Our July theme for ‘Stories in the Club: Drawn from Life’ is ‘Back to the Garden’, and was partly inspired by Joni Mitchell’s classic song ‘Woodstock’, which has become a bit of a theme song for ‘Stories in the Club’, as well as the understanding that gardening and eating local food is a significant contribution to environmental outcomes, as well as a healing practice.

As usual, I am very excited about the extraordinarily diverse and inspiring members of our community who have volunteered to tell a story and this month we will also have a special treat with live music from Cass Curran (above). Tellers are empowered to interpret the theme in their own way. It was a bit touch and go this month about whether we could go ahead, as a key teller had to pull out, but luckily Philip and Greer stepped in at the last minute!

Philip McLaren is an Aboriginal Australian from the Kamilaroi Nation. He’s a multi-prize-winning author and an Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University. Philip will tell a story about early European settlement of his ancestral lands and how it impacted on communities and vast expanses of pristine lands. And he will read from his prize-winning novel –‘Sweet Water Stolen Land’ that was based on historical accounts and set in 1836.

Jacquelina Wills is a local artist and community worker, partly known for the beautiful earth mandalas she makes. She and Jenni also make labyrinths together. She has had a connection to the Mullumbimby Community Gardens since it’s earliest days and will share a tale of her experiences.

Stephen Nugent grew up in Sydney, surrounded by nature and girt by sea on one side. He worked as a gardener for 10 years when he left school and has since then wandered wide-eyed through the worlds of movement, rhythm, music, ritual and social art. He will share the East African folktale of Chinamakwati, the boy ‘dressed in bark cloth’.

Greer Dokmanovic is a local Uniting Church Minister, an InterPlay facilitator, labyrinth facilitator and lover of stories and of course, I will also tell a tale.

If you would like to be nourished and lit up by the rich soul food of stories, while gathering in community, please put in your calendar, Sunday, July 8. 

You can also read a short post on my thoughts on the Winter Solstice and the proposed Espionage Bill at my blog here.

  • Sunday, July 8, Stories in the Club: Back to the Garden, 4- 5.30pm
         WHERE: Mullum Ex-Services Club
ENTRY by suggested donation: $10.
WHO: 14 years and up
  • NO ‘Stories in a Circle’ for July as it’s school holidays
  • Saturday, August 4, Stories of Place, Byron Theatre. A version of ‘Stories in the Club’ is a Feature Event of the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival. Woohoo!!
  • Sunday, August 12, Stories in the Club: It’s a Mad Mad World and our 1st Birthday!


The chorus of WOODSTOCK
Joni Mitchell

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden