Rescue Project gives citizen storytelling a platform
The goshawk with injured toes, our greatest challenge, received a foot massage to get the tendons working…” – but did he fly again? – find Susie Sarah’s story out at the Rescue Project.
Landcarers have long been ‘rescuing the land’ and while doing so, telling tall tales and true. The formal Landcare movement is now over 30 years old, and a new citizen storytelling website is giving Landcarers an opportunity to share their stories of what it’s like to tend to tired earth, conserve a stand of trees or look into a creature’s eyes as they rescue it from harm’s way.
The Rescue website calls for 500 word stories of restoration, protection and rehabilitation of riverbanks and tracts of bush or eroded beaches, waterways, gardens, farmland and native animals.
Along the way it gives a unique insight into Australian lives around the country, and what drives us to keep doing this work on the places we love, in the face of drought and landscape change.
“My boy has been planting with me since he was three. In the early years he worked steadily alongside me nestling tree after tree into its new home with his miniature trowel. Now seven, he darts back and forth to fit in time with the grey bearded ‘watering crew’, sitting up front of the ute yarning with Don, leaping towards me over the furrows from the far off horizon to regale stories of refill adventures from the dam. Such joy and expanse in that run, freed from the constraints of inner city fence lines and roads.” – Kate Read.
Rescue is an excellent opportunity to ask your audiences what they have rescued, how, and why – a classic talk back topic about a classic tradition. Project director, Gretchen Miller has over 20 years’ experience as a presenter, interviewer and documentary producer on ABC Radio National. Gretchen is available as a guest to discuss this very Australian habit, some of the stories told, and encourage your audience to do the same on your network!
“Over time the frogs became welcome at my neighbours’ on both sides, who also created spaces for them. They became the focus of our friendship for the years to come. In restoring their landscape we also discovered a place where time slowed, the beauty that comes from a healthy landscape and a sanctuary for ourselves.” – Kate Clarke.
Rescue is also a PhD research project from UNSW, looking at citizen storytelling for environmental communication.
To find out more about Rescue Project or to read some of the inspiring stories, visit https://landcareaustralia.org.au/rescue/