Soundtrails brings History to Life

September 4, 2014

Visitors to Warialda and Myall Creek in the Gwydir Shire can now access a GPS-based program that will give them, through their mobile phones, an informative and entertaining ‘soundtrail’ as they walk around the town.

The Soundtrails Smart Phone App was launched at McCrossin’s Mill, Uralla, on Saturday 30 August.

The two-year project was conceived by the New England North West Soundtrails and was a collaborative project involving Gwydir Shire Council, Uralla Arts, and The Story Project and is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia.

The app lets listeners hear professionally produced soundscapes (including music, poetry, readings from historical documents, and recordings of local people telling their own stories) relevant to the sites they are visiting.

Download the app by going to www.soundtrails.com.au on your mobile device and clicking on the ‘iPhone App Store’ or ‘Android Google Play’ icon. Then, as you walk through the landscape, the GPS automatically activates the recordings as you enter the appropriate geographical area.

Andrew Parker (Uralla Arts), Adam Marshall, Hamish Sewell (The Story Project), Georgia Standerwick (Gwydir Shire Council, Darren Schaefer (Chief Marketing Officer, The Community Mutual Group), Tim Cox (Gwydir Shire Council).
Andrew Parker (Uralla Arts), Adam Marshall, Hamish Sewell (The Story Project),
Georgia Standerwick (Gwydir Shire Council, Darren Schaefer (Chief Marketing Officer, The Community Mutual Group), Tim Cox (Gwydir Shire Council).

The project has been supported by organisations including New England Mutual, Federal and Local Governments (Uralla and Gwydir Shires), Phoenix Foundry, Starfish Initiatives, Uralla Arts, Myall Creek Memorial Committee, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and The Story Project, as well as assistance from the local community.

‘The app is a way of showcasing individual towns while also promoting the wider Gwydir region in a way that appeals to an increasingly tech-savvy cultural tourist market.  All of the stories in Warialda feature the voices, stories and musical talent of local people such as Keith Moore, Charlie Woollett, Maddie Rose, Jeanette Wilson and Honey Dawson to name a few,’ said Georgia Standerwick, Economic Development Project Officer for Gwydir Shire Council.  

‘Special thanks go out to the North West Theatre Company who assisted with voiceovers and character narration’ said Georgia.

The Chief Marketing Officer for New England Mutual, Darren Schaefer, said he was delighted to be a partner in Soundtrails.  ‘It’s a wonderful success story of how passionate people with an idea for their town can get it off the ground and make a difference,’ Mr. Schaefer said.  ‘It’s been great to be able to provide assistance to something that has so much potential for preserving and promoting the heritage of our region.’

Dr. Christina Spurgeon from QUT, who has championed the Soundtrails project, officially launched the app at McCrossin’s Mill in Uralla on Saturday afternoon 30 August.  A Gwydir launch will take place on Thursday 9 October in Warialda as part of the Quirky Creative and Wellness Festival.