Welcome to The Orality Centre

Enroll now for our second term of classes

The Mnemonic Arts  – Second term

The Orality Centre is pleased to announce the start of the second term of classes in the Mnemonic Arts. These classes, which run over 10 weeks in third term, are designed specifically for Primary or Secondary school children. Based on Dr Lynne Kelly‘s research into ancient memory methods from around the globe. The Arts take the lead where memory is concerned but improving memory helps all areas of schooling. Students will learn how to create Memory palaces, make fun and beautiful memory tools like Lukasa, Winter-counts and Towie Balls as well as lots more adventures with Rapscallion characters.MnemArtsPosterT2


Please take note of the change of venue – Classroom 1 – Continuing Education, 30 Templeton Street in Castlemaine.

For further enquiries, bookings and enrollments please email us at  info@theoralitycentre.org with your name, contact details and the particular class or workshop you are interested in attending.

Alternatively you can call Paul Allen on 0404 127 038 or Alice Steel on 0401 441 292


Saturday 11 August 2018

The Orality Centre is pleased to announce our first day of workshops in Melbourne. Due to the high level of interest in our workshops from Melbourne residents we have booked a new venue at Avenue Neighbourhood House @ Eley.

87 Eley Rd, Blackburn South, Melways Ref – 61H5.

12noon – 3pm Memory Palace workshop with Paul Allen $70

800px-Hans_Vredeman_de_Vries_Nachfolge_Ideale_PalastarchitekturThe Memory Palace (also known as the method of loci or memory trails) consists of a sequence of locations in which information is stored by linking it to the physical properties of the location. Memory palaces are the single most effective memory system known, used by all indigenous cultures (such as Australian Aboriginal Songlines and Native American pilgrimage trails). They are best known from the orators of the ancient Greeks from Homer to Cicero. All contemporary memory champions use this method.

Using various temporary objects Paul Allen will demonstrate and explain the process of encoding memory into the physical space of a Memory Palace. He will demonstrate the method using the example of the countries of the world in population order. Once this basic method has been learnt participants will be able to create their own Memory Palaces around their homes, place of work or even in the school classroom. Participants need only their enthusiasm to learn and a vivid imagination to create the various associations between the information being memorised and the location within the Memory Palace itself.


How would you link this artwork to Thailand on your memory trail?

12noon – 3pm Memory Boards workshop with Alice Steel $75

3-reefe-lukasa-fig1Memory Boards are incredibly effective portable devices and found in various forms right across indigenous cultures, from the songboards and birchbark scrolls of Native Americans to the tjuringa of Australian Aboriginal elders. We will model our memory boards on the well-documented West African lukasa of the Luba people. In its simplest form, the lukasa consists of beads and shells attached to a piece of wood, just the right size to hold comfortably – which we will call a TOC-lukasa. A personal TOC-lukasa is a gorgeous object which is hugely practical as well.


Alice’s egg shaped memory board design.

Alice Steel will display the many variations of how Memory Boards may be configured, from the traditional TOC lukasa to Alice’s own egg shaped design. She will then guide participants in how to design, construct and encode information of their own choosing in their very own Memory Board. Please bring information for any topic with you. We will also have examples of suitable information on offer.




Participants from our last Memory Boards workshop

For further enquiries, bookings and enrollments please email us at  info@theoralitycentre.org with your name, contact details and the particular class or workshop you are interested in attending.

Alternatively you can call Paul Allen on 0404 127 038 or Alice Steel on 0401 441 292


The Orality Centre was formed by a group of passionate educators who see the potential for advances in learning within the research of Orality Centre Founder, Dr Lynne Kelly, into the ancient memory systems from cultures all around the world.

The Doves, an art work in the Oenpelli style by Australian Indigenous artist, Andrew Munakali (1940-1988). Photo: Damian Kelly

Our aim is to research, develop and experiment with memory systems that bridge the divide between the ancient methods of learning and retaining information and the modern digital age that provides an abundance of information. Information that has been stored externally from the human mind, as a direct result of the development of literacy, remains disarticulated from the potential of being applied in creative and innovative ways. In response The Orality Centre hopes to revive the ancient and profoundly effective memory capacities of the human mind, since only retained information can actually be construed as knowledge.

