International Overdose Awareness Day

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“The environment was empty, the antagonist hidden, and I drifted into  solo adventures”. William S. Burroughs.

The image of drug addiction evokes polarizing opinion. There is the romanticized image – the fuel of a bohemian movement whose members aspire to expand on creativity and search for utopia. Then there is the solemn image of a social misfit whose descent into addiction is all too often explained with simplicity – their’s was one of weakness rather than a harsh reality that is often the result of something traumatic. The stereotype is either a starved dreamer or a silent marginalized member of society looking to numb an unspeakable, often misunderstood pain. Either way, a death by a drug overdose is ultimately seen as nothing more than death by over indulgence – a demise defined by excess.
International Overdose Awareness Day taking place on August 31st is a day to commemorate the lives lost and effected by the plight of addiction, to support their families and loved ones and to take the opportunity to address stigma. The stories of addiction may be subjective but their numbers aren’t. According the The World Drug Report by the United Nations, Australia is a nation that has a higher than average drug mortality rate with between 1,700 and 2,100 deaths in 2013. This just on top of the fact that the enabling force is an industry that profits off the marginalized.
On August 31st we all have a chance to take action in dismantling the myths and misconceptions of addiction. It’s a moment where we should stop and think about dependence, what is it, who it effects, who is at risk, why is it effective and how we all can take a collective effort to re-define these notions. In the end there is a silver lining to be found.

Thank you guest author, Claire Peter-Budge

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Iced Vovo’s And Christmas (Trees) In July

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Last Friday at sewing group the Greeves St Project volunteers finished a huge number of Christmas tree decorations. That’s right. We are already preparing for the December trade.

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A volunteer brought her beautiful 7 year old daughter and one of the course participants taught her how to machine sew. The results were incredible – she achieved great success, thanks to the skills and patience of the woman who taught her.

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Holiday Trip To See 200 Years Of Australia Fashion

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We took a break from sewing and had a great time at the Ian Potter Gallery to see the 200 Years of Australian Fashion exhibition. It finishes late July and was truly beautiful.

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Introducing Contributing Artist No. 9: Laura Alice

‘Laura Alice is a Geelong-based artist who creates inky paintings and street art. Her works are illustrative, playful, serene and whimsical, exploring a world of contemplative creatures and their human companions. She paints from the heart, finding her inspiration in mystic philosophers, children’s storybooks and Melbourne street art. Laura Alice co-founded both Geelong Illustrators and Norlane Yarn Bombers’

Her practice includes a passion for community development, often incorporating artistic empowerment with drawing therapy techniques when working with a vast range of people groups. She co-founded Geelong Illustrators and Norlane Yarn Bombers. In 2014 she held a solo show in Melbourne’s Fawn Gallery.

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She also loves reading, collecting old animal figurines, drinking coffee with her husband Jono and hanging out with her rabbit Wintro and cat Tokyo.’

Julia Tulloh Harper writes about Alice, “Each picture incorporates intricate patterns drawn with black ink over the earthy greens, browns and deep blues of the painted paper base. Laura researched and integrated traditional designs from Australian indigenous, Indian, Japanese, Indonesian and African cultures, so that the artworks themselves seem to symbolise an ideal community: a variety of cultures, histories and traditions, brought together to form a rich and coherent whole.”

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Thank you so much, Laura Alice, for your beautiful contribution to the Greeves St. Greeting Card Range, Polar Bear. You can buy Laura Alice’s greeting card at the Greeves St. Shop or by contacting St Kilda Gatehouse on (03) 9534 2196.

 

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Well Done To Our 3rd Graduate!

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This amazing woman has persevered through hardship to turn up to 10 weeks worth of the Greeves St. Project to graduate with her sewing machine today. We understand participants may not make it to the group over ten consecutive weeks and so tailor the program to be flexible to individual’s needs.

We are so happy for Graduate 3. You are an inspiring and determined person with a sunny attitude and heaps of skills to share. Congratulations! We love having you along for the ride and love that you want to continue with us as a graduate.

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Congratulations!

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Congratulations to the second Greeves St. Project graduate! Not only did she graduate from the Greeves St. program but she managed to secure a job. She is also very keen to set up her machine at home and begin to make up-cycled clothing out of pre-loved denim. The Greeves St. Sewing & Small Business program has become a place of belonging, shared ideas, innovation and entrepreneurialism. Every woman who participates has independently come up with a product she would like to make and sell. It is an edgy and creative space. Volunteers and participants alike say this is the highlight of their week and it feels so wonderful to belong to such an inspiring and accepting group*.

*Note: even once a woman graduates from the program she is welcome to continue attending.

 

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Graduate Number 2!

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It seems a long time since the woman holding this beautiful embroidered button she’d just finished, began her involvement with the Greeves St. project. But, I think anyway, that is because we have grown to know her and love her and admire her over the ten weeks she has attended the group. We have journeyed with her as she reconnected with family, began and graduated from an industry training course, sat for job interviews and gained courage to meet new people and try new experiences. At times she has struggled but along with the shared tears there has been so much fun and laughter.

Congratulations! You are an inspiration and we love you! Can’t wait to hand over your new sewing machine this Friday. You totally deserve it and may all good things in life be yours.

 

Posted in Greeves St., Melbourne, Non Profit, sewing, Social Enterprise, Social Inclusion, St Kilda Gatehouse, Textiles | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments