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)

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 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



First Nations. First Fleet. First Contact.

Music, Visual Art, Storytelling Show                                                                                                                                                      Year 4 (First Contact), 5, 6                                                                                                                                                                          Secondary Australian Studies/History 

“The students still talk about the poems, stories that you shared with us, on how the British explorers were received by the Indigenous Australians. It was fantastic to hear the two perspectives through your musical talent. The use of paintings/ visuals aided the students learning by connecting the stories that you told.” (Madeleine Paslis, Toorak PS)


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A music and story show, with archival images, about first contact and developing relationships between Indigenous Australians and the British colonists, from Captain Cook onwards, including:

*     Indigenous songs before colonisation (with permission).

*     Captain Cook shooting at Aboriginal people at Botany Bay/Kamay, and his makaratta – peace after a dispute – with the     Yimithir people at Reconciliation Rocks, Cooktown (we have the word kangaroo’ from the Yimithir word Gangarruu).

*  Convict songs – a pop song from the day (Botany Bay) and a genuine convict song (Jim Jones), about how they came here because of thieving (with background re gaols in England etc)

* Events of early Sydney: Indigenous and soldiers dancing together; small pox epidemic, war with Pemulwuy, Gov. Phillip speared.

*  How Victoria was different: first failed settlement, and how escaped convict William Buckley was welcomed by Wathaurong people as a spirit (Ngamadjidj) come back from the dead; how land speculator John Batman tried to buy land surrounding Port Phillip Bay.

* Jan’s personal story of his ‘first contact’ with Aboriginal people, as a boy in Gippsland.

* The 1984/6 story of the last Indigenous people to make contact with white Australians (Pintupi and Martu people in the NT and WA).

* A song to finish, Thank You for the Welcome, which sums it up in the context of continuing peace between black and white Australians.

Practical Details

Cost                 $5 per student. $500 minimum per show.  Plus travel in some locations.
Duration          60 minuets plus questions
Set up time      60 minutes

Enquiries/ Bookings