Life Stories

Recording life stories fills in gaps in the family story and creates a legacy. It’s also absorbing and very enjoyable.
 
Many people think their story isn’t worth the fuss. My special skill is to help anyone to see that their story is wonderful. I easily draw out the detail and language that bring stories alive for a reader.
 

How I work

Creating a small publication is usually achievable in 6-10 sessions. I record in writing, not with a tape recorder. It’s an affordable way of making sure invaluable stories are not lost. As one client said ‘I don’t want something the size of Malcolm Fraser’s biography!’
 
If you or the person you have in mind is ill, I am sensitive in working around treatments and down times from treatment.
 
It’s beautiful when a little story grows and becomes important to the teller. I find myself beaming with pleasure, listening to what the teller has to say.
 
If you’d like to work with me, get in touch, and I’ll ring you to have a chat and learn more about you. I’ll then provide a quote and if it’s agreeable we can set up an initial session. If you live in Melbourne, we can get together at a location of your choice. Outside of Melbourne we may be able to work by phone, Skype or Facetime. When getting together out of town we should discuss fees for travel.
 

Here are a few different examples of life stories I’ve helped create

2019: Therese and I recorded her fascinating story of growing up in country Victoria, the eldest in a very large family. 20 pages with 15 additional pages of photos and precious documentary records.

2018: I met with with Ron. He wrote his own story after an initial encouraging meeting. Personal and social history intersect in his memories of change in the computer industry. 40 pages in B5 format.

2018: I worked by phone with Judith, who lives interstate. She wrote the story of an elderly aunt’s singular life with a view to having the material for the family and for a eulogy later. 8 pages with additional documentary material.

2017: I joined Vona at work and took down her story as she organised her shop. She’s an exceptional Preston volunteer whose stories remember cinema, housing, shops, and fundraising over 65 years. 10 pages.

2011: I worked with residents at Richmond Housing Estate as part of a citizens’ jury funded by Collingwood Neighbourhood Justice Centre. Over 20 people from many different cultures created humane and heart-rending testimony about the effect of public drug use on their lives. 15 pages of stories and fragments.

1999: With residents of Karuna Nursing Home in NSW, created a record of life stories, stimulated by artworks on loan from the Lismore Regional Gallery, on the theme of water. 15 pages of brief stories and fragments.

1998: I helped Bonnie to create a book of poetry, ‘Prepare to Share’ about her experience of caring for her husband with Alzheimers. DL sized small book.

 

In a short time Annie was able to gather some fabulous untold stories before my partner died of a terminal illness. I wish they had started the process earlier.

Lyn

Annie made a unique contribution to family and professional carers and clients through the projects ‘You have to laugh but you also have to cry’ and ‘Former Bowlers Included’ (FBI).

Ruth

CEO, Ballina Dementia Care

It really does help to have accountability and commitment to get on with the job and have professional input to the process. Thanks Annie.

Judith

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