Stories of the Lake – recordings of words and music inspired by Bung Yardna (Lake Tyers)

Stories of The Lakes Poem Collection CD Cover


We are pleased to announce the production of our new CD collection of poems and stories inspired by Bung Yardna (Lake Tyers). 

You can purchase your copies through the website here.

Stories of the Lake is an annual gathering of storytellers sharing untold stories held on the Bung Yarnda (Lake Tyers) catchment in Gippsland, Victoria.

My name is Helen Sheil and I lived for a time on the banks of the ancient Nowa Nowa gorge and began to glimpse the uniqueness of this beautiful vulnerable landscape from stories people shared.

Old stories give us new insights. There are creation stories of how Borun the pelican and Tuk the musk duck created the Gunaikurnal people that I heard from Rob Andy when I went on canoe trips with him. From local custodians, I learnt of the protection story that is spoken of in this collection. From local Gunnai woman Lydia Thorpe I heard the name of the gorge is Nukka Kowirra.

Gunnai custodian Wayne Thorpe became a regular contributor to our annual gathering with his book, A story of Bung Yarnda (aka Lake Tyers) that explains the need for the cycle of opening and closing of the entrance of the lake to occur naturally. A story of estuary management with universal implications.

The contributors to this recent collection of poems and stories recognise that we enjoy the lake today because of those who took steps to speak up for the lake we love. We thank them.

  • Sue Fraser (2019) begins the collection in bush style with Observing the lake, a contemporary commentary of lake life.
  • Helen Sheil (1999) The Day of the Dragon was written after being invited to walk along the Nowa Nowa gorge by Elizabeth Blakeman and Gary Yelen.
  • Doug Esler (2017) On Nowa Nowa Arm writes of the beauty, peace and tranquillity to be found in exploring the Lake by kayak and by walking the bush tracks around the Lake.
  • Elizabeth Blakeman (1999), Mouse that Roared an ambitious and exhausting endeavour to protect the gorge from inappropriate development.
  • Susan O’Brien (2019) The Picture Rail invites reflection on our cultural engagement influenced by the awe and presence of nature.
  • Martin Morse The Flood (2019) brings affirmation of our endeavours by sharing the profound impact of being welcomed to this place.
  • Andrew Spiker (2017) Canberra Keeping Place gives a glimpse of his involvement in locating an early recording made at Lake Tyers of songs by Laurie Moffatt (Snr) enabling them to be returned to local community.
  • Maise Byrne (1930s’) The earliest piece in the collection is from Maise Byrne who camped with her family on the Nowa Nowa arm in the 1930s, read by her daughter Josephine Jakobi.
  • Helen Sheil (2017) Maise’s bee farm revisits the cultural influence of Maise Byrnes and Josephine Jakobi.
  • Doug Esler’s (2017) Still Life is a beautiful play on words that speaks to our hearts.
  • Phil Evans (2017) On being an almanacker reminds us of the profound yet ephemeral status of our relationship over time with nature, with this country.

Music was created for these pieces by Martin Morse (keyboards), Nicky Moffatt (didgeridoo) and Julia Karas) (voice and guitar). Sound production by Martin Morse (keyboards).

The text of recordings can be found, in a booklet form, here Stories of The Lake (328Kb PDF)  or via the link to individual poems found in the list of contributors.

An excerpt from Phil Evans’ poetry piece, “On Being An Almanacker,” paired with acoustic piano at the Lake Tyers House Ballroom is found below.




We thank those who have contributed to this endeavour with time, patronage and enthusiasm.

We thank you for listening and extend an invitation for others to contribute old and new stories of this place.

© Centre for Rural Communities – 2019.

July 13, 2019
Stories of Influence 2019