An artist and weaver from Brisbane, Australia, Maryann Talia has been in the country to conduct star weaving workshops as part of a major installation of one million stars to fight domestic violence.
Last Friday, the Goshen Trust Mental Health Facility joined her mission, signing up for the One Million Stars campaign.
Set up in 2010, the goal of The Goshen Mental Health Trust Samoa is to help mental health consumers, their families and friends, gain access to the love, care and support needed to help them be emotionally, mentally and spiritually well and stay well.
Ms. Talia said she was thrilled to have been able to work with the Trust, having conducted other similar trainings since she arrived.
According to her, the project started in Brunswick, Victoria in 2012 as her personal response to the rape and murder of Jill Meagher.
“Since then, it has grown into an international weaving movement with 500,000 stars being woven by communities in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Europe and the USA,” she said.
“Some of these stars have been part of the stunning displays at the Royal Exhibition Building Melbourne, Queen St Mall Brisbane, Myer Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House.
“I’m inviting people around the world to learn how to weave an 8 pointed star and that star will be collected by me and will go towards a major installation of 1million stars as part of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“Earlier this year the Queensland government launched a partnership between the One Million Stars End Violence Project and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and so they are supporting me to help realise this installation of one million stars and they are supporting me to travel throughout the Commonwealth including Samoa, Rarotonga, Fiji, U.K. and Canada to promote the project and to weave to the communities like this.
“To tell the people about the project and invite them to participate in this conversation of how to end violence in these communities not just violence against women and children but violence against men, the earth and everything like bullying, racism and all sorts.”
So what is the next step once her goal of a million stars is reached?
She said the aim is to have it displayed somewhere during the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
“However, a venue hasn’t been confirmed but it will be part of the arts and cultural programme for the Commonwealth Games in 2018. “[But] what I’m working towards is to tour the stars around Australia and if there’s people across the world, if there are spaces across the world that can hold one million stars then we can arrange for that.
“But for now it’s spreading the word, it’s inviting people to weave and they have until 2017 to weave their stars, so I’m asking the people to weave the stars with their communities and everyone and then send it to me in Australia by June next year and then I am going to work with a group of volunteers to work on the installation of a venue for us.”