Story Factory

Story Factory is a creative writing centre for young people based in Redfern and Parramatta. They believe that all young people, no matter their background, should be given opportunities to develop the communication skills and flexibility of thinking that will allow them to live their lives to their full potential and flourish in a rapidly changing world.

The Balnaves Foundation is Story Factory’s Strategic Partner, supporting them in the implementation of their 5-year Strategic Plan and the pilot of their Community Hubs project.

Story Factory’s 2023 – 2027 Strategic Plan has 5 key pillars for growth:

  1. Amplifying young people’s voices and growing impact, particularly in Western Sydney;
  2. National reach through digital programs;
  3. Diversity – stronger engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and ensuring more diversity among staff and volunteers;
  4. Having the right people and structures to support growth and renewal; and
  5. Ensuring an alignment how the organisation measures success with where Story Factory is headed.

As part of this partnership, the Foundation will also support Story Factory to develop their Community Hub pilot in Mt Druitt, which will be rolled out in 2024. For this project, Story Factory will work deeply with schools and community groups in the area, in the long-term, to create lasting, meaningful change.

The Foundation has a long relationship with Story Factory and is proud to be supporting the growth of this leading organisation as they build literacy in young people and amplify their voices through creative writing and storytelling.

Prior to the strategic partnership, The Balnaves Foundation supported Story Factory from 2012 – 2023 in a series of special projects. These were:

  • A joint program in 2012 between Story Factory and Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). The 6-week program saw 20 marginalised primary students produce their very own stop-motion animated films. Their films were screened in the National Centre for Creative Learning at the MCA for an audience of family and friends.
  • The Unmapping project in 2017 and 2018. Also in collaboration with the MCA, it involved an extended workshop experience for 160 primary and secondary students to develop creative stories with artists and writers as mentors.
  • Art Write Light in 2020 and 2021, a free creative writing project which project provided opportunities for students to creatively respond to the work of living artists, and to each other, and for this to inform and enrich their approaches to writing and storytelling. Artists included Ernest Aaron and Blak Douglas and culminated in an exhibition of the artist’s work and the students writing
  • Memory River in 2022 and 2023, a multi-disciplinary art and writing project which was a collaboration between Story Factory and The Female Factory in Parramatta. Memory River aimed to create meaningful engagement with The Female Factory’s dark history by bringing disadvantaged students to the site where they could interact with the onsite materials and hear stories from former residents and learn First Nations history of the site. Following their visit, the students produced pieces of art and creative writing projects which were displayed in a major exhibition alongside commissioned works by First Nations artists in response to the site.




Find out more about Story Factory here.