DST project with the Foundation for Young Australians
Stories & Ideas

Mon 11 Dec 2017

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Your museum of screen culture

Discover personal stories created at ACMI and preserved for future access.

Preserving digital storytelling

Digital storytelling was introduced at ACMI in 2002, when only 46% of Australian households had internet access and the smartphone wasn’t ubiquitous. By creating powerful individual and community stories we transformed and preserved the practice of sharing stories so vital for cultural identity. 

Telling our stories

Digital storytelling is a form of personal, heartfelt expression that enables makers to reclaim their personal cultures and stories while exploring their artistic creativity. Participants combined the audio visual resources of their personal archives to produce a short, narrated and personal story. The workshops were conducted for the most part at ACMI, the course was designed to introduce the digital storytelling methodology into a dialogue about creating new media content.

Mining my family history called up all sorts of unexpected emotional responses. The hothouse environment of the workshop provided me with the time and space to both 'skill up' in technical terms and to shape a personal process of memory into a 'record' of a particular moment in my family's life.

ACMI DST Workshop Participant


ACMI worked with an extraordinary range communities and key organisations to develop specific digital storytelling projects, recording and preserving their stories for future generations. Participants created tributes to important people in their lives, told stories of experiencing or recovery from illness and explored the place where they live - powerful stories that examine all elements of being human - love, loss, recovery, isolation and celebration.


The stories produced over 14 years until 2016, form a rich repository and are preserved and accessible in our Collection. The most active period for the digital storytelling program was 2007–09. Themes consistent throughout the program’s history:

  • Indigenous
  • Youth
  • Veterans
  • Health
  • Migrants
  • Men and Women
  • Environment
  • Employment
  • History
  • Train-the-Trainer

Stories from the Lebanese Community

Created by digital storytelling workshops at ACMI in 2009. There are 12 videos in the playlist below.

Vietnamese Men’s Voices

Stories of family separation, war, escape and new beginnings, created in 2007. There are 6 videos in the playlist below.

Indigenous Men's Voices

Created as part of an ACMI digital storytelling program – Men's Line Workshop, 2007. There are 5 videos in the playlist below.

In Our Words: Stories from Victorian Veterans

Personal accounts of the effects of war. There are 14 videos in the playlist below.