Hi, what’s your name?
Where do you hail from?
Sydney born and bred
Who do you work for?
Creative Producer of Mapping Frictions with Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS) and Freelance
Tell us a bit about you – how did you get to where you are today?
I am a Sydney-based writer and producer and I write about culture, gender, politics and human rights. My background is in online Journalism, anthropology and international development studies. While I have had a varied background, I have always been guided by storytelling for social activism. I have worked with the English online media in Chile, for an Australian performing arts publishing house, and later as a researcher for the World Bank’s Justice for the Poor team in Indonesia. For the past couple years, I have been working with community-based organisations in conflict and youth related areas in Western Sydney. My work – in anthropology, writing and media – has led me to speak at various conferences, panels and lecture on issues surrounding access to justice, inter-cultural dialogue and the importance of storytelling.
What are your career highlights?
Through my career I have had the privilege of interviewing and being welcomed into the lives of some remarkable everyday people who challenge and inspire. These include (but are no means limited to):
– An incredible group of women at PEKKA in Indonesia who through their own trauma now form the grassroots legal services that help other women negotiate domestic violence and divorce.
– William, who despite being a child soldier in Uganda and then arriving in Australia to be placed in detention, now spends his days caring for others as a nurse in Western Sydney.
– Ricardo, an esteemed Mexican photographer, who at eighty still does provocative nudes and asked if I’d like to star in one.
Who or what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
I’ve always been frustrated that I can’t pursue fifty different career paths in this lifetime. The thing that inspires me now is that while I can’t live them all, I get to meet such a wonderful range of people and speak to them and write about how they shape their lives– which is the closest I’ll get to living them myself.
Which other storytellers do you admire?
In terms of journalism I admire story platforms that move away from the destructive 24 news hour cycle and instead combine the value of strong storytelling and photo-journalism that gives back the humanity to journalism. Digital story platforms include Roads & Kingdoms, Narrative.ly and user generated photo feeds like Everyday Africa that aim to show the life the media doesn’t capture. As far as individual storytellers go there are so many that range in form and intent but include modern storytellers such as Arundathi Roi, Miranda July, David Sedaris, Tea Obreht, Amartya Sen, Dave Eggers and Nam Le.
What do you plan to share at Storyology?
I plan to share some stories from Mapping Frictions, a website dedicated to offering new multimedia content and celebrating untold stories from Western Sydney. Mapping Frictions provides a much needed and timely platform for local voices and the opportunity to re-invent storytelling about Bankstown and beyond. These are the stories from a place in Western Sydney saturated with a vibrant history and one of the most multicultural areas in Australia. Around one in three people in Bankstown were born in a non-English speaking country. These are people with diverse stories to tell. Despite this, the sensationalist tales that have dominated the media headlines have been of high crime rates, violence, and religious extremism. The project seeks to slow down the news cycle and promote a more complex understanding of life and stories in Western Sydney. Brought to you by BYDS, Australia Council for the Arts and Scanlon Foundation.
Where can we find you?
Vimeo and/or YouTube: /bankstownyouthdev/videos