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Storyfest celebrates 30 years on the Gold Coast

March 21, 2023

Gold Coast’s flagship literary event Storyfest is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, with yet another extraordinary lineup of workshops and storytelling.

Immerse yourself in a world of wonder and imagination in March as Storyfest books its usual spot as a highlight of Gold Coast’s annual cultural calendar.

The 2023 Writers’ Festival will be a true literary feast, allowing book lovers of all ages across the Gold Coast to enjoy a variety of events and workshops, and to meet some of Australia’s most influential authors in person.

Some of the authors in attendance at this year’s Storyfest include Award-winning, best-selling author Susanne Gervay, Tim Harris and Storyfest patron Jacqueline Harvey, among others.

Of course, not all tales are written down. This year’s program also boasts a strong Indigenous storytelling component, designed to educate audiences about the culture and stories of our First Nations people.

Kombummeri Ngarang-wal man Clinton Brewer will be featured across three such events on the program.

A full-time worker at David Fleay Wildlife Park, Clinton’s passion is connecting people with native wildlife, both in our national parks and our own backyards. He spends his working life – and a great deal of his personal one – passing on the living, breathing, cultural significance of all living plants and animals.

A A wildlife ranger with an eagle
Clinton Brewer at David Fleay Wildlife Park (photo credit: _talonted_)

In the 2023 Storyfest program, Clinton will be teaming up with Mark Williams and Aric Kruger in an inspiring and educational event for all ages, that focuses on Aboriginal dance, instruments, song and animals.

“I’ll be doing the animals part; probably a bit of dance,” Clint explains.

“If I can boil it down, for me, Indigenous culture is about staying alive, and within that there are three core tenets.

“The first of which is having a healthy oxygen supply. The second is having a healthy water supply and the third of which is having a healthy supply of wildlife; not necessarily just for food, but pollinators, totem animals, Dreaming animals.

“From ecology, culture flows, which is why we have to preserve our physical and spiritual spaces in our environment. It’s literally ‘no tree equals no me’. No ecology equals no culture.

“Our place and meaning – if I can speak for Aboriginal people – is in our wildlife, which are our Dreaming animals and our memories and our stories. All cultural heritage, no matter what our skin colour, has to be protected and preserved.

“Even if it’s very colonial, nonetheless, those old brick and stone buildings are beautiful and I can appreciate them. It’s just that our own beautiful architecture is the 4000-year-old trees.”

Clint hopes to inspire the people he talks with every day to really take care of the natural environment and make it a welcome place for all wildlife, even the tiniest creatures among them.

“I think sometimes we forget the importance of our bees and insects and small-scale animals which everything is reliant upon. Even mosquitoes, which are a huge food for a lot of animals.

“It would only make sense to move to the Gold Coast which is a giant flood plain in many parts and then complain about mosquitoes,” he laughs.

“Move to a swamp and complain that it’s wet! Such is the human condition.”

In his talk, Clint will outline the many ways in which we can all do our part, including helping to re-green our suburbs with native plants, attracting small-scale wildlife and native insects to the area, participate in tree-planting that will provide hollows and nests for wildlife, growing our own fruits, veggies and herbs to become less reliant on the system, and encouraging community gardens.

“What is more Australian than Aboriginal culture?” he asks. “To re-plant natives from the region, and protect native wildlife is to participate in Indigenous culture. It’s the most mega Australian thing you can do.”

Storyfest runs from 28 to 30 March 2023 on the Gold Coast, and includes many highlights, including Long Table Lunches and Dinners with esteemed authors, Write and Sip workshops, a Book Club, a variety of talks and even an appearance by Bluey and Bingo.

A group of adults at a long dinner table

Storyfest’s Long Table Dinner speaker is Heather Rose.

A group of primary aged school children

Students enjoying Storyfest.

A man telling children a story

Storyfest at Somerset school.