Saltwater Freshwater

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The stories will range from tales of special places to how places get their names, from life on the mission to stories of success, from life stories to legends.




The Saltwater Freshwater stories are being recorded in the Great Lakes FM Studios by Greg Smith this month, with the next one on Wednesday 12 October at 11am.

Forster Land Council CEO Sheree Drylie will be there, along with the storyteller(s), as well as Saltwater Freshwater Project Co-ordinator Clark Webb, and Forster Film Festival Aboriginal Engagement Officer, Leah New.

The Mid North Coast’s rich Aboriginal history is going digital for the first time.  Aboriginal stories across ten Mid North Coast communities are set to feature on a leading tourism iPhone App, The Legendary Pacific Coast, downloaded at

Recording begins with the Karuah stories: the first in a series of Saltwater Freshwater Stories about the rich Aboriginal history of the Mid North Coast – a dominant region on the Legendary Pacific Coast.

The stories will range from tales of special places to how places get their names, from life on the mission to stories of success, from life stories to legends.

The Legendary Pacific Coast is a top tourism drive, located between the capital cities of Sydney and Brisbane, that has a rich history. 7,000 years ago it was part of a trading route between Sydney Harbour and Papua New Guinea. By many accounts, prior to European settlement this temperate region was home to the largest population on the continent. The stories of these people, their culture and the land, which continue today, is what Saltwater Freshwater stories is all about.

This will be the first time that local Aboriginal stories are told and recorded in this digital format. There are 12,000 Aboriginal people living on the Mid North Coast, and the results from the recent census are sure to reveal an increase in that number, given that the population has doubled in the last 15 years. It is predicted that within five years, Aboriginal people living between Hawkesbury and the Tweed will represent 10% of Aboriginal Australia.

“With 52% of Aboriginal people in the Mid North Coast under the age of 19 and only 8% over the age of 55, the importance of maintaining and recording these stories to pass down to future generations is vital.  This special iPhone App also allows these important stories to be shared with the wider community,” says Dave Feeney.

This project is an initiative of the Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance, a regional body for Aboriginal arts and culture on the Mid North Coast of NSW, representing Aboriginal communities from Karuah to Coffs Harbour.

“We aim to record 5 stories from each of our ten communities, that will then be downloadable via the Legendary Pacific Coast iPhone App and website, which will also become a platform to advertise Aboriginal cultural tourism product and other economic enterprises in the region. This will create a tangible and living resource that will benefit all of our local Aboriginal communities,” said Alison Page, Executive Officer of Saltwater Freshwater Arts.

The stories will also feature at the 2012 Saltwater Freshwater Festival to be held in Taree on Australia Day.

Saltwater Freshwater Stories is funded through the Federal Government’s Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Communities Strategic Investment program.


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