
Australian Studies/History/English
Jan has written books, shows, radio and television documentaries, audio tours and more.
here he tells stories from his writing and talks about how he goes about his work.
(See writing CV below)

Cost
$3.50 per student with minimum $350 per workshop (60 mins)
Travel/accom/ road toll costs may apply in some locations

 

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Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Author Workshop

I have been the author/writer of eight books, twelve radio features, two television documentaries and several stage shows, many of them dealing with life stories. (See Writing CV below)

In this workshop I talk to students about my experiences as a writer across these various forms, including:

  • What inspires and where his ideas come from
  • Learning to write on the job
  • Story research
  • Storytelling
  • My passion for sharing quality Australian stories
  • The importance of respect for other people’s stories, particularly Indigenous stories
  • Oral literature on the page, and the process of oral history.
  • The publishing/broadcasting experience
  • Reading and performing pieces from his work

In this presentation I draw on forty years of performance experience to deliver a session that is educational, highly entertaining and inspiring.

 

Practical Details:

Curriculum: For all years of Secondary English. Teacher’s should talk with Jan about their particular agenda.

Duration: 60 mins.

Numbers:  Maximum  of 120.

Cost:  $3.50/ student, minimum of $350 per session. (Plus travel/accom/ road toll costs to some locations.)

Bookings/Enquiries: Phone: 0417 332 065,  Email

 

 

WRITING CV

Books (Writer/editor/co-editor)

2014  The Monster Meeting Book: Manuscript that tells the story of how Eureka began with the 1851 Monster meeting on the Forest Creek diggings, now Chewton near Castlemaine.

2011 Me & Phar Lap: the remarkable life of Tommy Woodcock: Best-selling life of the young man who looked after and loved the champion racehorse, Phar Lap.

1996 Born Under the Paperbark Tree (with Yidumduma Bill Harney): Life story of Wardaman songman, elder and master of all trades, Yidumduma Bill Harney .

1989 In The Footsteps of Our Ancestors  (edited with Rachel McDinny): Story of Yanyuwa & Garrwa Indigenous communities, NT, reclaiming culture by taking younger generations to country.

1992 I Was Born: The Selby Court StoriesLife stories of people living in special accomodation home.

1984  The Fruitcake of Australian Stories (edited with Deborah Sonenberg): Collection of short stories and poems.

1980 The Bushwackers Band Dance BookBest-selling bush dance instruction manual.

1978 The Bushwackers Australian Song BookBest-selling volume of Australian folk songs.

Television Documentaries (Script writer)

1990 Buwarrala Akarriya – Journey East (ABC TV):Award-winning program on journey of Yanyuwa and Garrwa Indigenous communities of Borroloola, NT, taking younger generations on a footwalk to traditional country. (Australian Teacher’s of Media 1990 awards for Best Documentary and Best Australian Production.)

1992 Aeroplane Dance (SBS Television, 1992): Story of Aboriginal search for lost American airmen in World War Two.

(Awards include: 1997 International Festival of Ethnographic Film (RAI) Winner – Basil Wright Prize; 8/11/1997 International Festival of Ethnographic Film (RAI) Winner – Basil Wright Prize; 1997 Festival Internazionale del Film Turistico Finalist – Ethnography Category; 1995 Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo.)

Radio Features & Stories (Writer/presenter)

2009    Bilarni (Hindsight, ABC Radio National): Life story of W.E. (Bill) Harney (1895-1962)

2006 The Treaty (Hindsight, ABC RN): Program on John Batman’s 1835 ‘treaty’ with the Wurundjeri-willam clan of the Port Phillip area.

2006 The Music of Gallipoli (Music Deli, ABC RN & ABC Local Radio): Feature on the Turkish, Maori and Australian music of Gallipoli, linked with personal story of performing at Anzac Cove.

2005 The Tommy Woodcock Story (Verbatim, ABC RN): Feature program and syndicated segments on life of Phar Lap’s strapper, using interviews with Tommy Woodcock.

