Greater City of Geelong, Victoria

Connecting Identities

Change is happening rapidly in Geelong, and it's happening at all levels of community, the economy and across the landscape. This change creates challenges for all of us. The City of Greater Geelong's Connecting Identities project was a three-year arts project of national and international significance. It was designed to create links within a local government organisation, as well as across a diverse municipality facing the challenges of change. Connecting Identities was a project that grew from the ground up and was about the land we walk, and the people that make up the City of Greater Geelong. Connecting Identities was about the importance of local places and communities; about preserving memory, creating shared vision, and respecting individual expression. It has produced art that is daring, listens, reflects, and challenges.

What is Connecting Identities?

There are three elements to the project, over three years:

Memory Bank

A place where memory is held safe and accessible.

We have collected stories that reveal the diverse personal meanings and associations of local places. The collection in digital form will promote a richer appreciation of these places and inform future planning.

Memory Bank opened at the National Wool Museum in July 2008. People added to the collection by documenting and depositing their own stories while visiting the exhibition.

The stories will later be given a wider audience by siting them at their source location. Using a mobile phone, people will be able to listen to stories about the land on which they are standing. This aspect of the project is known as [murmur] and is being developed in collaboration with a Canadian team of story collectors who first developed the idea in Toronto.

Mouth to Mountain

A journey spanning 24 hours that will take place on May 9 2009.

A year of engagement between artists and communities will result in an event to bring together people and places. From the beach through the Bellarine, to the suburbs and city, industry and parklands, to arrive at the You Yangs.

Ambassadors from different communities will form a relay. Some travelling on foot, some in canoes, others on horseback, bikes, skateboards, pushing prams, in rail carriages or on fire trucks. Water carried from the sea in story vessels will be poured on the top of the mountain at dawn to complete the journey.

Those who take part in Mouth to Mountain will be walking a contemporary songline into landscape for others to follow.

M2M in Concert

Celebrating connection in September 2009.

Brings together the music of the songline from Mouth to Mountain, with aerial photography and film from the 24 hour journey walking country, with stories from Memory Bank. M2M is a celebration of Geelong communities embracing change, honouring the past, acknowledging the present and visioning the future.


Artistic Director - Meme McDonald
Curator of Stories - Malcolm McKinnon
Events Director - Donna Jackson
Maker of Images - Glenn Romanis

Connecting Identities is part of Cultural Development Network's national Generations project, involving five councils across Australia. Connecting Identities is based in the Cultural Development Unit of the Arts and Culture Department, City of Greater Geelong, at the National Wool Museum, 26 Moorabool Street, Geelong. Telephone: 03 5227 0878.