There are so many stories of courage that go to the grave because people didn’t think to share them, they were too painful to talk about or didn’t believe there would be interest in people hearing them. Indigenous cultures understand the importance of story, especially oral storytelling. It helps sustain, culture, knowledge, wisdom and insight for future generations. Stories were shared orally and handed down from Elders to the younger generation.

Podcaster and storyteller of other people’s stories, Sana Turnock found that when people shared their story with her on her Courage Unravelled podcast series, it was a cathartic experience – especially those told for the first time. Sana would follow up with the guest to find that it was common for people to have a physical and/or emotional release the next day or a few days later. Afterwards, they felt lighter. This is the power of story, especially those that have been held within for so long.

This got Sana thinking. Families are separated through geography, divorce, death, migration, war and more recently the pandemic. It’s stories around the dining table, sitting in the living room or by the campfire which help to reconnect us to family, our roots, our culture, our traditions – just like indigenous cultures around the world.

Sana says, “We are living in unprecedented times where challenges are personal as well as environmental and global. Let’s keep the conversations going. Real conversations that help us connect us to our families. Why not capture stories of courage, grit or resilience you haven’t shared with family before? Allow it to be part of family dialogue, conversation and captured family history.”

Sana understands that sometimes, a story may be too painful to share. “If the story is too painful, or perhaps your kids are too young to understand, record it so that your family can understand more about you when they are ready. Capture your story of courage while it’s still fresh in your mind. Don’t wait until ‘one day’ because the memory can be fragile. Your kids or grandkids may be too young to ask you the personal questions right now or are just too busy with their own family. Capturing your story will be for them at the right time. Your own kids will have something invaluable to keep that will forever remind them of you. Leave them the gift of your story, told in your voice”.

Sana compares audio and visual storytelling. “It’s great to have a picture of your family member to look at but when you add audio such as their voice, it adds another dimension. It’s like they are right there with you and you can share a beer, a glass of wine or a cuppa with them.”

While story can be captured easily because of technological advances, what Sana provides is something bespoke. She gathers information, crafts questions to build a story framework and finds out a little about your family so they are mentioned in the audio. It is very personalised and the backend technical stuff is sorted by Sana.

Veterans of the defense force, people in emergency services and anyone who has a story to share are people Sana would like to work with as she understands the importance of capturing their story for family and the generations to follow. “Don’t let your courageous story be forgotten. Let your family and future generations understand where they came from and their connection to you. You may not think too much about it now, but imagine a family relative hearing your story in a 100 years time? They are hearing their ancestor speak, not just looking at a photo. Your story will carry your legacy.”

Contact details: Sana Turnock, Founder

Legacy Audio Storytelling – Courage Unravelled