2004 Honouring Mother – The Nelly Darby Story (Hindsight, ABC RN): Feature program on one Victorian Aboriginal Stolen Generation family, the Darby’s.

2002 A Long Lunch With Kenneth Cook (Books & Writing, ABC RN): Program on life and writing of Australian author Kenneth Cook, most famous for his novel Wake In Fright.

2002 The Ants That Ate Plutarch (Books and Writing, ABC RN): Program on the unique library at Borroloola, NT – a 4000 book Edwardian library in a town without a road.

2002 Ned’s Noggin (The Law Report, ABC RN): Feature program on the whereabouts of Ned Kelly’s skull, stolen from Old Melbourne Gaol in the mid ’seventies.

2002 Anzac Day Promotions (ABC Local Radio): Writer-presenter of 10 three minute stories on Australians at war.

2002 Wongar (Books & Writing, ABC RN): Program on author B. Wongar, a Serbian born author with a life deeply intertwined with Aboriginal people.

1996 Yapucha (Music Deli, ABC RN): Original and extravagant shaggy dog story of a big adventure ‘up north’.

1991 The Aeroplane Dance (for Music Deli, ABC RN):  Feature program on WW2 story from the NT, which became Television documentary of same name.

1990 Buwarrala Akarriya-Journey East (Music Deli & Free Range, ABC RN): Program on music of Yanyuwa people in NT, based on the recordings made for the television documentary of the same name.

1989 The Music Tree (and Jack the Dancer) (Bushfire Radio, CAAMA): Five-part serial, with original story of Jack the Dancer, for remote Aboriginal communities in Central Australia.

1987 Travellers Tales (ABC RN): Fifteen original short stories for weekly broadcast.

Stage Shows (Writer/performer)

2014 Bilarni  Storytelling theatre on life of WE (Bill) Harney (1895-1962)

2007 The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley  (La Mama): Storytelling theatre on life of William Buckley (1780-1856).

2003 Lest We Forget  (Galliopli/Anzac Day; Castlemaine State Festival): Turkish-Australian Gallipoli story.

1996-8 Whitefella learns to Dance (Brunswick Institute; toured Victoria, NSW): Original one man show about a whitefella who ‘goes black’ and gets egg on his face.

 

Home (is with my family)

Australian history incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Family & Local History

HOME (Is With My Family)

A music and story workshop for Preps – 1/2 who are studying Family & Local History.

“Thanks so much for coming to our school last week,
the kids absolutely loved it and so did our grade one teachers.”

Rebecca Loomes, Trinity, Narre Warren

Curriculum & Cost
P-1/2 Family & Local history  (suitable for up to 100 students)                                                                                                                                                                            $5/student with $500 minimum per show
Travel/accom/road toll fees apply in some locations

Description

With my banjo I teach a song about family, tell my family stories from the song and talk about how to question parents and grandparents about your family story.

Then with two students – a boy and a girl – we write and all sing a couple of verses about their particular family, and with the class then write and sing a verse about their school and local district.

These songs, as well as another song about how we’ve all got a story to tell, are recorded for the class to keep.

In addition to the songs I tell a story or two about my local area of Castlemaine in central Victoria –  maybe a gold rush story or a Dja Dja Wurrung story of volcanoes – talk about how students can research local stories, and if possible, tell a local story I have found – for example, if the school is near Port Phillip Bay I could tell the story of how before the sea rose 7000 years ago that the bay was once a open, grassy plain.

Later, using the recordings of the day and song structure templates, the teachers and students can write and develop further on the themes of the workshop.

Listen to HOME is with my family)

THE SONG – Jan’s original version
Words & Music: Jan Wositzky

Home, is with my family
You can live on top of a mountain
You can live along the sea
But home, is with my family.

I’m proud of my home, for me it is the best
And you can make it your home, if you need to rest
Full of friends and family, a peaceful place at night
I’m proud of my home, for me it is alright.

