Feb 14, 2018 | Grant Stories

Building enterprises, building relationships and building skills
– keeping traditional Pandanus Weaving in Kalumburu Community, WA.

Watch the Weaving Workshop in Action!- Master Weaving Workshop
February 13th 2018 marked the 10-year anniversary of the then Australian Prime Minister’s apology to the stolen generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Sadly, the reality shows ten years on that progress has been slow on the key policy and funding commitments from government – The Closing the Gap Strategy.

We do know however, that many people are involved in diverse ways in continuing to work towards Closing the Gap. Today we look at a wonderful enterprise in far northwest remote Western Australia, where not-for-profit Enterprise Learning Projects works with local Aboriginal people to foster economic empowerment.

The John Wallis Foundation helped to fund a weeklong intensive weaving revival camp for 10 local indigenous women to create and bring products to market. Master weaver Margaret Duncan taught the women at the Strong Women’s centre in Kalumburu. Participants loved the program.

“I enjoyed learning how to strip the pandanus, how to make strips and make the pandanus moist and soft so it is easier to weave. I found it relaxing, I couldn’t stop working. I kept going!”

“I liked finding the dyes in the bush, and learning how to chop the pandanus and use it for color”.

Said Margaret Duncan “ I teach the traditional way of weaving as it makes our ancestors happy. When I see young people doing it, it makes my heart feel good. It has been such a good week….you open your heart to different people and different places – it’s good”.

Thanks for reading this article, we’d love you to share it with your friends and colleagues

Keep up to date with all the latest news of Highways and Byways.