The Wake Up Time weavers formed in 2003 in response to concerns from local Aboriginal women and Buttery counsellors about drug and alcohol problems in the Casino community. The women decided that art, and in particular weaving, would act as a means of meditation and therapy for them. The Healing Foundation worked with INTRA, The Buttery’s outreach program, to provide financial support to the group from 2011 to 2014.
What did the project involve?
The group was created out of a need to address domestic violence within the community by Aunty Phillis Torrens, who has now passed. Her daughters, granddaughters and nieces now attend the group.
Here is a comment by Lauren Jarrett, a Bundjalung, Gumbayngaree and Dunghutti woman, and counsellor at The Buttery’s INTRA outreach program:
“It is a way of renewing culture and essential in healing the effects of dispossession and the Stolen Generation. The women ‘walk the land’ retracing the steps of their great grandmothers and connecting with the environment while feeding the spirit as they search for pandanus, lomandra and other local materials to use in their craft.”
The women practice their culture and are passing it on again within their families and through fortnightly visits to Casino High School where the women teach and mentor a group of local Aboriginal girls through weaving.
Some of the achievements of the project include:
- Improving skills and confidence, cultural connections and cultural pride
- Improving the status of the participants in their community and their capacity to participate in work and economic activity
- Revitalising traditional culture
- Improving intra- and inter- personal skills
From Casino to Sydney: the fashion debut of the Wake Up Time weavers
In early 2014 the Wake Up Time weavers premiered their beautiful handwoven and dyed pieces at Australian Indigenous Fashion Week. We talked to the women about the group, their community and the collection.
The Buttery has been serving the Northern Rivers region of NSW since 1973. It is the largest provider of drug, alcohol and gambling counselling in the area and operates a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre near Bangalow.
Visit The Buttery’s website at http://www.buttery.org.au/
The Wake Up Time weavers in the news
Below is a selection of news stories about the weavers and their activities.