Kontiki Cultural Women Empowerment Inc.

“To build capacity of women, learn new skills and become socially connected”

I’m back from Melbourne! I explored the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (which was fantastic!) and did a lot of trendy coffee drinking, but I also managed to make a trip out to Sunshine in Melbourne’s west. There I met Charles, Frances and Ada from Kontiki Cultural Women’s Empowerment Incorporated – a wonderful initiative to empower women of all ages to sustain themselves and connect with one another, through teaching them fashion designing, sewing and dyeing techniques.

I can’t emphasise enough how friendly and welcoming they were to Aidan (my companion and cameraman!) and I. It was great to see people who have recently made a life for themselves in Australia reaching out and helping others in similar situations. Check out the short video I made about the group below.

A Glimpse into Kontiki Cultural Women’s Empowerment Incorporated from Isabelle Whitington on Vimeo.

This is just a short summary of their wonderful initiative, which includes teaching traditional dyeing techniques such as Batik and Gara tie-dying. Having moved twice, the group is now moving again to a larger space in Sunshine.

One thing I found really interesting while speaking to them was that 18 year old Ada was trusted with the position of treasurer! Charles explained to me that the group was about empowering women and the only thing better than learning how to responsibly manage finances is to learn how to make your own beautiful clothing!

I really hope they continue to get support and start selling their designs online (at the moment they sell in a nearby shop). Keep updated on their Facebook page.

What do you think?


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