Untold Stories: Real stories, by real people
We all have a story to share about struggles we’ve endured or challenges we’ve overcome. Reading about others’ stories’ is a chance to feel less alone and more inspired on how to act. But how do we get to a point where we can share our own experiences and stories safely?
Untold Stories is a storytelling project that helps students talk and share their experiences with mental health, being away from home for the first time, sexuality and more. This project provides one-day training plus ongoing mentoring support until you have developed a story you feel confident to share. You will then be provided different opportunities to share your story, be they written, as part of a workshop or as part of a presentation or speech.
Over the last few years, we’ve captured some inspiring stories from our diverse student community.
In one story, international student Rose detailed the time when her parents visited for the first time and found her birth control pills, where they had different views about sex.
“For me it was not the feeling of fear that stayed with me for the next 6 months, but a feeling of guilt.”
“On one hand, was I a terrible daughter and going against their words…however, I knew to my very core that what I was doing was not wrong.”
Richard talked about his brother’s story with HIV and how his life was impacted by it:
“How was he going to afford treatment in a country that long refused to subsidise HIV medication, at least publicly? How was he ever going to fulfil his dream of finally leaving home, moving abroad for university and all the rest of it?”
Sujin’s family having limited LGBTQI+ visibility and not understanding what being queer meant as she struggled with her pansexual identity.
“Deep inside, I knew this was a secret I could never tell my parents.”
During COVID, Nayonika and Bonnie both struggled with their mental health:
“I was spiralling. I could either burn out and lose myself and everything I had worked so hard for up until now, or I could choose to be patient and kind to myself.”
“All these uncertainties and changes related to COVID-19 added a lot of cognitive burden…But I gained a lot of tools from This Way Up to help me reduce my stress. Many of them are things I have learned in my psychology courses, but they feel very different when I actually practise them.”
With the Untold Stories project, we will coach you through your experiences and help you reflect on your mental health journey, which can then inspire and make others feel seen.
Do you want to learn how to tell your story? Fill in the expression of interest form to get involved.
Untold Stories Program
Untold Stories is a lived experience storytelling project which provides opportunities for UNSW students to share their personal experiences and journey to recovery to help and inspire others going through similar experiences.
Untold Stories - Richard's Story
For Richard and his brother, being a part of the LGBTQ+ community whilst growing up in Singapore was difficult. Despite its glitz and glamour, Singapore is a deeply conservative city that “criminalises queerness and HIV status,” said Richard.
Listen to Richard's story and learn more about what it's like to love someone living with HIV.
Untold Stories - Rose's Story
Listen to Rose's untold story, as part of UNSW SEXtember 2021.
Untold Stories - Sujin's Story
Listen to Sujin's untold story, as part of UNSW SEXtember 2021.
Untold Stories - Bonnie's story
When everything changed earlier last year, Bonnie found herself feeling incredibly overwhelmed and riddled with uncertainty. Bonnie shares her mental health journey during COVID-19.
Untold Stories - Nayonika’s Story
Nayonika is a familiar face to many UNSW through her advocacy work and passion for student welfare and wellbeing. Her story highlights the need to check in with those we see as the ‘strong friend’ or the ‘tough one’, especially during challenges like the pandemic.