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‘Stories on Foot’: connecting visitors and locals to place through story

Written on March 10, 2016
Stories on Foot foreshore walk

Stories on Foot foreshore walk

This year (2016), I have begun a new business called “Stories on Foot: Tales of Byron Bay and the Rainbow Region”. Here I make a start on the story of why I started it and what I want to offer people through these tours.

When my kids were still quite young I had the idea of a walking tour of Byron Bay, but for various reasons I didn’t pursue it. Then slowly, over the years, the idea kept resurfacing in my mind. When I was 19, I travelled in Europe (as you do!) and enjoyed several ‘walking tours’ where great storytellers regaled us with well crafted tales of the places and the people who had lived there. Some of the stories were historical and some were ghost tales but they were all immensely enjoyable. Later when I had young children we travelled to Tasmania to perform in a Storytelling Festival, where I got to join some wonderful historical tours.

As a professional storyteller, as soon as I moved to Byron Bay as a pregnant Mum in 2000, I began wondering about the history of the people and the land. By the time my kids were a few years old, I had started taking notes in a large bound book from history books from the library and from talks I attended by Frank Mills. I started taking clippings from the newspaper about anything historical.

The idea was really gathering momentum in my mind last year, when I went to Melbourne to teach early educators environmental storytelling, and found myself with a few spare hours and no-one to hang out with. I googled ‘walking tours’ and up came Dave’s ‘Melbourne by Foot’. I had such an intensely wonderful time because Dave is such a relaxed, friendly, amenable guy and I kept thinking, ‘I could really do this! This could really work in Byron!!’

However being a perfectionist, at least about my work- not so much the housework! :), I set about doing much more research about the history of Byron right back to it’s geological formation 23 million years ago. I attended more history talks, researched avidly online, and poured over articles, documents and books in the wonderful room dedicated to history of our Byron Bay library.

Jenni enjoying her work as tour guide for storiesonfoot

Jenni enjoying her work as tour guide for storiesonfoot

Hear me talk about the tour with Mayor Simon Richardson on his Bay FM show the Bubble here (I come on at 16 minutes but I have set this link to start at that spot). You can also see photo’s of the tour at my Stories on Foot FB page, jennistorytree Instagram page  or watch video testimonials at the ‘Stories on Foot’  playlist at my You Tube channel.

To be continued- but for now I am off to hear the fabulous Delta Kay and her wonderful Dolphin Dreaming show at the Pass! Lucky me!!

Explore my ‘Stories on Foot’ website

 

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