WORKSHOP: At the launch of Aboriginals/Torres Straight Islander screen writers workshop that will take place in Lismore were (from left) Jon Bell, screenwriter and Aunty Ann Roberts, Widjabul elder.
WORKSHOP: At the launch of Aboriginals/Torres Straight Islander screen writers workshop that will take place in Lismore were (from left) Jon Bell, screenwriter and Aunty Ann Roberts, Widjabul elder. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Workshops encourage Bundjalung people to help shape future

"THE story tellers are the people that shape society."

That's what Jon Bell told an audience of writers, teachers and media.

"I want Bundjalung people to help to shape our future."

Mr Bell was talking at the launch of The Northern NSW Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Screenwriters Workshop at Lismore TAFE yesterday.

Mr Bell, writer of Gods of Wheat Street and Redfern Now and a Casino local, will be a guest lecturer when the three-day workshop starts in August.

Jill Moonie, general manager at Screenworks said it seemed like the right time to add to the successful indigenous stories being told, whether it's The Sapphires or Redfern Now.

"Looking around here, and especially having somebody like Jon Bell in our community and the talent that he has and the strength that he's got in his writing and where it's taking him," she said. "It seemed as though there must be so many more people in the community and there was an opportunity to do something."

The aim of the workshop, which sees Screenworks in partnership with the Australian Film Television and Radio School Indigenous Unit, is to assist story tellers to develop their skills through screenwriting.

Aunty Ann Roberts, a Widjabul elder who was in the audience, said she had always written and had a story she thought was suitable for screen.

"I always write and I write poetry too," she said. "I've always wanted to go into writing for television, to tell stories across episodes."

The workshop is open to Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders from as far south as Coffs Harbour, inland to Armidale and north to the border and is subsidised by the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Foxtel and Screen NSW.

Story telling

  • Runs from August 15-17 at Invercauld House, Lismore.
  • The workshop is residential with accommodation and
  • meals included.
  • For more information and to apply head to screenworks.com.au.

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