Immigration: For A Better Life In Australia

A Musical Storytelling Show                                                                                                                                                                   Year 5, Immigration

This was a great incursion to support out Immigration unit. Jan engaged our students with his great storytelling abilities as well as his entertaining singing and variety of instrumental use. We look forward to having him return to our school next year. (Lisa Baker, Boronia Heights PS)

Enquiries/ Bookings


 Using stories, including Jan’s own family story of migration, songs, including Indigenous (with permission) and folk songs, and graphics and maps dating back to the the 13th century, Jan tells the fascinating story of people coming to the Australian continent. Including:

*  The ten thousand year journey out of Africa of the First Australians.

*  How Indigenous people migrated over the continent, with many languages.

*  The First Fleet and how that changed this continent forever.

*  Caroline Chisholm who brought many women to a male dominated colony.

*  The 1850s gold rush, the beginning of contemporary multi-cultural Australia

*  The Chinese gold diggers walking 800 k from Robe to the goldfields.

 * Refugees today, and how everyone came here for better life (though maybe not  the convicts).

Practical Details

Duration            60 mins plus questions                                                                                                                                                                                         Set up                  1 hour                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Cost                     $5 per student. $500 minimum per show, plus  travel to some locations.

Enquiries/ Bookings



The Australian History Show

Music and Story Show                                                                                                                                                                      Primary & Secondary

“The stories got the children hooked straight away…Jan was able to quickly build a rapport with the children and the frank and honest answers to questions was great…excellent use of common articles for music…every child wanted to be in the show. Overall a very entertaining and educational show. Jan demonstrates a diversity and richness of the Australian character.” (Sth. George Town PS)


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

Enquiries/ Bookings


Jan has an extensive repertoire of Australian stories and songs, written and gathered over his 52 years performing. Consequently he can take an Australian history show in many directions.  So let Jan know which areas/s you wish to focus upon, and he will build the show to your curriculum focus (if he can’t he’ll tell you, of course).

Entertaining, informative and fun, this song & story show involves students playing instruments and singing. As with all Jan’s work the Australian stories are ‘honest history’, exciting true tales, with meaningful question time at the end.


According to the requests from teachers, The Australian History Show can address many curriculum areas, both Primary and Secondary.

More Information re the show

  • Jan plays five-string banjo, harmonica, bodhran (Irish drum), ukulele, spoons, rhythm bones and tea-chest bass.

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

  • Previous shows requested by teachers have been

    • Australians of significance

    • Landmarks of Melbourne

    • Colonial rural life

    • Water and the Yarra River (with Maya Ward)

    • Migration (now a show on it’s own)

    • First Fleet, first contact (also a show on it’s own)

Practical Details

Duration:     60 mins plus questions
Set up:          1 hour
Cost:             $5 per student. $500 minimum, plus travel costs to some locations.

Enquiries/ Bookings