Sunday, February 05, 2012

Riverview Stories and the Aboriginal Frog

Enjoying my participation in the Riverview School Artist in Residence project. I'm helping students enjoy the experience of telling stories and creating them.

There's a great photo and article about the project  on the Queensland Times newspaper website.

It was great to have Aunty Ruth Moffat drop in to listen to some of her grandchildren taking part. She told us some of her stories of working as a Teacher's Aid at Riverview (among other places). One of the little anecdotes she shared was of a young girl telling her that she had 'seen an Aboriginal frog' at her place. When Aunty Ruth asked her why it was an Aboriginal frog, the girl said, "That's because it's covered in dots."

The students loved the story of course so we added it to the story we created about a visit by the Riverview School Christmas Choir visit to Riverview Gardens Retirement Village.

I love this sort of working, being able to share stories and retell them in completely different  settings.

Mind you, you have to be quite flexible working in a school. We were recording our story as we created it and I had 4 students singing Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer as if they were performing at the retirement village. It sounded great. We advanced the story and got in the frog and I turned to our 'choir' to record them singing again but I had found that 3 of the 4 had left to catch buses. Our remaining choir member rose to the occasion however and sang our improvised song quite brilliantly.

Another quite wonderful adaption was finding out that one of the original choir members 'wasn't really in the choir' and that, despite a disability, had won the school comedy competition last year. I asked her if we could record her pretending to tell a joke at Riverview Gardens. She did so swimmingly:

'Why did the fish cross the sea?"


"To get to the other tide."

I'm hoping Aunty Ruth will come back and tell us some of her stolen generation story. The multipurpose hall at Riverview is named after her husband Uncle Jack who sadly passed away in 2008.

You can read some of her story on the Goodna State School website at:

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