THROUGHOUT history, storytelling has been a way for humans to connect and communicate. And while during these uncertain times they cannot be shared face-to-face, they are as important as ever.
Clunes Neighbourhood House is one of many dotted around the state. It brings community members living in the small historic town together, helps to foster connections, provide educational opportunities and bring ideas to life.
During this period of social isolation, Clunes Neighbourhood House has looked for different ways to connect the community.
It is launching a number of initiatives to help the community through the coronavirus pandemic, including a challenge to help people use this period of social isolation to sort out parts of their lives they ordinarily do not have time to.
Another initiative has been launching a project that has long been on the cards but which has never come to fruition, until now - a story walk around the small town in which the town's interesting history and stories of its people and anecdotes is shared.
While social restrictions are in place, the group developing the idea are focusing on the talk component of the 'Walk the Talk' project.
As they collect stories over the phone, it is a perfect way for Neighbourhood House volunteers to keep in contact with the community.
"It is a real opportunity for us to keep talking to people while we collect these stories," Clunes Neighbourhood House's manager, Lana de Kort, said. "It has been a great way for us to, in particular, touch base with older members of the community and talk over the phone with them."
The stories which are collected are then converted into sound files and linked to a QR code.
You might also like: Paranormal investigators make contact with 'friendly ghosts' in historic town
A number have already been installed but once the story walk is established, community members and visitors will see dozens of QR codes pinned up around the town on blue signs constructed by the local Men's Shed group.
When the QR codes are scanned with an electronic device, people will be able to hear the recorded story associated with that area.
While the stories can be listened to by physically scanning the code once it is stumbled upon, they will also be uploaded to the Neighbourhood House's website.
The project is still in its infancy, but Ms de Kort said it was hoped that pictures and video could be incorporated into the stories down the track.
She said the project had been an idea spoken about in the community for quite a while, and was in line with the focuses of the Neighbourhood House - which includes walkability and ways to get people out and moving around the town.
Once social restrictions are removed, it has potential to be a legacy project and could be used as a platform to host guided walks around the town for both tourists and community members.
The volunteers are collecting stories from people who are a range of different ages and from different backgrounds, with those collected so far ranging from the history of the town's buildings to stories that will make people laugh.
The first QR code has been installed at the Neighbourhood House - on the same land as the old school site, which has a long and rich history.
It outlines the history of the site, and what has occurred there in years gone by.
Another story to be shared is from about 20 years ago, when a huge gust of wind picked up somebody's shed and dropped it in the town.
The volunteers working on the project envisage that a few new stories will pop up around the town each week for people to listen to as they venture out for their daily walk while practising social distancing or to listen to from the comfort of their own homes.
To share your story, call 5345 4078 or email email@example.com
Further information is available at clunesnh.org
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.