Collaborative Projects

Our words, our stories

2019 was the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages and Queensland Narrating Service collaborated on the Indigenous voices: Our Words, Our Stories Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages project with Logan City Council Libraries who received funding from State Library of Queensland and Telstra under the Deadly Digital communities funding. Over ten months participants explored a different Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language culminating in the recording of 11 language stories, which offer a unique local insight into language, heritage and knowledge, captured at this moment in time by community members. Guided by Robert Ah Wing, project co-ordinator, and guest language speakers, community members were invited to share their language and knowledge through the spoken word. QNS provided digital recording equipment and training to Robert and Cheryl so that they could facilitate the recording and assist those who wished to record their stories. QNS also provided the post-recording sound production, editing and digital mastering of the audio files that have been made available as podcasts, with visual overlays, from the Logan Libraries website.

Our words, our stories podcast series recorded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live, work or perform in the City of Logan. Please follow the link to listen to the wonderful stories, captured at this moment in time.

Click here to listen to Our words, our stories

Queensland Narrating Service acknowledges that language heritage and knowledge always remains with the Traditional Owners, Elders, language custodians and other community members of the respective language Nation.

Mackay Language Recording Workshop

In May, QNS staff travelled to Mackay with Des Crump and Rose Warsow, the State Library of Queensland’s Indigenous Languages Project team, to run basics in digital audio recording workshop with Yuwibara descendants.  QNS provided audio equipment and resources and established two mini recording studios in the “silent” rooms of the Dudley Denny Library.  After a general group training session covering basic recording skills, microphone technique and structure for recording the language words, we divided into two groups.  A staff member guided each group through the recording process, which was slow to begin with but as the participant’s confidence grew so did the pace of the sessions.  Over the course of the 3 days the participants recorded over 600 words from a wide range of categories including Kinship, Human Artefacts and Weapons, Dreaming and Spirituality, Mammals, Birds etc.  On the final day, 4 students from North Mackay State High School joined the workshop, and, being guided by the elders in pronunciation, they each recorded a few words.  We left a kit of audio equipment for the group to complete the remaining few word categories.  QNS was responsible for the post-recording sound production and processing, which included preparation of the audio files for uploading to the Miromaa language APP that will be used by the community.  The APP will comprise the print word and audio word in both language and English and an image.

For more information visit the SLQ Blog

Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts

QNS is currently collaborating with Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts on a project to train thirteen students in the skill of narrating. The students will learn to use audio recording software and equipment and develop microphone and voice technique skills specific to narrating. It is envisaged that these skills will compliment the students study program. Once the skills are accomplished and the necessary training completed the students will narrate a book written by an Indigenous author.

University of Queensland Press has very generously granted QNS copyright permission for a number of books written by Indigenous authors to be produced in audio format for the print disabled community. These audio books will then be promoted to public libraries around Australia.

The selected students have undergone the audition process and are currently in the initial stages of training at the QNS Studio.

Into the Future

QNS is currently working on establishing connections with Indigenous organisations and the broader community who may have a need, due to print disability, to access printed information in an audio format. As this aspect of our service is on demand volunteers would be engaged to transcribe the text into audio as and when the need arises. We hope that the links made with ACPA and the students would mean that QNS would be able to engage this group of volunteers as the need arises.

Sharing Australia’s Stories

Following on from the successful ‘Listen Up’ project, where two local people from the Wujal Wujal community were trained in the use audio recording equipment QNS collaborated on the ‘Sharing Australian Stories’ project assisting the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, the State Library of Queensland and the Wujal Wujal Community with the CD audio production of ‘Norman Baird – a spark within’ written by Kathleen Denigan. The audio CD accompanies the print copy of the book, which overcomes the literacy barriers. It is through the telling of stories such as Norman’s that the similarities between non-Indigenous and Indigenous communities, as much as the differences, can be highlighted, promoting the formation of an inclusive national identity.

Listen Up

In 2004 QNS embarked on a joint project with Indigenous Library Services (ILS) to enhance the collections of Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) in remote Queensland. The project aim was to work with remote Indigenous communities using resources available to Indigenous Library Services (ILS) and the skills of Queensland Narrating Service (QNS) to provide training to select, narrate, record, and make accessible through Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC), cultural stories, local history and other material of interest to Indigenous listeners.

The communities of Mabuiag Island in the Torres Strait and Wujal Wujal were chosen. ‘Listen Up’ Workshops were conducted in each community to train and skill Indigenous Knowledge Centre staff and volunteers in the techniques of narrating and recording relevant materials and to provide training in the use of recording equipment to increase the inclusiveness and self-determination of Indigenous people in remote Queensland. It was anticipated that elders may have a high level of interest and family/group/community stories will be favoured subjects.

The project strengthened the capacity of the two communities by building up the IKCs’ collection in consultation with community members about story and subject choice. The project also empowered people to actively participate in the selection and production of materials to be recorded in cassette and CD format then transferred into digital audio format for uploading to websites; thus making the audio accessible through IKC collections and in local and shared libraries. This promotes an interest in acquiring knowledge via the dual formats of print and audio materials.

Black Books

In 2000-2001 QNS received funding for the ‘Black Books’ Indigenous audio book narration project from the Brisbane City Council’s Cultural & Festival Grants Program. A selected number of published Indigenous novels were recorded by local Indigenous actors/narrators for access by readers with print disabilities through public library collections.