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Buckley: The Go-Between is storytelling theatre. It tells the story of escaped convict William Buckley, his 32 years with the Wathaurong, and as the go-between in the establishment of Melbourne.
Buckley: The Go-Between 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 Murrangurk. * 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’, Buckley: The Go-Between 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. Jan has researched the archives, 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 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 both black and white interests. And in telling this oft-hidden history Jan asks students 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!
Storyteller, writer and musician Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky understands the meaning of this year’s Book Week theme – Australia: Story Country. To Jan this is a land of stories, and for 45 years he’s has been travelling and writing best-selling books, recording CDs, performing acclaimed shows, producing audio tours and writing radio and award-winning television documentaries – all […]
Lest We Forget – Hic Unutmaya Cagiz is music/storytelling theatre, with a unique re-telling of the Gallipoli story, using both Turkish and Australian material, and contextualized within WW1. Using both Turkish and Australian song, poetry, oral history, maps and political statements, Jan tells two sides of the Gallipoli story, linking them with his personal experiences from […]
Gold In The Heart is music and storytelling theatre, telling the broad story of the 1850’s Victorian gold rush and highlighting the diggers conflict with the Government. In Gold In The Heart Jan tells the story of the 1850’s gold rush through the adventures of an Irish gold digger, Denis O’Reilly. With digger’s songs, music and poetry, documents, […]
A free-wheeling hour of entertainment for all ages that bounces along from musical fun and dancing to hushed storytelling, stick puppets and daggy theatrical sketches, with Jan on 5-string banjo, mouth organ, spoons, bones and ukulele. Meet the World’s Best Violin (or Vile Din) Player, stick-puppet Jack the Dancer and his friend the dancing cow, […]
Jan has a suitcase of items collected on his Australian travels, and with each item there is a song or story, such as: * a photo of Jan’s refugee family for a song of migration * a conch shell leads to the story of the origin of fire * a piece of quartz rock inspires […]
The Storyteller’s Guide to Australia is a multi-themed presentation of music, song and story, covering many areas of Australian history and heritage. All presentations have strong song, music and story elements, and students participation, playing simple instruments, singing and taking part in sketches. Teachers may like to contact Jan and discuss a particular approach to […]
In Wominjika: The Thank You Workshop Jan teaches students to sing a song called Thank You for the Welcome, to be used as a meaningful and dignified musical response to Indigenous Welcome to Country, school concerts and other occasions. As students learn the song Jan tells them the black-white history stories embedded in the song. Format It takes a […]
In the Singing Australia Workshop Jan teaches students to sing and perform Australian songs relating to our history and culture. Format The workshop may run over one or two days, with up to 4-6 class groups over a day. Each class learns 1-2 songs, depending on time available and age level. There is a show-and-tell performance at the […]
Writing & Music Residency – Lee Fox & Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky. This workshop/residency is all about literacy. Jan and Lee involve students in various activities that link the Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening domains of the English curriculum, and combine this with the music, poetry and performance areas of the Arts curriculum. So it’s an all […]
Jan’s Story Workshop is all about storytelling: how stories work and to inspire students and teachers to use stories in their work. Jan’s Story Workshop is available in two parts, each 60 minutes, but can be varied according to the needs of the school. In Part One Jan tell stories and talks about storytelling, and in Part […]