The Orality Centre intends to work within the education sector, from primary schooling through to tertiary level, researching the most appropriate and effective means of applying the memory technologies of the past to the modern education of our children. We want to enrich learning for students of all abilities, including those with special needs, learning difficulties and as an extension for advanced learners.  The dream is to deepen their level of engagement and profoundly increase their level of information recall within the context of their schooling and beyond into their daily lives.

Adult learners are also a target for The Orality Centre’s research with the provision of group workshops, individual tuition and targeted memory technologies that are most suited to the interests and fields of study of each individual learner.

We are also interested in reviewing research on the response of those with dementia to music and places from the past, and whether there are formal methods we can employ throughout life to reduce the impact of memory issues with ageing.

From professional development in industries that require a vast amount of memorised information to enthusiastic amateurs who wish to learn more about their area of personal interest or to simply enhance their pre-existing knowledge, the value of memory systems is immense ,

Our research will be conducted in collaboration with our participating students and adult learners alongside our ongoing experimentation with the various memory devices from Indigenous cultures. We will also be devising memory devices here at The Orality Centre.


A memory board based on the Lukasa of the Luba People of west Africa

Our goal is to develop memory technologies that utilise the collective intelligence of us all, thereby harnessing an untapped potential for human creativity and innovation.


8 thoughts on “Welcome to The Orality Centre

  1. Maree Thompson

    I was wanting to know whether the orality techniques could be used to learn a language. My natural memory is poor and hence language acquisition a cause of personal frustration.
    Thanks ,


  2. matthew worrall

    I saw your flier on the community noticeboard. Due to 2 brain haemhorrages (caused by an AVM) and a subsequent brain operation , I have impaired memory. the 1st bleed in 1979, 2nd bleed in 1988, the operation in 1989. I am 55 yo, so for more than half of my life I have lived with the memory damage. Could your strategies possibly help me? please ring me on 5472 4231. thanks, Matthew Worrall .


  3. Carolyne Taplin

    Hello Paul & Lynne

    You have stated your interest in reviewing research on the response of those with dementia to music and places from the past, and whether there are formal methods we can employ throughout life to reduce the impact of memory issues with ageing. This is an area of huge interest to me as a dementia consultant and amateur musician 🙂 I hope to do your August workshop and discuss more. Meanwhile is there somewhere in Castlemaine I can purchase Lynne ‘a book??


    1. Paul Post author

      Hello Carolyne,

      Thank you for you comment. Your experience working with dementia patients and music sounds fascinating. Can’t wait to meet you and talk about about these issues.
      Have you tried Stonemans Bookshop here in Castlemaine? They may well be out, but if you’re lucky you could get your hands on a signed copy.

      Regards, Paul Allen


  4. Peter Cosatto

    Hi Lynne

    I’m a single parent who is unable to take time away to attend the workshop. Does the realty Centre do podcasts?

    I work as a high school teacher with students exhibiting behaviour issues and learning difficulties, a significant number are indigenous. One aspect that has become important to me is exposing indigenous (and non indigenous students) to their culture In the bush. These memory techniques applied to walking through the local bush with the students… its breathtaking thinking what may be accomplished for them this way. The freedom to learn and recall.

    Have you suggestions how I might be able to move forward with this at my school?

    Thank you for The Memory Code and I look forward to your new book that follows.

    Kind Regards


    1. Paul Post author

      Hi Peter,

      Paul Allen here. No we are not doing any podcasts although there are few we can recommend. Anthony Metivier’s “Magnetic Memory” is a good one that closely aligns with Lynne’s process. Although it has none of the indigenous methods because, until Lynne’s research was published, no-one seemed to realise how incredibly ancient the memory techniques were.

      Apart from workshops there is the possibility of coming and working with you at your school. I’m a qualified teacher with current VIT (I work at the Primary level teaching Visual Arts). My colleague Alice Steel worked earlier this year with a school on their camp at Anglesea where she taught the students the techniques to take back to school and use there. Maybe you could talk to the school Principal and see if we could come and do a day, or week onsite? We’re happy to provide any further details at your request.

      Otherwise, as a single parent, our workshops are open to kids as well (not sure of the child/ren’s age), but we have been running workshops with kids in their early teens.

      Feel free to contact us via email if you are attracted to any ideas or have any further thoughts of your own.

      Paul Allen



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