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Centre for Stories

Meet the Intern – Jacqueline Kelly

"It’s really a lovely atmosphere. And also, of course, I’m doing different things like interviewing people and writing their stories which I would not be doing otherwise."

June 16, 2019

We consider ourselves lucky for having the pleasure of collaborating and working alongside such talented and dynamic interns at the Centre for Stories. Over the course of 2019, a number of interns made their mark at the Centre in some way—so let’s celebrate them!

Meet Jacqueline Kelly. We’ve been incredibly grateful to have Jacqueline working with Centre for Stories staff on a number of exciting tasks and projects. When she’s not transcribing, writing, or interviewing, Jacqueline has been working closely on a project with the City of Wanneroo: Alkimos Storytelling for Community Building. Jacqueline’s work has been instrumental at the Centre for Stories, and frankly, we don’t know what we’ll do without her!

You’ve just completed a story series, called Port City, about migrants who are making their mark in Fremantle. As a migrant yourself, tell us about the series and why it’s close to your heart.

I have lived in Fremantle for the past 18 years which, in the scheme of things, isn’t all that long. But even in that short time, the face of Fremantle has changed so much in such things as the music scene and the appearance of the city. For a start the clever, quirky and fantastic murals that adorn buildings throughout the city give it a vibrancy and colour that match, I think, Melbourne. Add to that an art scene which has blossomed with galleries like Japingka, Kidogo, Moores, and many others, as well as the sculptures in Fishing Boat Harbour, and the Port itself. Long-established pubs have been given face lifts and there’s a greater variety of restaurants and bars now. So I am really curious about the people who came, saw, and helped change Fremantle and I want to know their stories.

Read the series here.

You’re studying a Master’s degree at Curtin University after years in the workforce as an English teacher. How would you describe your university experience?

It’s a two year course and of course it’s many years since I’ve done formal studies so I was a bit apprehensive about taking it on. However, I found that people were so accepting (I’m a bit long in the tooth) and friendly that my fears were completely unfounded. The units I did last year were amazing and I learnt so much. This semester I’m doing an internship at Centre for Stories which I love and I’m getting so much out of it. I’m sort of struggling with the other unit which involves very academic writing which is not my thing but I’ve just got to get on and do it.

A woman smiling at the camera resting her hand on the Centre for Stories bookshelf.

What has your experience interning at the Centre for Stories been like?  

Okay, like I said I love it. For a start it’s in Northbridge which is a great location. I enjoy the journey in on the train, and the walk past the art gallery and state library (where I worked for a year many moons ago) and round the little park where lime trees grow. I work with some lovely young women—bright, funny, passionate about what they’re doing. I get to go out for lunch with them as we work our way through all the restaurants in Northbridge. It’s really a lovely atmosphere. And also, of course, I’m doing different things like interviewing people and writing their stories which I would not be doing otherwise.

We love a good story. Tell us a short story about a time when you encountered something remarkable. 

My husband and I love travelling through the Australian deserts and we’ve done many tracks such as Birdsville, Plenty Highway, Great Victorian Desert, the Len Beadell, Canning Stock Route, Gunbarrel Highway, Cape York/Old Telegraph Track, Gibb River, Tanami, Savannah run, and so on.

In 2017 we decided to do the Anne Beadell Highway (she who was married to Len Beadell). It runs from Laverton to Coober Pedy and is one of the most remote tracks in the world with only one supply point at Ilkurlka Roadhouse. So we’re travelling along this narrow bumpy sandy track, going really slow—walking pace—as a family of camels in front of us refused to get off the track and let us pass, when we spotted a faded sign which said Aircraft Wreck. Well, we had nothing else to do so decided to investigate. We left the Anne Beadell and headed through the bush following an even narrower, sandier, bumpier track. After a couple of hours, and on the verge of turning back, we came on the crash site of a Goldfields Airlines twin-engine plane which was still, actually,  in one piece. What was remarkable was that no-one was killed in it. I have added a photo of it in case you want to visit it yourself.

In the middle of a bushy desert, a woman sits inside the cockpit of an aircraft. This aircraft crashed here. No one was killed.

What’s on the horizon for you?

Well if I survive getting through the Masters I will probably go back to the UK next year for about six months and see more of my family. I’ll also finish writing the YA Science Fiction book I started last year and see if I can get a children’s book I wrote published.


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