Mentee experiences

We carry out a mentoring program for Indigenous people across Australia.  On Country we support young people identified by community as emerging cultural leaders and/or producers, transferring a range of new arts media skills that build capacity for recording, documenting and interpreting important cultural stories.  We also mentor, train and support young people already working with local or regional media and arts organisations as well as community language workers. Mentees often go on to lead language work and cultural media production with SharingStories and independently.

Emily Johnson

“My name is Emily Johnson and I am a Barkindji and Birri Gubba woman originally from Broken Hill NSW, my father is from Wilcannia, Far Western NSW and my mother is from Cherbourg, QLD.  As a visual artist in my spare time, I have often created illustrations and paintings. Working with the SharingStories team, I have started creating digital designs and illustrations through gaining skills in creative tools like Photoshop and InDesign.  With this additional training, I hope to continue and develop my career in the arts and design industries.

Nathan May

My name is Nathan May, I was born in Darwin NT  and I’m part of the Arabunna clan.  Liz Thompson rang me and asked me to come down for an experience with SSF, once I got the call up I was excited and happy, I got lots of new experiences in animation and sound,  I’d never done it before, normally I’m in the studio. This has been the first time I’ve done  community work , in an Aboriginal community. I’ve been to many but  doing a community project with a story, I haven’t done that before… I’ve met a lot of amazing people and  I’ve been reconnecting with a lot of family through this work.  I experienced a lot of new things, connecting with  the sharingstories crew, the community as well, its been amazing experience…


I think that it’s important for young people to learn about culture, the kind of impact it has, I was born in Darwin and culture thru my grandfathers side is a bit lost… my grandfathers country was somewhere in Daly River and we was a long way from that community and I never got to learn a lot of my culture. I think it’s very important for young indigenous kids to know their stories, to know where they come from. …we don’t want to lose the stories of our language and culture and that’s happening a lot now.


I’ve never worked with organic sounds and played around with them like I have during the SharingStories programs, normally I’m doing instrumental and vocals , it’s different to what I usually do it’s a new skill that I need…it’s a top skill to have the stuff that the other facilitators have taught me and will add to what I can do in my own music and career. I’d love to do more facilitating in community. I’m stuck in studio all day when I’m producing music, being out in community you got to be sociable, you got to have good communication, know how to work with kids.


A lot of the kids  are very engaged, because they want to learn this stuff and learn their stories and tell their stories through animation and sound, they work hard, especially the younger boys, they huddle around me and see what I’m  doing as I’m another indigenous male and they look at someone like that and think ‘hey this guy is working as a facilitator and media producer and musician, maybe I can do it too’. The kids have really engaged with me… I connected really well, it makes me really sad when I have to leave, I really want to keep connecting with these kids and working with SharingStories…The kids caught onto our stuff and they want to keep the story going and their culture strong.

I’m here with Nyikina Mangala Elder Darraga Watson and other SharingStories facilitators on Nyikina Country working with the community to document the story of Woonyoomboo.

Helping young people from Jarlmadangah Community record stories on Country being shared by senior Nyikina custodian Annie Nayina Milgin.

This is a photo of me and Darraga Watson, senior Nyikina Mangala Custodian, everyone is getting ready to do the Walangari Dance at Jarlmadangah Community.

The whole crew at the end of the Jarlmadangah program in the West Kimberley. One of the greatest 2 weeks I’ve ever had working with Sharing Stories and the community to create an iBook.

Christine Motatj Garawirrtja

My name is Christine Motatj Garawirrtja and I’m from the Gupapuyŋu clan and I live on Elcho Island. I’m interested in making a career in film and multi media and have been working with the Aboriginal Resource & Development Services (ARDS) and Strong Traditions on Galiwinku . During the Wägilak Project that I went on with SharingStories Foundation, we went to a lot of different Homelands recording the songs and stories from Roy Wunupingu and the Wägilak Clan, they were different to Galiwinku Homelands where I live, we don’t have the Wägilak Clan in Galiwinku. I learnt a lot about history, how the Wägilak connect to one another and how they are connected to me. I learnt about a different techniques and how to use two different steadicam rigs that allowed us to take long shots and move freely with the camera.  I learnt something about the idea of single shot cinema from the cameraman that was working on the project and different ways of making films which was interesting. I’d really like to come and join with SharingStories again, it’s meinmak , it’s good, to get away and learn new things about different culture and different ways of approaching film making. It’s good for me to build my skills for the future.

Filming with the ‘Orbit’ while the ladies are collecting white paint for the Gandjalala bunggul at Dhupuwamirri.

Leonard and I filming while Roy Wunupingu is telling stories at the river at Dhupuwamirri, this is a very important place and Roy taught us all about the stories that belong to it.

Everybody who took part in the Wägilak Project journey gathered together on the last day at the Goyder River where Roy had passed on important stories.

Swimming in the beautiful hot springs at Weemol. We stayed here for two days recording the bunggul (dance) and manikay (songline) that belong to this place with the Wägilak mob.