Women of Penrith – they made a difference!

The Taste of Everything Women’s Workshops is one of the groups that run out of the Floribunda Community Centre at Glenmore Park. It was created around four years ago, as an opportunity for women to come together to learn something new each week.

Groups such as the Taste of Everything Women’s Workshops are valuable in that they are a soft entry point for members of the community to engage with services, they reduce social isolation, and they teach new important skills.

Over the past few years, we have learnt many different things – we have learnt how to make cards, create candles, paint with watercolours, decorate cakes, fix taps, make gardens out of besser blocks, meditate, make chocolates, arrange flowers and much more.

Last year, one of the women, Linsey, came to me with an idea to make a wall-hanging, and the concept was born. Another of our women is Lesley, a very very talented lady, one of her talents being quilting. We had been creating items such as bags, table runners and sewing machine covers, but thought a larger project would be fun.

I applied for a CAP grant from Penrith City Council, and we all crossed our fingers. One day, as we were exploring the Arms of Australia Inn Museum, I got the call – we were successful in our application! We were so excited! We were going to make a wall-hanging celebrating powerful, influential women of Penrith, and present it to Council, to be displayed in the Floribunda Community Centre!

So the work began. It was more than just creating a quilt – we learnt how to budget, to plan the project, to research the women we wanted to include. We learnt how to approach the women or their relatives for permission to include them, we learnt how to create such a huge quilt, and we learnt how to work together as a team. We planned the Presentation, we planned a book. Each woman played a big part in creating this wall-hanging, and we couldn’t have done it without each and every one.

It was a huge job, and it culminated in a Presentation of the wall-hanging to the Penrith Mayor, Councillor Ross Fowler OAM, a lovely morning tea with many of the women and/or their relatives and friends that we displayed on the quilt, we had speeches from two of our women, talking about what the group meant to them, and explaining the process of creating the quilt. And finally, the wall-hanging was revealed!

All of our guests were amazed by the beauty and handiwork of the wall-hanging. The amount of work put in was evident, and it was wonderful to see the women recognised for their hard work.

We are in the process of producing a book, telling the women’s stories in detail, and also about the process of creating the wall-hanging.

My favourite part of the project was seeing the women sitting around the quilt together, hand-stitching it to finish it off. I am very grateful to have been a part of this project, and am so, so, very proud of all of the women.

Feel free to pop on down to Floribunda Community Centre, 3 Floribunda Avenue, Glenmore Park, to view this amazing work of art!

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