A Wharfie’s Story is a collaboration between the Collingwood College Theatre Troupe and artists Kym Maxwell, Gerard Van Dyke and Joel Stern.

Originally performed by the Collingwood College Theatre Troupe in the College’s gym, 20th of November, 2015, the final hour-long performance introduced by Jim Beggs was performed on the public lawn of Buluk Park—in front of Library at The Dock on Melbourne’s North Wharf, 21st of November, 2015.

The 2015 theatre work A Wharfie’s Story produced with Collingwood College students (aged 8 to 10) was performed at Melbourne Dockland’s Buluk Park. The script inspired by Jim Beggs’s autobiography Proud to be a Wharfie (2013) retells the story of his life as Wharfie unionist on Melbourne’s North Wharf in the 1950’s to the 70’s. The students’ studied and retold his life story. Maxwell developed the curriculum and project with choreographer Gerard Van Dyke, and orchestrated Foley sound with Joel Stern. A significant work, this site-specific 50-minute performance refocused attention to the changing conditions of laborers, and workers’ rights that children may not be exposed too today. As the history of our trade industry and scale of manual labour is replaced by automation, this was a moving experience for the children.  

This project was supported by Council’s Small Project Grants Program. Press Release here. In addition Review in The Age by Dylan Rainforth