THE STORYTELLER Culture Curriculum Performing Arts

Project Summary

THE STORYTELLER story, song and dance project is a “Conceptual Framework” delivered through an investigative process that incorporates culture and curriculum through the performing arts to engage and explore an Aboriginal traditional language group, through the lens of THE STORYTELLER artifact (board game) Indigenous Knowledge System.

The methodology of this project is to have culture, curriculum and performing arts collectively collide together to create innovation and mindset shifts.

I propose this “strategy” is to enable local Indigenous community members a pathway to economic development and self-determination through a local "Train the Trainer" program which comes from an organic idea and provides knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal people, society and culture from a generic and non-political perspective through active learning pathways.

This process elaborates and grows an innovative concept, which supports Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and whose values collectively connect their being to their identity, place and belonging, which in turn, shares in the learning of our knowledge base from a traditional and contemporary perspective.

This project will continue expanding over the five years of recent researched and evidence-based prototypes which incorporates the culture, curriculum and performing arts settings from the engagement with educators and learners from the education and performing arts sector incorporating the national / State curriculum framework. 

Please see attached "Letter of Support"

ASPIRE Program


24 May 2019

Through the alignment of Glenn Shea’s The STORYTELLER, school students, pre-service teachers, academics and in-service teachers are provided with an opportunity to explore and understand histories, cultures and contexts facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  This unique and innovative program is delivered by Glenn Shea using an approach that engages students using applied learning pedagogies.

Additionally you have also succeeded in developing strong competencies of our pre-service teachers, which supports their skill development to meet the ATSIL Australian Professional Teacher Standard requirements.

More specifically pre-service teachers have learned:

Standard 1.4: Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

Standard 2.4: Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation

between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Glenn’s program is designed to engage participants in knowledge's and understandings of Aboriginal people, society and culture from a generic and non-political perspective through active learning pathways.  Students are encouraged to explore a specific theme from a cultural, performing arts approach and are mentored to develop a deeper understanding through a journey of the student’s self-discovery.  These learnings are then aligned with the Victorian and Australian curriculum. 

The Storyteller has been so successful that it is now embedded as a core unit in our Deakin University Aspire Program.  The Aspire program is a partnership between Deakin University, Northern Bay College, Newcomb Secondary College and Bellarine Secondary College.  Aspire aims to increase the aspirations of high achieving students using experiential learning.

Glenn co-developed with academics and teachers The STORYTELLER Aspire module.  This has introduced and engaged 510 school students in Indigenous learning since 2016.  The success of this module with our school partners has now seen some 20 in-service teachers and 32 pre-service teachers align this with their own professional learning plans.

‘The experience intentionally shifts participants from standard forms of Western learning – hierarchical and print based – to oral interactions and personal explorations.  To be fully appreciated, this needs to be experienced, so to consider the relevance of The STORYTELLER, an exploratory experience is offered.’ (G. Shea 2000)

Opportunities like this have been rare in our teaching and learning and we highly value the role The STORYTELLER plays in our Deakin Aspire program.

Yours faithfully,

Ms. Kellie Tobin and Anna Darcey.

Master of Applied Learning and Teaching Course Director

Director of Aspire / Coordinator of Aspire

THE STORYTELLER Indigenous Knowledge System project is not funded by state, territory or federal governments


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Glenn Shea 
North Geelong, VIC
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