Students bring their stories into digital

The excitement of scoring the winning try in a grand final, the thrill of hearing your own language being spoken outside Kmart and a cherished childhood memory of the gift of a doll's house were just some of the stories young migrants and refugees students from Fairfield High School shared as part of a new digital storytelling project.

A dozen students worked with Story Factory, a not-for-profit creative writing centre, to produce a digital update of the school's long standing Our Faces, Our Stories magazine-style publication.

Students from China, Syria, Uruguay, and Iraq shared stories from their lives and worked with volunteer tutors and illustrators and their teachers to produce short animated digital stories about positive childhood memories or their experiences of a new life in Australia.

Volunteer artists and illustrators, such as Jenny Ryan, produced over eighty original artworks for the project including capturing Ali Ahmad Al-Khaledi's joyous memories of classmate Raed Nafee's 15th birthday party in Fairfield.

Speaking at the launch of the digital stories at the school's library, student Luanna Daluz Diaz said she enjoyed the program which saw them participate in a term of writing workshops

"I got to write about something I really care about and that's my family," she said of her video Santo Domingo which details the time she ran into church as a five-year-old screaming 'I'm having a baby' after her parents told her she was getting another sibling.

Producer Audrey Svoboda from the Rawr Collective edited and animated the illustrations which saw students narrate their films inside a professional recording studio. Year 7 student Misheel Atto beatboxed his narration of his animated digital story which talks about his new life in Australia.

Story Factory director Nikola Amanovic said the animation project allowed students to "transcend the usual stereotypes and to show that joy of life is a universal quest and that it can be found in very small things that adults often neglect."