Category Archives: Past workshops

Workshops and projects.

Harmony Day 2012

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Harmony Day was a wonderful day, set into the landscaped grounds of Tjapuki. The location was perfect and the crowd was enthusiastic. There were many stalls, information, food, art, craft and children’s activities.
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the organising committee hope to make Harmony Day a signature event for Cairns in the future that can offer opportunities for deeper collaboration between established and emerging Migrant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the host community in Cairns.

We made some noise for Harmony with percussion guitars: cardboard boxes and rubber bands.

Cairns Sustainable living Expo 2012

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Cairns Sustainable Living Expo doubles in size

Coordinated by Cairns Regional Council and Tropical North Queensland Tafe, the annual Sustainable Living Expo aims to bring people together to celebrate, learn and have fun.

The 2012 Sustainable Living Expo saw over 2000 people visit the 45 exhibitors who displayed their products and services ranging from renewable energy, permaculture, local tropical foods, upcycled wares and community groups representing conservation, climate change and sustainable living.

The day was a community celebration of sustainability – there were colourful recycled fashion installations by Tafe fashion students and delightful roving performers; local musicians the Montgomery Brothers and Reggae Bliss entertained the crowd. Most popular were the children’s “Junk into Funk” tent and demonstrations every half hour on; how to make your own hot water service, how to make a haybale garden, designing a sustainable home, solar thermal power and more.

Entries from the schools “What makes the world a better place” photography competition were on display and the winners were announced. Some of the entrant’s pictures will be displayed here soon.

Council and Tafe would like to thank everyone involved in the 2012 Expo who helped make the day a wonderful success.

(from Council Press Release)

Cairns Sustainable Living Expo

Chinese New Year 2012 DRAGON

Chinese New Year January 2012 DRAGON

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cny-festival-056nllIt was a fabulous day at Fogarty Park. The ground was a little wet, but the rain held off. As you can see from the photos, it was a very busy day – there were about 80 fish and 50 dragons made, as well as a couple of robots and rockets.

We made dragons and fish out of milk bottles. The little kids coloured in gold fish I had already cut out – the addition of one split pin changes the flat fish shape into three dimensions!

The stick dragon puppets is a traditional design I modernised with recycled materials. Milk bottles are a lovely opaque white plastic that is soft enough for an 8 year old to cut (although parents often finish the project).


CADCAI (Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc) does a fabulous job of planning the Chinese New Year celebrations, and it is getting better every year.

Atherton VPG 2012

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Vocational Partnerships Group (VPG) is a not-for-profit, community based organisation committed to helping young people make the transition through school and onto successful careers and life experiences.”

VPG organise activities for kids who are disenfranchised from school and not old enough to work. They are often children who have complex backgrounds with a range of medical problems. I hadn’t worked with ‘big’ kids before, the experiace is quite different from little kids who are full of enthusiasm!

It was a rearding experiance “while the hands are busy, the mind is open”. Many electrical machines were disassembled, and funny costumes made.

Christmas 2011 on the Esplanade

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This was a fabulous week of morning spent on the Esplanade in front of Muddy’s Café. The Esplanade is a perfect in the mornings, with the sun heating up, and a slight breeze. Setting up on a picnic table was fun and all the cracks were filled with glitter over the course of the 10 sessions.

Milk bottles are my new favourite medium… they are so perfect to cut! Kids can push a pair of scissors trough them without hurting themselves. They have a fine white colour that is a white opaque colour. It is easy to bend them into a variety of three dimensional shapes. Oil pastels are perfect for drawing onto milk bottle plastic. All the colours go on strong and clear.

I had help from Mary, the amazing volunteer. She delights in engaging people in conversations and loves to hear about where they come from.

Noisemakers for Cairns Festival Parade 2011

Festival Parade 2011 Noise Makers!!!

Let’s make some NOISE!

Free workshop, for kids and parents.

Dates: 6&7 August 2011 Saturday and Sunday 2 – 6pm (the 2 weekends before Festival)

Workshop Location: Marquee at the front of Muddy’s Café.

Workshop participants made percussion guitars from ukule boxes and rubber bands.

Sustainability Fair 2011

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Sustainable Living Expo this year was at the new location of the Cairns Esplanade.

26 Jun 2011 – 11am to 4pm

In the childrens craft area we created a web of sustainable vehicles (made from recycled materials) between two fig trees. I was the town planning fairy, making sure all placements went to plan.

There were a range of exhibits from local businesses and organisations that promote sustainability, as well as face painting, roving performers, workshops, and an environmental art exhibition by local school students.

The Expo offers a great opportunity for local businesses and organisations to showcase their services and products, and is a wonderful display of sustainable living information, technology demonstrations and new innovations. The Expo is jointly organised by Cairns Regional Council and the Tropical North Queensland TAFE.

*website Sustainable Living Expo

Pop-up Puppets

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sun-1Made from up-holsterers scraps and card, pop-up puppets can appear anywhere. They are cheeky, and each character has their own persomality. Mr Sun is the most fun, he likes to play with the turtle.

Puppets are fun devices to get children talking. The puppets tell stories about what happened to them last week, who is in their family and what they like to do.

Pop-up Puppet Workshops 11 June and 14 May 2011


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Pop-up Puppets is an open kid’s workshop on puppet construction and manipulation, using recycled materials finishing with a puppet show and filming. (low tech filming style – suitable for uTube).

Explore three dimensional sculptural techniques

Animate the inanimate

Create a Pop-up Puppet show for UTube

The children will give their puppet an identity while they create it. We will make up and present puppet stories using real-life stories.

Using traditional stories and adding an Australian twist. Cardboard roll lizard, dancing sugar cane, Dugong, cassowary, snakes, spiders, bats.

We will be focussing on tropical Australian animals and local myths.

We will be working with recycled objects – packaging.

The children will are guided in basic sculpture techniques – imaginative use of available materials, strong construction and working in 3 dimensions.