Storytelling to strengthen communities

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An innovative project to de-stigmatise addiction and recovery is under way in Warrnambool.

Sharing Stories: Strengthening Communities – Storytelling as a pathway to connection and awareness, is a partnership between Warrnambool Library and Learning Centre and WRAD (Western Regional Drug and Alcohol Centre).

The project involves working with people who have experienced addiction to co-design and create a unique video animation that examines the stigma and discrimination experienced by those recovering from and/or battling addiction. 

The short animation created through the project will be used by WRAD Health in its programs and can be viewed at

The initiative was funded by the State Library Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria through the Libraries for Health and Wellbeing Innovation Grants.

Speaking about the impact of public libraries on community health and wellbeing, the Library Customer and Community Services Coordinator Kerrie Nicholson said the animation was a powerful way to engage the broader community in social issues that affect everyone.

“Public libraries are far more than books, they are places of connection, and often safe spaces, or sites for support. We hope this project continues to reach out to our community, and beyond,” Ms Nicholson said.

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Ben Blain said the project highlighted the value of the library as a community asset.

“The new library provides all the traditional library services but also improved accessibility along with a diverse range of programs that a contemporary library is well placed to provide,” Cr Blain said. 

A discussion and preview screening of the animation was held earlier this month at the library.

Project participants received assistance from writers S.E. Hermanoczki and Jenny Valentish and from animators at One Day Studios.