My name is Jan and I live in Castlemaine
It’s a town up the country, you can get there on the train
In the bush around about they once found lots of gold
Maybe I will find some too before I grow too old

When I was a little boy I sailed across the sea
On a boat to Australia with my family
And I met King Neptune he was sitting on the deck
|He came out of the water with seaweed ‘round his neck.

My Dad was Czechoslovak, my mother was a Scot
My uncle was Hungarian, we are a mixed up lot
My kids are partly Jewish
And my full name is Frantisek Jan McMurray Wositzky.

Lyrics written by kids from Glenorch PS
Words & Music: Jan Wositzky
Verses by Glenorchy PS

Home is with my family
You can live on top of a mountain
You can live along the sea
Home is with my family

Now I live in Glenorchy, a peaceful place to be
By the big, long river that we all love to see
The people here are friendly, we all have a house
It doesn’t have much traffic, it’s quiet as a mouse

Running down the east side we see the railway line
The farmers bring their grain there when the season’s fine
The town is bathed in sunlight, at school the kids plant trees
And they do a good job to bring us the birds and bees

Now I live in Glenorchy, the mail comes to the hall
We sing and dance a lot there, the closest town is Stawell
So if you need a place to live Glenorchy is the spot
It’s everything in our lives, the weather can be hot

And I’m proud of my home, for me it is the best
And you can make it your home, if you need to rest
Full of friends and family, a peaceful place at night
I’m proud of my home, for me it is alright

Home is with my family
You can live on top of a mountain
You can live along the sea
Home is with my family

Enquiries/ Bookings

The Australian History Show

Australian history incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
General Australian History

The Australian History Show

A song & story show that covers a wide range of Australian history topics,
tailored to suit your curriculum focus.

Please ask and I’ll build the show accordingly.

Curriculum
P-6 and secondary
Cost
$5 per student with a minimum of $500 per show
Travel/accom/road toll fees apply in some locations

Cover illustration of Jan’s book ‘A Fruitcake of Australian Stories                                                                

In The Australian History Show is made up of songs and stories from all periods of Australian history – entertaining, informative and fun, with myself playing five-string banjo, harmonica, bodhran (Irish drum), ukulele, spoons, rhythm bones and tea-chest bass, and using props, costumes and artefacts I’ve collected on my travels.

Students are always involved – in discussion, singing and playing simple instruments.

The show varies according to the curriculum focus of the class. This focus can be general Australian history – anything from convict ballads, Indigenous songs and stories (with permission) to original contemporary material – or we can narrow the focus to particular areas.

So teachers, please ask and I’ll let you know how I can fit the bill.  For example, the following topics have been requested by teachers. :

  • Black-white history & First Contact & First Fleet
    Songs and stories I’ve learnt from Indigenous friends; researched from events such as the 1966 Gurindji walk-off and the First Fleet; my personal experiences working with Indigenous people; excerpts from my theatre show The Go-between: William Murrungurk Buckley; material from radio and television documentaries I’ve made with Indigenous people, and from my biography with Wardaman elder, Yidumduma Bill Harney.

  • Australians of Significance
    Songs and stories that tell of Capt. Cook (even though he wasn’t Australian) to writers such Henry Lawson; his mother Louis Lawson, also known as the ‘mother of the vote for women’; the female immigrant’s friend, Caroline Chisholme; John Batman, who started the ‘land rush’ to Melbourne; Gough Whitman and Vincent Lingiari who marked the beginning of Australians understanding of Land Rights with the famous photo with the handful of sand; poets Mary Gilmore and CJ Dennis, Ned Kelly and more.

  • Colonial Times
    As is well-known, I was a founder of Australia’s most famous bush band, The Bushwackers, specializing in Australia’s folk repertoire of 18th, 19thand early 20th century Australia. From this repertoire – be it convict material, men and women in the bush, the bish and the city, and much more – I can fashion a show to suit your studies.

