News ChangeFest On The Rug

July 12, 2021

This is the story of ChangeFest 21 from my point of view. I am a Gathering Blanket. I came to ChangeFest via Moira Were and across the days and nights my custodian was Sean Leong.

A bit about me, I am engineered from Clothing the Gap premium LiteAs Microfibre fabric which is sand resistant, super-absorbent, compact and quick dry. So, I knew I would work in all ChangeFest conditions.

I was designed with love by Gunditjmara artist, Laura Thompson on Wurundjeri Country. I am reversible, another quality I knew would come in handy at ChangeFest. On one side I am inspired by traditional possum skin cloaks,  and on the other I celebrate Aboriginal language groups as per the AIATSIS map. There were going to be plenty of different groups from different countries at ChangeFest.

When I arrived on Larrakia Land, I wriggled with excitement when I heard the announcement and acknowledgement of coming onto country that always was and always will be Aboriginal land. I felt welcome. I made my first outing from my comfy pouch in the handover from Moira to Sean, when he accepted the challenge to take me to all parts of ChangeFest. I witnessed and heard many stories and here are just a few I would like to share with you.

ChangeFest was supported by many volunteers from first aid officers to facilitators. The generosity of time, talents and energy was apparent even when people took a moment to sit down and relax. In my eavesdropping I heard how people got recruited to join in and who knew who and who was connected to who.  You can see the team of health and wellbeing volunteers.

There were other people wearing pink hearts too who were stepping in if people needed a moment and have a witness to share and listen to anything that might have been triggering or needed some one-on-one listening.  I was impressed how people looked after each other and created safe spaces for difficult conversations.