26 May, 2023
Stories to tell
Warrnambool Storytelling Festival committee chair Philip Liebelt (left), committee member Katy Jeans, secretary Kim Olinsky and singer-songwriter Lynny Mast are excited to launch the 2023 Warrnambool Storytelling Festival.
The festival enters its third year with a diverse array of artistic performances, all of which unite on the shared ideal of telling fascinating, inspiring and evocative stories. Warrnambool Storytelling Festival committee chair Philip Liebelt said this year’s events focused on telling many stories across many mediums.
Music, film, art and literature will coalesce across topics including culture, philosophy, religion and faith, the human experience, history and environment.
There will also be comedy, magic, poetry, costumes and even reading with a dog. “We will explore a range of storytelling in a range of different ways,” Mr Liebelt said.
“We’ve got cultural stories, including the screening of a film which focuses on important moments in the early life of Peek Wurrung Elder Uncle Rob Lowe.
“We’ll have two panels discussing the creative process, with a panel of comedian and presenter Tom Ballard, distinguished editor Janet Blagg, prolific author Paul Jennings AM and lecturer and author Dr Gordon Forth.
“Because of the success of the literary panel, this year we’re also doing an artist equivalent featuring prominent south west artists to discuss the artistic process.”
Mr Liebelt was one of the founding members of the Warrnambool Storytelling Festival, who saw the concept have success elsewhere and knew there was a contribution the south west could make.
“When I retired and returned to Warrnambool in 2019 I had been in the Glen Eira City Council area for five years, and they have a thriving storytelling festival,” he said.
“I saw how well that went, and I was keen to bring something like that here.
“There are a lot of wonderful groups here but a lot is not done together, and I thought it would be great to have a united event which drew on as many groups as possible.
“That’s part of the reason the festival isn’t held at the one site, it’s across a range of different venues with different events.” As the festival enters its third year, it has expanded to run over three weeks to avoid scheduling clashes and make the festival more accessible.
“If people want to go to one thing, they can. If they want to go to all of it, they can,” Mr Liebelt said.
“One of the differences we’ve noticed this year is more people are coming to us and wanting to be involved, where as starting off we had to be more proactive in approaching people.
“There will be some children’s events, but this is not a festival just for children.
“I’d be very surprised if anyone can’t find a story which intrigues them.”
To learn more or view the full program of events visit www.warrnamboolstorytelling.com.au.