Jenni Cargill-Strong became a professional storyteller in 2003. Jenni toured schools and preschools in Australia and New Zealand for Nora Goodridge Management, then Speakers Ink and Story Board. She self-published five award-winning recordings for children and adults, as well as videos. She has qualifications and experience in secondary and tertiary education, as well disability support work and has taught storytelling for Southern Cross University, The Australian Fairytale Society, The Brisbane Jung Society, The Byron Bay Writer’s Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Byron College, in schools, at folk festivals and online. In 2014, Jenni developed a storytelling workshop for change-makers, which she has taught live and online since. She curated a monthly community storytelling event for two years. Her passions and focus are on myths which express the divine feminine, storytelling for community connection, emotional resilience, environmental awareness, healing and as a way to reconnect listeners to place and country.
Mental Health First Aid 2020
Cert lll, Individual Support, Disability (Byron College) 2019
Marketing and Social Media Certificate IV, Byron Community College, Mullumbimby 2012
Diploma of Education, Secondary English (Southern Cross University), 2011
Bachelor of Arts, English Literature and Sociology (University of Queensland) 1989
Diploma of Dramatic Arts (The Drama Action Centre) Sydney 1991
Clowning, improvisation, dance, singing, mask (neutral, Basle and Commedia), mummers, Le Jeu, percussion and workshop facilitation, specialising in storytelling
StoryBoard Presenter, Byron Bay Writers Festival, school story writing workshops. 2017 – 2018
Southern Cross University, Sessional Academic, Tutor, Marker, Guest Lecturer
- Lecturer, Tutor, Marker and Unit Assessor, EDUC2021 Storylines, July to Sep, 2022
- Lecturer, Tutor, Marker EDU00355 Storytelling. 2009 – 2016
- Conduct ongoing reviews of the unit, the assessments, the assessment criteria reading and video content. 2013 – 2016
- Guest lecture, School of Occupational Therapy, Tweed & Coffs Harbour campus 2010 – 2021
- Presenter for SCU’s UniBound ‘Hero’s Journey’ Equity and Diversity program to inspire young high school students to consider attending University. All campuses 2013 – 2016
- Developed new digital resources including a vibrant video series on storytelling in education in co-operation with the (FLDA) media unit. 2013
- Tutor, Marketing Principles Unit, School of Business, presentation skills. 2009 – 2010
The Story Tree Company
- Taught storytelling, environmental storytelling creative writing, story improvisation, the value of folktales and aspects of myth to teachers, preschool teachers, librarians, parents, writers, and storytellers locally, nationally and online internationally and for SpeakersInk. 2003- ongoing
- Co-ordinated three residential weekend storytelling workshops lead by guest tutors at Samaya Retreat with Bridget Brandon (Story Works, Sydney), Donna Jacobs Sife (Together for Humanity, Sydney) and Frankie Armstrong (Folk Ballads and singing, UK). 2006
Casual teacher, Mullumbimby High and Wollumbin High Sep 24, 2012 -> March, 2014
- Taught Advanced HSC English
- Developed and taught a unit on Digital Storytelling for Year 10. (The resulting digital stories were showcased at a NSW State Creative Arts Expose in 2012.
- Taught History, Geography, Art, Mathematics and Science.
- Worked as teacher’s aide, then after completion of Dip Ed as STLA Support Teacher Learning Assistant through the Mullumbimby High Learning Support Unit.
Temporary drama teacher St John’s College, Woodlawn April 29 -> 27th June, 2014
- Teaching political theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed, play building and improvisation.
