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 Illustration Ⓒ Rex Smeal 

Newport Storytellers

Newport Storytellers is an open-hearted space for people who want to learn to craft true tales, traditional stories, tall tales, yarns and stories for children; heart to heart and without notes. We welcome beginners and experienced folks. So come and strut your stuff, share what you know, try out a new story or tell a tale for the first time. Musicians wanting assistance and practice with their patter, are especially welcome.

What we do

In addition to our monthly gatherings, throughout the year we will plan or participate in events where we can tell our stories to a larger audience.
We time each other, give feedback if asked, can sometimes film, record and photograph if requested.
Throughout the year we welcome storytelling guests from overseas.
And we drink tea and eat cake!

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In 2020 we put together some recordings of stories from past events, mixed in a few local musicians and songwriters, and made it into a series of six storytelling podcasts!

In 2022 we added four more episodes.
See below
for details (you can listen to all the episodes).


These videos have been recorded at our face-to-face and online events.


Storytelling has been running since April 2017 as a Storytelling Australia Victoria event, under the banner: Fabled Nights. The storytellers have shared tales at the the Williamstown Literary Festival, The Dock and Altona Libraries (as part of World Storytelling Day) and at the Newport Folk Festival. Individually they have appeared at public events in the community and beyond - including Seniors Week and the Port Fairy Folk Festival.


Let kind hearts and common sense prevail: sexist, racist and homophobic stories hurt people so please don't bring them to Newport Storytellers. Be mindful of the cultural property of others, in particular First Nations'. If in doubt, ask.


7:30pm on the third Friday of each month February - November

See calendar for details.

This is an intergenerational event. Children welcome at parent/carers discretion.

Newport Storytellers is in partnership with Hobsons Bay Libraries.




  • Some sessions will take place online using Zoom. Zoom sessions are free, although a donation is welcome.

  • Face-to-face session will be at Newport Community Hub (Program Room 2, next to Library - enter from terrace in Paine Reserve)

  • Check the Events calendar to find whether the event is online or face-to-face.


  • Face-to-face sessions: $5 / $3 members

  • Zoom sessions: Free

Newport Community Hub

Access: The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Parking: There is free parking at the rear of the building, off Derwent St.

Public Transport: the Hub is a short walk from the Newport train station and bus interchange.

Keep in touch

You can use this contact form for general enquiries, or to request that we put you on the email list for event notifications and Zoom links.

Contact us via email

Thanks, we'll get back to you soon.


Welcome to the Newport Storytellers Podcast – ten episodes of an audio patchwork of stories told and music harvested from archival and new recordings created by the people of Newport (Victoria, Australia), their friends and members of the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club. A listening adventure made possible with the support of Hobsons Bay City Council through its Quick Response and Make It Happen Grants.

Created from the heart, during the time of Covid 19, by Matt McArthur, Jackie Kerin, Cameron Sharp and Alan Davies using whatever methods worked on the day: phones, Zoom, USB mikes and tin cans and string.

You can listen right here, download each episode (download icon at top right of audio player) or subscribe on Podbean.

Jump to episode:  2 - 3 - 4 - 5 -- 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 .


Episode 1

Jackie introduces Newport – the place. We hear storytellers, Dave Davies and Durgah Devi Palanisamy, recorded in performance at the Williamstown Literary Festival 2017. Alan interviews musician Michael Stewart and plays Michael’s song about his family and Dharma Picking records a song on her phone. At last Matt is happy after editing his first episode but Jackie is not entirely convinced she had her USB mike set up properly!



Links for the curious


Episode 2

Matt and Jackie share the story behind the Newport Power Station, and Alan settles in for a chat with Bruce Williams about his tune Road to Lewisberg, our podcast theme. We hear Roslyn Quin interview herself and her story recorded at the Eltham Library on a dark and stormy night. Later we get to hear Matt rockin’ it at The Moth Grand Slam in 2018. Alan has a second turn at the mike in conversation with musician Ellen Fish who has us smiling and singing along. And as if that isn’t enough, Dharma Picking and David Kidman record a song over Zoom across hemispheres.