 

 

 

 

Jan Wositzky’s Storytelling Workshop

Australian history/English incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
Storytelling & Writing

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Storytelling Workshop

Curriculum
Primary & Secondary
Australian Studies/History/English
In this workshop Jan tells stories, explains how they work
and gets the students making up their own stories.

Cost
$5 per student with minimum $500 per workshop
Travel/accom/ road toll costs may apply in some locations

 

The workshop can last between 60 – 90 minutes, and can be varied according to the needs of the school. Number can very from 25 – 100, also depending on what the school want to get out of the workshop.

“The guest storyteller at our Junior School Arts Festival, Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky, was so entertaining and a great presenter! Jan was very flexible and he was able to adapt his workshop formats to suit our requirements and mould his sessions to best cater to multi aged groups of 5 – 12 year old girls, with approximately 28 girls in each group. Not an easy task, and with only one day’s notice! Over the course of the 3 days, Jan presented 8 storytelling workshop sessions, and included music and humour in every session. Thank you Jan for taking part in our Arts Festival and for doing such a fabulous job!”
                                                                                                                                              Marissa Caluzzi, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar

Workshop description below

 

Continue reading “Jan Wositzky’s Storytelling Workshop”

Gold in the Heart

Australian history incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
1850s Gold Rush

GOLD IN THE HEART

Music & story theatre

Through the adventures of a gold digger, Denis O’Reilly, students are taken into the Victorian gold rushes of 1851-4. Utilizing digger’s songs, music and poetry, documents, maps, flags, newspaper reports and gold-seekers tales, Gold in the Heart tells of the European, Chinese and Indigenous (Dja Dja Wurrung) experience, and journeys into the politics of the government’s Gold Licence, the hitherto unknown history of the 1851 Monster Meeting which set alight the diggers demand for a vote that led to Eureka and democracy in Australia. 

                        

Reconstructed flag from 1851 Monster meetings at Forest Creek (Chewton, Castlemaine) and Bendigo Red ribbon Agitation; original Eureka Flag, 1854

Thank you for your performance at Cheltenham Primary School.  It was much enjoyed by staff and students alike. You encapsulated the aspects of the gold rush (geographical, social historical, economic and political) all in one, which was great. Sometimes the students need to see a play/ performance rather than something ICT focussed to get a real immersion in a topic. (David Senior, Senior School Coordinator, Cheltenham PS)

See below for more teacher’s recommendations

Curriculum
Year 4- 6 (NAT 5: Colonies) & suitable for secondary

The Practical Stuff
60 minutes + questions, 60 min set up

Five students play roles in the show, with scripts sent ahead.

Cost
$5 per student with a minimum $500 per show

Travel/accom/ road toll costs apply in some locations

CONTENT DETAILS

Through the adventures of a gold digger, Denis O’Reilly, paints a vivid picture of the Victorian gold rushes of 1851-4. Utilizing digger’s songs, music and poetry, documents, maps, flags, newspaper reports and gold-seekers tales, Gold in the Heart tells of the European, Chinese and Indigenous experience, and journeys into the politics of the government’s Gold Licence, the hitherto unknown history of the 1851 Monster Meeting which set alight diggers demand for a vote that led to Eureka and democracy in Australia Areas covered include:

  • Conditions on the goldfields
  • How the diggers protests against the government license and police brutality began in 1851, three years before Eureka, with the Monster Meeting of 15,000 diggers at Forest Creek, now Chewton near Castlemaine
  • Then continued through Bendigo’s 1853 Red Ribbon Agitation
  • And erupted into bloodshed at Eureka/Ballarat in 1854

The flag from the 1851 Monster Meeting at Castlemaine and the 1853 Red Ribbon Agitation at Bendigo.It’s a story of how ordinary people dreamt of a better life and of democracy, and how some made it rich whilst others died, the diggers all the while singing of a ‘good time a coming’.

