Friday, 1 April 2011

Harmony sewn up

Congratulations go out to Jennifer (our fearless leader here at the sewing group) for winning the Honouring Women in Moreland Award!

Here is the article the Leader wrote about her!

Harmony sewn up 
21 Mar 2011, Moreland Leader, Madeline Healey

Doctor revitalises multicultural women’s craft group

ALL it takes is a dozen sewing machines, a little knowledge and a lot of determination to help stitch together cultural cohesion. Coburg GP Jennifer Mok grasped the premise and won the major prize at this year’s Honouring Women in Moreland Awards for her work regenerating Brunswick’s Multicultural Women’s Sewing Group.

The sewing group had been running for more than a decade at Brunswick Baptist Church when Dr Mok and Minister Ann Lock decided it needed a boost.
‘‘She and I were just puzzling out why the numbers were so low,’’ she said.
‘‘ We thought there probably was a need and we had a bunch of sewing machines and a bit of know-how and we tried different things to reach the people who would need it.’’

Numbers grew, a sewing teacher was hired and a childcare worker was employed for children brought along.Dr Mok said the group, which meets on Wednesday from 12.30-3pm and Saturdays from 2.30-4.30pm, attracted women of various backgrounds, including those who had recently arrived in Australia and didn’t speak much English.

‘‘A lot of the women have kids and if you’re newly arrived and you’ve got children, it can be hard to access things,’’ she said. ‘‘They might have worries and it gives them a chance to off-load some of their worries and not think about them for a couple of hours.’’

She said women who attended meetings were always grateful for the opportunity. ‘‘One woman was having a hard time. She said that when she came to sewing group, it felt like life was worth living,’’ Dr Mok said. ‘‘Another sold enough things she had sewn at our stall that she was able to buy a little bike for her daughter. She was so happy.’’

Dr Mok said she hoped the publicity surrounding her award would help attract more volunteers to help run the group. ‘‘You don’t have to be a good sewer to volunteer . . . if we had more volunteers it would take the pressure of financially.’’

Other winners at the March 10 awards were Helena Kilminster, Mary Lamb and June Woodall, from the PepperTree Community Nursery, Kathryn Jones, from the Brunswick Netball Club and the women’s open-age team at Brunswick Zebras Football Club.

Picture: MATT MURPHY N39CO509 Jennifer Mok won an Honouring Women in Moreland award.

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