Tellers: Jan Olley, Bobbi Allan, John Imbrogno, Alicia Vella, Luis Santos and Jenni Cargill-Strong

Jan Olley

Jan Olley is the coordinator of Byron Bird Buddies and sits on the Regional Advisory Committee for National Parks. She grew up in the Northern Rivers and trained as an Intensive Care nurse. At a young age, she became inspired by nature and especially our wonderful birds. Her story tells not only of her own discoveries in nature, but of the astounding journeys of thousands of migrating shorebirds that visit our coasts and wetlands each year.

Bobbi Allan has a long involvement with social and environmental organisations, was a founding member and facilitator of the Heart Politics Conferences, the Social Change Training & Resource Centre, and Buddhist teacher at Stillness in Action meditation retreats. Bobbi now teaches mindfulness to school teachers and students. She has been active in support of refugees in Australian detention centres since 2001 and will read from a new book by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish Australian Journalist and filmmaker, with a background in political science and geopolitics. He came to Australia as a refugee and has been indefinitely detained on Manus Island for 6 years. He wrote his book, No Friend but the Mountains, on a smuggled mobile phone, laboriously typed out in Farsi, and sent in small messages to a translator. It is a first-hand account of the horrors of Manus Island detention.

John Imbrogno is a passionate storyteller and was a member of the ‘Byron Circle of Tellers’. He has been working with young men and men for over 10 years and uses story as therapy in his work. He is a senior facilitator for a variety of rites of passage programs as well as men’s behaviour change programs and is father to two boys and a girl. John grew up in Melbourne and as a boy, his heritage seemed like something to hide. He will tell of his recent journey to Italy and meeting his extended family for the first time.

Alicia Vella’s passion is co-creating and facilitating interactive experiences inviting people to deeply connect into their heart centre through wellness, creativity and nature. Alicia’s creatively expressed story encapsulates her ancestral lineage’s migration journey to Australia and what it means for her to create roots on the sacred land of Australia.

Alicia Vella

Luis Santos was born in Lisbon – Portugal. He’s been a Mullumbimby dweller for over 15 years, is married to Tracy and the father of 5 children and has been active in the local men’s movement. Luis says, ‘I love my life as it’s bursting with potential and full of beauty, but that hasn’t always been the case. What I’ll share with you is how life events conspired to bring me to Australia. This turned out to be the most challenging time of my life and on occasions, I thought I was going to die. Depressed and disoriented, I needed to find a way out of my misery. ‘

Storyteller and singer, Jenni Cargill-Strong will tell the story and sing the original ballad of her great-grandmother, Emily Jane who sailed here with her husband and child in 1884.

WHEN: Sunday, Oct 14, 4- 5.30pm
WHERE: Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club
ENTRY by suggested donation: $10.
WHO: 14 years and up