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MANY THREADS WOMAN’S GROUP
For several years, projects specifically for women have been taking place at the Ration Shed Museum. All have a focus on women’s experiences of family, friendship, history, creativity, health and wellbeing. Women of all ages are involved, from young girls to our cherished Elders. We get together to celebrate Cherbourg women’s talent, strength and resilience. The projects recognize that while Cherbourg people share a common history, there are aspects of life that have special meaning for particular groups and some matters are sensitive, needing time and space to work through. We find that art, craft and processes such as the Yarning Circle help us to address issues that have great historical significance, but also contemporary meaning in Cherbourg today. We believe that these workshops and projects are something really special and we want to share what we have been doing with other people and communities in the hope that they will find inspiration in our efforts.
Our Creative Crafting group is called Many Threads. We meet every week and are doing deadly craft projects while also enjoying each other’s company. Many Threads is a place of support, love, fun and laughter. For a long time, our dream was that the old Domestic Science building – the place where so many of us were taught to sew, cook and clean – would become part of the Cherbourg Historical Precinct so we will have a permanent place to continue our projects and display our exhibitions and artworks.
Today that dream has become a reality. With the help of funding from HIPPY Australia and The Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office, we have been able to renovate and refurbish the Domestic Science building. We share the building with HIPPY Cherbourg which works very well for us all.
Many Threads meeting twice weekly and engage in a number of craft activities ranging from sewing and quitting to sandal making, mosaicking, weaving, felting, dyeing, etc. We also volunteer our services and train your girls from Cherbourg State School and Shaftesbury to sew and make various objects.
We make and sell our craft in the Ration Shed shop and run cake sales and garage sales to raise funds for our projects. We have also developed a number of exhibitions which the public can come and view – Our Many Threads Tea Towel exhibition – which tells the story of being a Domestic Worker and our Bizarre Bra’s – Cancer awareness exhibition. 11 of our bizarre bra’s were bought by the Museum of Canberra for a permanent display.
We also receive funding for our projects from a number of sources:
Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office – This funding has helped us to run a variety of mosaic workshops and purchase desks and furniture.
Wiri Yuwiburra Community Benefits Trust – The Wiri Funding assisted the Many Threads group to purchase sewing machines and sewing accessories and run sewing and craft workshop with specialist teachers. It also provided catering for the women who meet weekly
Sisters of Mercy – Funds from Sisters of Mercy helped fund a specialist teacher to teach us basket weaving and macrame. We also purchase various materials we needed