Links for the curious

When the Boat Comes In (3 versions)


Episode 3

Matt assures Jackie that Dave Davies is the go-to person for the true history of Newport and Alan records the questionable result over Zoom. We unearth a beautiful story by Cam Sharp recorded in the Newport Community Hub in 2017 and Jackie gets to bang on about lyrebirds and together with Matt, wax lyrical about the Newport Bush Orchestra. Alan has a ripper of an interview with musician Bruce Williams and a very sweet song with a glorious instrumental. Dharma Picking is back recording on her phone and singing in Welsh. And finally, it wouldn’t be December without a carol. The Newport Community Choir, conducted by Alan, ventured into the Melbourne Theatre Company Studios in 2012 and recorded Carol of the Birds by John Wheeler and William G. James. Kindly recorded by Kerry Saxby.



Links for the curious


Episode 4

Jackie and John explore Newport Lakes Park. Tarius McArthur shares a traditional story from the American South from the African American community. Alan interviews Megan Slattery who explains that her song, Indigo Blue was written during a songwriting workshop hosted by the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club. And father and son, Alex and Miles Kharnam, unite to tell a Japanese folk tale.  For this episode Dharma recorded Kumbayah and please, stick around after the credits for a special Zoom surprise!


  • Tarius McArthur

  • Alex Kharnam


Links for the curious


Episode 5

Matt and Jackie are feeling a little maudlin as this is the penultimate episode in the series. However Matt rallies and relishes the chance to share his love and admiration for the Newport Substation. David Demant gives us the story of a hoarder in Siberia who has a thing for soft paper. Alan interviews local folk singer and songwriter, Simon Leverton who remains passionate about the environment. Kate Lawrence weaves history and folk tale into a story that remembers the building of the Great Ocean Road and Dharma Picking, accompanied by Bruce Williams, wraps things up with the well-loved classic, Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral. 



Links for the curious


Episode 6

Matt and Jackie set off to find where the old car ferry used to cross from the east side of the river. Storyteller Mary O’Meara grew up in West Footscray and has a swag of family stories. Dharma puts a tune to a song written by her 7-year-old niece Matilda Phrapone. Jackie continues to spruik the Newport Bush Orchestra and this time we hear Helen's Heart Waltz composed by Helen McKay. Alan Davies’s multi layered story takes us to the Lerderderg Gorge and Sarah Depasquale plays us out with the exquisite Bovaglie’s Plaid.

We did it! Episode 6, the final in this series threw some curved technical balls but the team transcended. Thank you for honouring us with your ears.


  • Mary O'Meara

  • Alan Davies


Links for the curious


Episode 7

Cameron sets up a recording studio in Jackie’s sunroom, and Em delivers a trickster tale. Dani makes bilingual storytelling sound easy. Martin Case records Carman Parsons’s original song, and Dharma is tasked with singing a nonsense song.



Links for the curious


Recording of Em, Dani and Dharma: Louche Budgie Productions

Recording of Carman: Martin Case


Episode 8

Ted Smith’s Australian ballad reminds us that the cycles of drought, rain and fire have always been part of life in Australia.  Adrian Newington’s original song has us up and dancing while Susan Hall tells a classic tale of discontent. And Dharma has more nonsense!


  • Ted Smith

  • Susan Hall


Links for the curious


Recording of Ted and Dharma: Louche Budgie Productions


Episode 9

Lana Woolf talks about her role as a story worker in the Pacific region, LGBTIQ+ people and humanitarian and development aid. Dharma takes us to Kilkelly Ireland.



Links for the curious


Recording of Lana and Dharma: Louche Budgie Productions


Episode 10

Jackie heads off to Point Cook in a sound effects helicopter to interview Cameron Sharp at Louche Budgie Productions HQ. 
Cam plays a selection of scenes from the new comedy podcast, The Ladies of Burdoo Springs featuring the voices of
Alan Davies, Kate Lawrence, Jackie Kerin and ... you have to guess. Alan tackles the nonsense song for this final episode.


Links for the curious


Series credits

Co-ordinator and writer: Jackie Kerin:
Writer, editor and recording: Matthew McArthur
Music advisor, interviews and web page: Alan Davies
Theme: Bruce Williams
Graphic: Cameron Sharp

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