Australian Fairytale Conference Brisbane 1-2 October, 2022
Sudden Story Writer’s Group with Laura Simms 10 x 2 hour sessions Feb-March 2022
Storytelling for Radical Citizenship, StoryVersity October 2021
Stories and Science: Eco-Justice, Action & Hope Earth Up Online Conference, National Storytelling Network. 8-10 April, 2022
Zinklings Writer’s Group, Member, in Byron and via Zoom 2018 – 2021
Australian Earth Law Arts (AELA) Creatives Retreat, Chenrezig Bhuddist Retreat, Creatives from multiple disciplines and environmental lawyers. 15-18 June, 2018
AELA Australian Peoples’ Tribunal for Community and Nature’s Rights, Brisbane, 2016
Byron Bay Writers Festival Workshops, writing for children, political writing, editing, getting published, and poetry. 2002 – 2016
Resilience and Therapeutic Storytelling Weekend Workshop, Nancy Mellon, School of Therapeutic Storytelling 2006
‘Reaching for the Moon and other wisdom tales’, Winner, Storytelling World Award, 2013
‘The Story Tree and other nature tales’, Honours, Storytelling World Award, 2009, rereleased 2013
‘Stories to Light the Dark’, stories for adults, Honours, Storytelling World Award, 2009
‘The Mermaid’s Shoes’, Honours, US Storytelling World Award, 2006, rereleased 2013
‘Molly Whuppie and other wonder tales’, Special Award, National Library of Australia, 1999, re-released 2013
The Sea Sprite and the Kelp Gardens: Upwelling and Marine Permaculture Environmental story video for the Climate Foundation. April, 2022
Sienna’s Story video for a disability support client
The Four Seeds, story video commissioned by the Byron Herb Nursery during lockdowns, featuring workers with varying abilities. Co-created with Jacquelina Wills. March, 2021
Goldenheart and Storytelling for Change-making Politics in the Pub event, hosted by the Ngara Institute. Seven activists were invited to speak. Dec, 2018
The Blue Coat, story for preschoolers
Why Stories are so Powerful, Introduction for students to Storytelling Unit, Southern Cross University January, 2013
Three ways to overcome nerves when public speaking with Jenni Cargill-Strong, Southern Cross University January, 2013
From Stories of Place to ReWilding our Consciousness Teleconference, Healing Story Alliance June 22, 2017
Stories, Poems, Articles
Story, ‘The Mulberry Tree’ in ‘Stories to Light the Night: A Grief and Loss Collection for Children, Families and Communities’ by Susan Perrow 2021
Article, ‘Shelley the sea turtle meets Rustle the plastic bag’, Environmental Storytelling, Healing Story Alliance journal ‘Diving in the Moon’, 2013.
Podcast Interview Stories for a More Beautiful World, Restorying the Earth Podcast July, 2021
Ballina Tales Monthly community storytelling event in Ballina, September 2022 ongoing
Stories in the Club Publicised and curated monthly community storytelling event in Mullumbimby. Attracted 100-200 people each month from Lismore to the Gold Coast and Ballina, until lockdowns began. Some tales videoed. August 2017 – August 2019
Stories on Foot: Tales of Byron Bay and the Rainbow Region Researched, wrote and marketed a story walking tour of the Byron Bay foreshore to connect visitors to place and the history of the region with support from NEIS. 2016
PERFORMANCE AND CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
‘Fairytales for Challenging Times’ Workshop, Australian Fairytale Conference, Brisbane, 1-2 October, 2022
Opening and Closing Ceremony, ‘Stories and Science: Eco-Justice, Action & Hope’ Earth Up Online Conference, presented by the National Storytelling Network. Co-created and co-facilitated with three other international storytellers 8-10 April, 2022
Live Local Performance Telling stories locally at Tintenbar Upfront, Rous Unplugged,
Poets Out Loud, Ballina Community Garden. 2021 – 2022
‘Stories For A More Beautiful World‘ Masterclass, Earth Up Conference, Virtual. April 2021
‘GoldieWorm and the three Bares’ a story about composting worms commissioned by North East Waste, performed at Environmental Education Centre family day, Waste Recovery Centre, Lismore, 8 May, 2021.
‘Lily and the Bzou’ Australian Fairytale Society Conference. Performed my version of the ancient, French Red Riding Hood. Attended by AFTS patron, Kate Forsyth. Sydney May, 2021
‘Mosquito Extermination Project’, Earth Care Performance 1: Lively Tales, Earth Up: Stories and Science Virtual Conference, 6 international tellers perform stories from ‘Earth Tales’. Hosted by the books author Dr Margaret Read MacDonald. April, 2021
The Grandmother’s Tale or L’histoire Grand’Mère, ‘Stories Down Under’ Australian Spotlight concert, (U.S.) National Storytelling Network 2020 Connected: Virtual International Conference Live’ June, 2020
The Mulberry Tree, Australian Earth Law Arts (AELA) Fundraising Dinner, original story, Brisbane, Sep, 2017
The Quim’s Tale Vagina Conversations #2 Wrote and performed original story, as one of 12 performers, Byron Theatre. Directed Zenith Virago. February, 2016
The Woman Who Would Not Tell Her Story Told on the victorious, historic, final day of the Bentley blockade at the site, where the drill would have entered the earth, October, 2014
Panelist, Inaugural Australian Fairy Tale Conferences (AFTS) Conference in Sydney ‘Cultural editing: ‘How Some Fairytales get Lost in the Woods’ with novelist, Dr Kate Forsyth Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario, T.D. Luong and Jackie Kerin, Melbourne. 2014
Performed environmental, Australian version of Red Riding Hood, Australian Fairy Tale Conferences (AFTS), Melbourne. 2015
AELA Creative Retreat, Chenrezig Bhuddist Retreat, Creatives from multiple disciplines and environmental lawyers. Sunshine Coast, 15-18 June, 2018.
