The giant storm unleashed by two Jangala men, who sang the rain in the Central Desert, is among a collection of Dreaming stories stitched together in quilts for Aboriginal children in care.
Crafted by Orange Tree Quilters using Indigenous prints, the special keepsakes were gifted to Centacare Foster Care on the eve of NAIDOC Week.
Fourteen dreamtime stories are depicted in the quilts, which aim to nurture cultural connection and identity in children placed with non-Aboriginal homes on their foster care journey.
In the water Dreaming, the storm travelled east to west with a pamapardu (flying ant) before a gecko called Yumariyumari blew the rain onwards to Ngamangama, where the storm built hills and stuck long, pointy clouds – seen today as rock formations – into the ground.
“Each quilt tells a story,’’ Centacare Foster Care Manager Amalie Mannik said.
“We collated these into a bedtime booklet to gift to the children so they can get to know the beliefs and mythology represented in the fabrics of their quilt.
“Even if the children are reunified with family, the quilts go with them, so they become an important reminder of Country, culture, and ancestry.’’
Nearly 40 per cent of the children engaged with Centacare Foster Care identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
“This is a huge over-representation which is why we make connection to culture a priority,’’ Amalie said.
In the lead-up to NAIDOC Week, Centacare Foster Care hosted a weekend celebration for families while regular cultural connection mornings further carer learnings and help strengthen children’s identities.
A City of West Torrens grant funded the purchase of the fabric, designed by Warlukurlangu artists.
“This is the second year Orange Tree Quilters have collaborated with us on this project and we are so grateful for their generosity and skill in creating such beautiful keepsakes for the children in our program,’’ Amalie said.
*This year, NAIDOC Week (3-10 July) calls on all of us to keep pushing for systemic change under the theme Get up! Stand Up! Show Up! as we continue to rally around our mob, our Elders, and our communities.