There’s some new makers on the block at the Dallas Community Hub and their wares will soon be for sale. Beaded jewellery, made by women who attend the hub’s weekly coffee/craft club, will be on sale at an upcoming Dallas Brooks Community Primary School market at the invitation of the school’s principal.
The jewellery ‘collection’ is the culmination of months of making by the women, all newly arrived migrants and refugees. Machinery and some materials for the club were purchased with a $1600 grant from the John Wallis Foundation.
The women began in the club sewing garments and learning to alter clothes using a newly purchased overlocker, a sewing machine donated by the school and a bit of know-how from a school staff member, whose time was donated by the school.
The exchange of ideas and the developing relationships and support networks are icing on the cake for hub coordinator Gail Hart, who instigated the coffee/craft club almost a year ago after a community consultation.
As well as the sewing, knitting and jewellery making, Gail believes the affirmation shown by the school community is important. The women see themselves as a valued part of the school and wider community.
“A lot of the women are very isolated at first and the weekly club is so relaxed that they feel welcomed,” Gail said. “When you are making things and teaching one another, language isn’t a barrier.”