"Stories for Purpose” Using documentary film to measure impact

"Stories for Purpose” Using documentary film to measure impact

Using documentary story and stakeholder participation in monitoring, evaluation and to create visual reports. It’s the story behind the numbers that bring a traditionally dry and boring process to life.

'The Story Catchers' use qualitative data collection methodologies, participatory media (where the audience can play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing and sharing media content) and documentary videographers to collect stories that have a greater purpose. These stories are used in the creation of a series of documentaries to be used in participatory forums to unpack the documentary films for the monitoring, evaluation and reporting process. 

The Sacred Story - Ethical Story Catching

The Sacred Story - Ethical Story Catching

We all can recognise and celebrate the power of story, however is the same recognition given to the ethical responsibilities of the story catcher?  I believe that story is sacred and attention must be given to the ethics of collecting and sharing the individual and community’s story. 

The Authentic Story - Stories for Purpose

The Authentic Story - Stories for Purpose

Authentic storytelling highlights issues and encourages people to share information. Few would deny that authentic stories have the potential to drive considerable social impact. These stories are stories for purpose.

Over the next couple of blogs I will be taking a look at ‘Stories for Purpose’; what are they, how do we capture them, and how and when do we use them.


Life's a colourful story - That's a fact! | 6 Ways to use story to deliver the facts.

Life's a colourful story - That's a fact!  |  6 Ways to use story to deliver the facts.

“Stories are just data with soul” Brene Brown

Research, monitoring, evaluation and reporting are all about the data, the facts. The question is how can we best communicate these facts?

Researchers and evaluators spend a lot of time thinking about what they want to tell an audience, however not so much time spent on the how.

Information is often delivered using long and comprehensive written reports, factual PowerPoint presentations, excel spread sheets, graphs etc.

How many people read these reports?  how engaged are they? and how can we do it differently to better engage our audience?

ANZAC DAY 2015 - 100yrs

ANZAC DAY 2015 - 100yrs

The Centenary Service and March was the largest I have ever attended. Perhaps the 100 years was the reason for the large turn outs or perhaps it is that ANZAC Day signifies our countries values of courage, mateship, and sacrifice. Values that have great meaning for us and our sense of national identity.

​The Power of Participatory Media

​The Power of Participatory Media

Participatory Media has changed millions of people lives across our globe.

It can be a very important and powerful tool for change.

What is Participatory Media?

Participatory media is where the audience plays an active role in the process of collecting, creating and sharing media content.


The 6 Elements to the Magic of Storytelling

The 6 Elements to the Magic of Storytelling

Stories are native to us all. It was how we first learnt about the world, and our place in it. Stories are more powerful than facts or figures alone. They are a great way to share your ideas, successes and learning’s.


What does it take to live the life of your dreams?

What does it take to live the life of your dreams?

On the weekend I attended the World Premier of ‘Chookman the Movie’ by a filmmaker and friend from France, Marc Cousins. This movie is about a man from the Riverland in South Australia who had the courage to build ‘the boat of his dreams’ and live a life true to himself, and not the life others expected of him. Looking at his boat and hearing his laugh you may think that he is crazy – but NO, he is far from crazy  - he is contented and on purpose.

The 15 things that happy people do - International Happiness Day - 20th March

The 15 things that happy people do  - International Happiness Day - 20th March

The last few months has seen the entire world enraptured by Pharrell’s “Happy,” and they’re dancing it out in joyful videos from Paris to Hong Kong -- just in time for March 20th's International Day of Happiness.

The song got me thinking what is it that happy people do differently.

I think happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They do and think differently - they have formed happy habits, heres a few of them.

Inspiring our Indigenous youth and transforming their lives.

There is a large employment gap between Indigenous and other Australians. In 2008, the employment rate of Indigenous men of working age was 59%, compared with 85% for all Australian men. For Indigenous females, the employment rate was 42% compared with 69% for all Australian women.[i]

At the end of last year I worked with the Indigenous Lands Corporation to capture the stories of the individuals that participated in last years inspirational and life transforming training to employment program at the Merriman Shearing School.

The students all graduated with a certificate in horticulture and an industry benchmark of shearing 80 sheep a day. Over the past 12 months, around 20 out of the 30 graduates have found full time employment. 

The Training to Employment program is funded by the Indigenous Lands Corporation and is producing some amazing results by transforming lives and opening up new possible futures for our nations indigenous youth.

“Boof” from out the back of Bourke in New South Wales is probably not aware of these precise numbers, however this indigenous sheep shearer of some 40 years is probably doing more to reverse these numbers than most.

Not one to mince words Boof believes in the power of truth, hard work and giving the kids a go. For the past 3 years Boof has been putting indigenous young men and women through their paces running a shearing school at Merriman in the interior of New South Wales, some 400 km from the nearest town.

“The first thing that you gotta teach these kids is how to get out bed and go to work. When the kids first get here – they don’t look at ya and by the time they leave here they’ve learnt to stand up and say that I’m here to work and I’m proud of what I am – and when they have done that, I know that I have won those kids for the rest of their lives”.

[i] Increasing Indigenous employment rates, Issues paper no. 3 produced for the Closing the Gap Clearinghouse - Matthew Gray, Boyd Hunter and Shaun Lohoar, March 2012 http://www.aihw.gov.au/uploadedFiles/ClosingTheGap/Content/Publications/2012/ctg-ip03.pdf