Because Jan lives in Castlemaine, where the gold rush history is etched into the landscape, he brings his personal experiences into this show.

Teacher’s Recommendations


“Our Grade 5 students thoroughly enjoyed Gold In The Heart as it brought the Gold Rush to life in a way that I never could! Plenty of catchy songs, engaging content and opportunities for children to participate in a witty, educational script. Overall it was an afternoon well spent and I’d highly recommend it while studying this era in Australian history.”
                                                                                                                                                             Cian Hassett, Courteney Gardens PS

“A wonderful combination of characters, music, information and amusing drama, with students joining the performance, taking on various character roles and actively discovering the amazing journeys of many immigrants who arrived on our shores during the gold rush.  It was something students and staff all enjoyed.”
                                                                                                                                                           Cathy Samson, Castlemaine North PS

Thanks again for performing at our school last week.  It was an enjoyable and most informative show and  we all gained lots of new insight into life on the gold fields.  I hope that you can come again in a couple of years time.  (Jenny Penaluna, Daylesford Secondary College)

Thank you for your performance at Cheltenham Primary School.  It was much enjoyed by staff and students alike. You encapsulated the aspects of the gold rush (geographical, social historical, economic and political) all in one, which was great. Sometimes the students need to see a play/ performance rather than something ICT focussed to get a real immersion in a topic. (David Senior, Senior School Coordinator, Cheltenham PS)

Thank you so much for performing at our school yesterday.  I was at school for tutoring this afternoon and I was surrounded by kids who couldn’t wait to tell me everything about your show.  They loved it!  They told me about the songs and instruments and one of the teachers mentioned how inspired they were to write about the gold fields in their afternoon class.  All in all they had a fantastic time! (Elaine Keely, St Mary’s, Cohuna)

The content of your show really complemented our gold rush unit. We especially enjoyed the musical element and it was great to get the kids involved…you covered so much good content that I really think there was something for everyone, and there was plenty of material for the teachers to draw on back in the classroom. The way you have incorporated so many different perspectives into your show is really excellent. Thanks so much for coming to see us. (Brigid Little, St John’s PS, Frankston)

 

Canakkale. Gallopoli. Lest We Forget

Australian history incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools
World War One, Gallipoli

ÇANAKKALE. GALLIPOLI. LEST WE FORGET.

Music & story theatre

Gallipoli re-told with Turkish & Australian song, poetry and story.
Contextualised within Australian involvement in WW1.
(Çanakkale (pronounced ‘Cha-nak-ali’) is what Turks call Gallipoli.)

 

‘Mehmet’ the Turkish soldier and Australian digger


“It was a brilliant production and we will certainly book Jan again. I was very impressed with how Jan involved our students in the presentation. Jan had total control, they were silent, listened attentively, and the questions were deep and meaningful.” (
Billanook College, Victoria)

The Practical Stuff
Year 5/6 & secondary (NAT year 9: Modern World)
60 mins + questions / 60 min set up
Five students play roles with scripts sent ahead

Cost
$5 per student with minimum $500 per show
Travel/accom/road toll costs may apply in some locations

             Enquiries/ Bookings

CONTENT DETAILS

Çanakkale. Gallipoli. Lest We Forget

Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky at Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne.

The show is structured around four events: the April landing, the May truce, the August offensive and the December evacuation.

The Australian material comes from poets CJ Dennis and Mary Gilmore, the ABC archives of Bill Harney, songwriters Ted Egan and Eric Bogle, and traditional songs from the time.

The Turkish material is drawn from poets Nazim Hikmet and Bulent Ecevit, traditional song, and from the words of Turkish hero, Mustafa Kemal Attaturk.

This historical content is laced together by Jan’s experiences performing at Gallipoli.

By bringing both sides together in Çanakkale. Gallipoli. Lest We Forget our Anzac legend is enlarged by the Turkish legend of how enemy soldiers found respect for each other, and how that respect led to the friendship that Australia and Turkey share today. This performance also questions the veracity of this contemporary story.

