Keeping Culture Alive


Ethnic Women's Craft Group started in 1979 and was founded by Marietta Ballini. She had a dream to connect isolated women from migrant backgrounds to come together and keep culture and traditions alive through arts, crafts and language. 

The group is now managed by volunteer Pina Romeo with women meeting weekly to chat, craft, keep active and connected and enjoy themselves. Women share their skills that have been passed on to them from community, family and friends.

The group still has some of its original members as well as newer participants.

During the 2019 Covid-19 pandemic the group became separated and was no longer able to meet in person. Seeking a solution, Pina applied for a Council grant to get the group computer literacy classes once lockdown eased. To compliment this learning Pina and Council's Community Arts Officer and Healthy Aging Team devised a plan to run a series of workshops with a professional filmmaker, Fatima Mawas, to deliver training in social media and short filmmaking to facilitate further connections and skills that would take them into the digital world.

Women from the group have shared skills and cultural knowledge they want remembered and shared for future generations and community to cherish.

This project pays homage to the women who are part of Ethnic Women's Craft group, their lives, experiences and contributions to the Inner West. 

The films

Ethnic Women’s Craft Group is an Inner West group of senior women who meet weekly in Leichhardt to socialise, create, keep in touch, share skills and information and produce work. After successfully applying for funding from IWC, the women decided what they wanted to share their ethos of passing on culture and tradition as well as a deep-rooted passion for life, cooking and craft. The result was these wonderful short films, paying homage to their cultural knowledge and skills with the creation of an online library for people to interact with. They hope the project instils interest in younger generations to continue practicing their culture.

Highlights from Ethnic Women's Craft Group

White Wine biscuits with Maria di Rosario
Caterina talks about her history of sewing

Connie's reflections on the importance of the group

Leila's journey

Maria Gambacorta's passion for knitting

Pina introduces Ethnic Women's Craft Group

Tina shares her famous recipe for "pasta al forno" (pasta bake)

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Page last updated: 07 Aug 2023