The Great Aboriginal Dreaming Quilt: If You Know How To Sew, Read This, And Share It With Friends


An Aboriginal community from the north west of NSW is hoping that quilters, artists – basically anyone who can stitch – will join them in what they hope will be the nation’s biggest ‘Aboriginal Dreaming Quilt’.

Students from Walgett Community College High School will be performing in the November Schools Spectacular in Sydney. As part of that performance, they’re stitching together an enormous quilt, and they’re hoping folks from around the country will help take part, by creating a 20cm by 20cm ‘Dreaming Square’.

Just knock it together, then mail it to Walgett (to arrive before mid November) and it will be stitched into the main quilt. Students have already begun their ‘Dreaming Squares’, and they feature art like the Qantas square above, their homes, Aboriginal art and messages about the importance of literacy.

Your contribution can be anything you like – a message to inspire the students; a message of good luck; a message about your own hopes and aspirations; a hello from your own community or club; a bit about your town or your family or your mob. Your imagination is your limit.

To help with a bit of motivation, here’s what underpins the idea behind the Dreaming Quilt: “Lying underneath the dreaming quilt the individual shapes the story of their dreams. When we stand up and wrap the fabric around us like a cloak, we embody our dreaming and all the community stand with us in solidarity. We are Gamilaraay and we wear our identity with pride.”

In previous years, Walgett has made a name for itself for its performances at the Schools Spectacular. Last year, they painted up ports and suitcases featuring students dreams about far flung places, to highlight the theme ‘This is our world’. The region also produced groups like the Colli Crew, featuring Michael Graham, a talented young Aboriginal rap artist.

You can use whatever material you like – cotton, silk or kangaroo even skin squares – and the thickness doesn’t matter. It’ll be stitched onto the main quilt however you present it.

For details, you can contact Ros McGregor on 0437 624 001 or the Walgett Community College High School Executive Principal Karen McKinnon on 02 6828 1022

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.