Students are also asked to think about questions such as was Gallipoli the ‘birth of a nation?’, and to compare Australia’s Gallipoli identity to Turkey’s, via Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, the commander against the Anzacs who became their President.

 

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The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley

Australian history incursions: shows & workshops for primary and secondary schools

The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley
Story theatre with lots of visual content
Colonial and Indigenous Victoria

William Buckley when he re-joined white society, 1835

Brief description
Through the amazing story of escaped convict William Buckley (1780 – 1856) this show tells the story of the first attempted white settlement on Port Phillip (1803), of the Wathaurong people of the Geelong with whom Buckley lived for 32 years as Murrungurk,  and then of Melbourne’s beginning (1835-7) – where Buckley became the go-between, dealing with John Batman and his attempts to buy the land off the Wurundjeri people, and the other colonists such as John Fawkner. 

“Highly useful! Gave children a unique perspective of how Melbourne evolved and of the uneasy relationship between cultures. The children listened intently and Jan had their attention for the full session. We loved the printed images on shirts and signposts to reinforce the information.” (Adam Watman, Caulfield Grammar)

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Curriculum
Year 4-6 & secondary
NAT 5 (First Contacts) & 5 (Colonies)

The Practical Stuff
60 mins + questions / 60 min set up
Three students play roles with scripts sent ahead

Cost
$5 per student with minimum $500 per show
Travel/accom/road toll costs apply in some locations

” A breezy and brilliant piece of troubadour theatre. As with the very best of theatre ‘Buckley’ covers its tracks so well its agenda remains a secret – buried beneath layers of entertainment, comedy, story and song. A show worth tracking.”           (Herald-Sun)

Full Description

This show deals with Indigenous Australia and European colonisation of the Port Phillip area, from 1803 – 1837, including the founding of Melbourne.

It does so by tracking the life of convict William Buckley (1780-1856), including:

  • Buckley’s 1803 escape from Victoria’s first attempted settlement at Sorrento.
  • Buckley’s 32 years with Wathaurong Aboriginal people, where he became ‘Murrungurk’.
  • Buckley’s two years as the go-between in Melbourne’s foundation (1835-7), employed as Interpreter between the Port Phillip Aborigines and the colonists – John Batman, John Fawkner and co.

Drawing on Buckley’s 1852 biography, official documents, contemporary Buckley literature, Wathaurong language and Jan’s research in ‘Buckley country’, The Go-Between: William Murrungurk Buckley is a well-researched ripping yarn, with a quirky visual display of familiar Melbourne street signs and historical images.

It’s exciting, wild frontier history, such as we rarely hear about Victoria, and pulls no punches about the characters, ironies and violence of the time, without fear or favour to black or white, including:

*   Batman’s land deal or ‘treaty’ with the Woiwurrung people
*   Fawkner’s rivalry with Batman and his antipathy to Buckley
*   How Derrimut foiled a planned massacre of the colonists
*   The first killings of settlers and subsequent massacre of Aboriginals at Werribee
*   The disappearance of solicitor Gellibrand, who wrote Batman’s deed, and the sabotage of Buckley’s
search for him by black and white interests.

And in telling this oft-hidden history, students are asked to consider many questions about black-white relations that are as pertinent today as in the 1800’s.

And it’s from William Buckley that we have our saying, You’ve got Buckley’s – but its origin will surprise!

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Teacher’s Notes
Enquiries/ Bookings

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Jan’s Family Show

Jan’s Family Show

“Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky’s Family Show is a joyful and intriguing hour of music, storytelling and history.

Jan draws the audience in with his warmth and humour, delighting adults and children alike with arcane skills such as spoon-playing and stick puppetry. No-one even notices they’ve been learning something about Australia’s culture while they’re itching to have a go up on stage in Jan’s spontaneous band.”

Jennifer Andersen, La Mama for Kids coordinator, 2007-2010

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