Creative Enterprise with the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Women’s Circle

Creative Enterprise with the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Women’s Circle

Since relocating to North East Victoria (from Katherine NT, via a brief stint in poor old Covid-era-Melbourne!) we (Magpie Goose co-founders Maggie and Laura) have been reaching out to local mob. We've been exploring ways we can partner with local Aboriginal artists and organisations, to offer employment and training opportunities through Magpie Goose; and have a few exciting projects in the works that we look forward to sharing.

 

We connected with the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Women's Circle in 2019 when they requested some fabric offcuts to make dilly bags for their Aboriginal mums healthcare program (a nifty little bag to keep their baby's immunisation books safe!)

New mums immunisation book bags created from Magpie Goose offcuts; Laura and Grace working on earrings!

The Albury Wodonga Women’s Circle is a group that comes together weekly to facilitate social connectedness and creativity among Aboriginal women living in the border region. It's supported by the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (AWAHS) and has aspirations to become an independent social enterprise.

 

We were invited by Jocelyn Wright, Family Support Worker with AWAHS to visit the women on one of their Tuesday meet ups; to talk about enterprise, potential opportunities partnering with Magpie Goose, and to run our product development earring project.

 

The workshop covers a basic rundown of creating a product: cost of goods, cost of designing a product, cost of selling and marketing a product, Magpie Goose as a potential customer, and artist payment. 15 pairs of earrings were created + sold to Magpie Goose, generating $225 in artist payments (though many people kindly donated their fee to the Women's Circle!) Others opted to gift their creations to friends, and one passionate artist took an earring kit home to keep creating! Read more about the development of the project here.

AWAHS Women's Circle; Margaret Murray working on some earrings

We loved meeting everyone and sharing the story of Magpie Goose while we all got crafty making earrings. Here are a few of the fabulous creations and a bit about the women who painted them!

Aunty Valda Murray: Aunty Valda works as the Aboriginal Family Led Decision Maker at Mungabereena Aboriginal Corporation in Wodonga (Dhuderoa Country). Her great great grandmother came from the mission at Tangambalanga.

She is Yorta Yorta on her Mum's side, and her dad is from Wamba Wamba (Deniliquin way). Valda is active in community leadership roles, including the local NAIDOC committee, and was involved in recruiting extras fro the Sapphires movie (who knew it was filmed locally in Corowa!?)

Peggy Ferguson: Peggy grew up in Albury. Her family is from country Victoria down near Warrnambool way. She comes to the women's group every Tuesday and enjoys getting involved in the sewing activities (and is even selling some masks on facebook!)

Lynda Campbell: Lynda is a Wiradjuri Woman -her family's country is up around Bathurst and Orange. She's originally from Sydney but has been in Wodonga for 40 years. She comes to the Women's Circle every Tuesday and loves art, craft and sewing. Lynda has three kids and eight grandchildren. Lynda made the bags with the Magpie Goose offcuts for the new mums' immunisation books.


Bev King: Bev is a Waka Waka woman (Cherbourg, QLD) originally from Brisbane. She moved ot Melbourne for 20 years and is now based in Albury. Bev is a remedial massage therapist and loves volunteering with th Women's Circle as a sewing teacher.

Joanne Taylor: Jo is a Noongar Woman from Western Australia and she likes coming along to the Women's Group.

Brittany Wright: Britt is a Ngarrinjeri woman of the lower Murray River, Western Fleurieu Peninsula, and the Coorong of the southern-central area of South Australia. She is the health promotion worker at AWAHS, and is a star netballer! She loves learning about her culturea nd listneing to her elder's stories.

You can now shop the earrings here!


Read more

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A chat with Amber from Wayila Creative

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