Community & Cultural Projects


The passing down of stories, legends and culture between generations is an oral tradition in Aboriginal culture. With the dwindling number of Elders (only 4.2% over the age of 65*) and the large number of young people coming through (49.7% under the age of 19*) cultural sustainability relies on innovative uses of technology.

When the Legendary Pacific Coast approached us to provide content for their tourism iPhone app and website, we saw an opportunity to share our stories with a large and diverse audience.  34 stories were recorded from 7 Aboriginal communities on the Mid North Coast.  The product is the first of its kind in Australia, with some of the stories shared in traditional language.

* 2011 Census Data

Case Study | 2012 Stories Project

With funding provided by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs we began this project in May 2011.

Working through our Local Aboriginal Land Councils, local Elders and community leaders stepped forward to share and record stories from their communities while young people received mentoring and training in recording processes at local radio stations.  This was a long and arduous process as there are many sensitivities in sharing stories and we thank each community for their generosity and commitment to this project.

The end product is a wide range of stories shared from seven local communities; from Aboriginal legends and morality tales to reminiscence of life in simpler times; from creation stories of key sites on the Mid North Coast to examples of the resourcefulness of Aboriginal people to keep culture alive.

Special thanks to Clark Webb from Real Be Cultural Engagement Consultancy, Greg Smith and Lea ??? from Forster Films and producer, Nancia Guivarra for their work on this project and to the local radio stations (Shar to name them) who provided their studios.

The Legendary Pacific Coast is the top tourism drive between the capital cities of Sydney and Brisbane.  The Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Stories is a free iPhone app that can be downloaded directly from the Legendary Pacific Coast website ( and then used while travelling up and down the coast.  By clicking on a particular town or GPS location, you can hear local stories as narrated by Aboriginal Elders and community leaders.

You can also hear the stories, view photos and get more information directly on the Legendary Pacific Coast website. Simply click on the Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Stories hand and then select a location/town on the map.

This product is the first of its kind in Australia, with some of the stories shared in traditional language.  Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance would again like to express our gratitude to all the narrators for their time and for sharing the community culturel knowledge and stories with us all.

We would like to thank the Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route Inc for this opportunity.


  • Karuah: Dave Feeney
  • Forster: Toni Paulson
  • Taree: Jeremy Donovan
  • Birpai (Port Macquarie): Uncle Bill O’Brien, Nathan Moran
  • Kempsey: Uncle Fred Kelly
  • Unkya (Macksville): Uncle Gary Williams
  • Coffs Harbour: Aunty Sue Hoskins, Aunty Maree Tarplee, Mark Flanders, Uncle Bing Laurie?


  • A total of 34 stories professionally recorded from 7 Aboriginal communities
  • Involvement of 11 Aboriginal narrators, x local radio stations
  • Training/mentoring of x Aboriginal students in recording
  • First iPhone app of its kind in the country
  • Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Stories and photos on Legendary Pacific Coast website


  • Documentation and passing on of culturally significant stories of people and places
  • Opportunities to promote Aboriginal culture to wide audience
  • Promotion of the Mid North Coast as the Saltwater Freshwater region, increasing pride and esteem of local Aboriginal communities

“It is so important to record stories for future generations to keep our stories alive within us and the Aboriginal community.

Dave Feeney, CEO, Karuah Local Aboriginal Land Council


Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

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