Australian Earth Law Arts (AELA) Dinner Performed my original story, The Mulberry Tree, Brisbane, Sep, 2017
NSW Storytelling Guild
Australian Fairytale Association
Healing Story Alliance International Representative on Executive Board, Initiated and co-edited the ‘Healing the Earth’ page of environmental stories 2015 – 2017
Ballina Community Gardens Crafts stories to mark anniversaries 2020 – ongoingThreshold Choir Singing three part harmonies to the dying by invitation. 2021 ongoingLabyrinth Making with Jacquelina Wills for Renew Fest, Uplift Festival, The Brunswick Nature Sculpture Festival and Byron Bay Council. Trained in labyrinth facilitation. 2017 – ongoing
The Greens, Door-knocking and cold-calling, Pre-poll Booth Captain Oct 2021 – May 2022
Stop Adani Byron Shire, Activist core member 2017
Woodford Folk Festival, MC, The GreenHouse (environmental talks) 2017-18
Byron Bay Writer’s Festival, MC and Green Room Supervisor, The Feros Marquee 2017
Creative Mullumbimby, Secretary 2016 – 2017
Mullumbimby Public School Ethics Teacher, Grades 3-4 April, 2013 – June, 2014
REFERENCES AND TESTIMONIALS
Jenni visited our Steiner School in Armidale and shared her stories and deep knowledge of storytelling with parents, teachers and the children- both young and old. The wonderful effects just keep rippling through our school community! Jenni answered questions raised by teachers and parents alike with a deep understanding and sensitivity to the moment, to the question beneath the question in a sense.
Angela Earth, September, 2022, Teacher, Armidale Waldorf Steiner School,
I found the whole course a joy to participate in! This course was so valuable to me in terms of hearing participants of different ages and experience tell a variety of stories, and then to have everyone’s written feedback in the chat box to read and learn from later was a bonus. Jenni is a consummate facilitator, giving everyone their voice and chasing technological gremlins away.
Pam Blamey, October, 2020, Storyteller and Secretary, Frog on a Rock and Queensland Jung Society
Jenni has worked on the unit EDU00355 Storytelling since 2010 and her contributions to this unit have been outstanding. Jenni is an inspiration to the students (SCU) that she works with in the Storytelling Unit. The students have engaged with the unit inspired by Jenni’s passion and knowledge. Jenni has been involved in the writing of material for the unit as well as creating videos to scaffold students’ learning. Jenni has marked the assignments and given positive and informative feedback that has supported students’ learning.
Jenni receives extremely positive feedback from the students for her enthusiasm and commitment. I have learned so much working with Jenni at SCU over the last few years. Jenni encourages and scaffolds beginning teachers to make storytelling an essential part of their life and as part of their teaching and learning strategies for their students. Her professionalism is evident in all aspects of her work at SCU.
Rebecca Deagan, 2010- 2016, Unit Assessor and Academic Liaison, School of Education, Southern Cross University
In August 2017, I participated in a storytelling workshop facilitated by Jenni Cargill-Strong. The event was both insightful and inspiring and gave me the confidence to experiment with new ways to share information and encourage participation in Landcare. In October 2017, I was selected as a speaker at the NSW Landcare Conference in Albury. The presentation was extremely successful with multiple people approaching me afterwards commenting on the presentation style as engaging and refreshing. Thanks to Jenni I have now found my style and my confidence to present to large audiences and trust that my stories will embed in peoples memory.
Emma Stone, Landcare Coordinator of Border Ranges Richmond Valley Landcare Network, SCU Alumni
I am the coordinator of a group are young environmentalist volunteers. Many are University students studying Environmental Science. I recently participated in an environmental storytelling workshop for our ‘Intrepid Landcare Group’ taught by Jenni Cargill-Strong at the Dorrobee Grass Nature Reserve. I found Jenni to be an enthusiastic, inspiring, captivating teacher. The workshop was both fun and practical. There was a good balance of learning by listening and listening by doing. Jenni’s encouraging way of teaching allowed us to transform our own stories.
Maddy Rose-Braddon, Coordinator, Northern Rivers Intrepid Landcare
REFERENCES – for referee contacts, email Jenni.