Cowra Voices app takes out oral history award

Cowra Voices app takes out oral history award

The Cowra Voices app, which brings the history of the town and its people to life through storytelling, has been named the winner of the 2020 Oral History NSW Community History Award.

The award is "designed to acknowledge the work of individuals or community groups who are recording the histories of their communities".

The judges of the award said: "Geolocative storytelling apps are a very exciting space for oral history's future - and this one, based around a specific place and event, centres grassroots 'peacebuilding' and the Japanese diaspora".

"Its rationale and execution are admirable and necessary.

"The project team has a long-standing and fruitful history of collaboration with Cowra council, and the Cowra community.

"The outcome also includes multiple sections of the community (youth, Indigenous peoples, ethnic-minority women).

"Furthermore, the project team has been able to appeal to both locals and tourists, and built transnational connections."

The Cowra Voices team said the creation of the app wouldn't be possible without the support of the community and various stakeholders.

"Congratulations to all who shared their stories in Cowra Voices, and thank you for making Cowra Voices such an important oral history document," the team said.

"The Cowra Voices team would like to thank and acknowledge the funding bodies and partners who supported us throughout the making of this app including: the Australian Government through theAustralia-Japan Foundation, Cowra Council, The Bruce and Margaret Weir Trust, Quakers (Nancy Shelley Bequest Fund), Japan Foundation, Sydney and Cowra Breakout Association."

Cowra Voices was created by members of Nikkei Australia, in partnership with Cowra Council, Cowra Tourism Corporation, Arts OutWest, and Japan's Tokai University design students from Sapporo (Hokkaido) campus.

Audio recording support was provided by ABC Central West. App developer was Sazae Pty Ltd.