[Untitled] – Stonnington Literary Festival 2016, Melbourne, November 16 – 23, 2016 is all about expanding people’s experiences of literacy through a myriad of inventive ways and is held annually in the City of Stonnington, which incorporates the cities of Malvern and Prahran within greater Melbourne.
It covers part of the indigenous Boonwurrung language area associated with the Yalukit-willam clan and comprises the inner south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, located some 3 to 13 km from the CBD.
The festival will be held in five locations. The Malvern Library in High Street, The Phoenix Park Library in East Malvern, Toorak – South Yarra Library, the Prahran Library and the Stonnington History Centre.
The History Centre is located in the historically important house Northbrook, now a stunning archive centre, which is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the city and the former cities of Malvern and Prahran.
Northbrook was formerly an Italianate styled house designed by prominent London born architect Charles Abraham D’Ebro (1850-1920).
He also designed the Stonnington Mansion the city is named for, the Prahran Market, Prahran City Hall, the Fremantle Town Hall, the Princes Bridge and his own home Prado [now demolished] in St George’s Road, Toorak.
Built 1888-1889 for Donald Munro son of the Victorian Premier of the time, Northbrook had a ballroom added in 1897 by a later owner of the property, which lent itself well to stylish entertaining and it became a place where local dignitaries and merchants met.
Today the former ballroom functions as a gallery and while the festival is running will host an exhibition Threads of History: Dressing Stonnington through time during the festival.
The exhibition highlights the work of the seamstress, the tailor, the fashion designer – and the garments made and worn in Stonnington by the community since the 1850’s examining seven stages of attire; infancy, kids, teens, working life, married life, civic and social life and old age.
On the final day I will be offering a fully illustrated presentation Costume Candlelight to Haute Couture at Northbrook. It is all about gaining an understanding of how beauty, function, tradition, style, affluence and innovation helped to shape society from England and France to Australia from the age of Revolutionaries and Romantics to the sensational ’70’s in Australia.
The [Untitled] festival has been designed to ensure those attending are motivated to be involved while thinking, talking, listening, looking and reading. It is all about changing culture in community where languages other than English reveal its multi-cultural nature. They include Mandarin, Greek, Cantonese, Italian, Polish, Russian, Indonesian and more.
There is a Make & Do session for Kids with Beci Orpin, Writing Historical Fiction, Writing for Children, Literary Mayhem with Stig Wemyss and Stonnington’s Best Short Stories.
Sure to be a popular pastime for young mothers are the four (4) Dancing Story sessions with the Australian Ballet. To be held on November 18, pre-school children are invited to be part of an interactive workshop, which is free. Bookings are required.
From literary conversations to preschool story time or from book sculpting with Nicholas Jones to Dancing with the Australian Ballet (four sessions), there is a plethora of events to involve everyone in the community.
Spend the morning with book sculptor Nicholas Jones who will provide yet another forum for establishing in-depth conversations, communication in community and intercultural connections.
He enjoys the ‘physical act of folding, tearing and sewing book leaves’ and is insure to inspire new modellers to learn the art of how to ‘highlight the beauty of the book through a process of changing it’.
Books and materials will be provided however Nicholas Jones is encouraging participants to bring along an old book of their own.
There will also be an exciting array of author talks; a highlight will be Multi-award winning author John Marsden discussing the enduring popularity of his acclaimed Tomorrow series.
Tomorrow When the War Began, published and translated all over the world, was made into a highly successful movie in 2010 and this year, an ABC TV series and it is influencing generations of readers and writers, today.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2016