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One million stars. Shining our light and hope during the GC2018

April 2, 2018

It is finally here. We did it. And it is amazing.

 

Over the next 2 weeks, Queenslanders, Australians, people around the world will get to marvel at this magnificent statement of peace and solidarity to end ALL forms of violence.

 

The pictures of this record breaking One Million Stars installation continue to bring joy and wonder to people everywhere, especially for our supporters and star weavers across the globe that can't be here with us. It is truly a privilege to stand amongst these stars. The soundscape created by local artist Michelle Xen is beautiful and creates another level of engagement and story telling. If you're in town, go and see them. Take lots of pictures to share them with loved ones. Keep the conversations going. Keep encouraging each other to get involved and end violence and create safety, respect and peace. Keep lifting each other and acknowledging the tremendous life changing work that our brothers and sisters are doing to end violence in our communities and villages. Keep it coming. The stars are life giving. There is goodness, love and light in the world that needs protecting, that needs to be shared and that needs us to be resilient and collaborative.

 

For those of you couldn't be at our community gathering last Thursday night, or weren't able to tune into our live stream, below is the speech I read out to mark this once in a life time occasion. I am still blown away by the sheer magnitude of this project and the reach and impact it continues to have. 

 

I'm looking forward to the future and will announce plans for the project after the installation.

 

Thank you for your light and love.xx

 

Speech. Community Gathering for Lighting event, Thursday 29 March 2018.

 

Thank you for joining us here and online to celebrate this special moment, to see One Million woven stars in one place.

 

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet to celebrate our stars, the Yuggera and Turrbal People. I’d also like to acknowledge my husband’s
family, the Kirks, Fishers and Paulsons, who are also elders here in Brisbane.

 

What started as a very personal response to a tragedy in 2012 has now turned into this beautiful installation of hope and solidarity.

 

I’m so very proud to be here, standing among these stars. With my family, my friends, supporters and now with my growing family of star weavers and star believers.

 

It has been a huge collaboration and partnership to get to this moment.

 

In 2016, I partnered with the Queensland Government to help share my message of hope, peace and solidarity, through star weaving.

 

Thousands of star weavers from 15 countries across the Commonwealth and the world came together to weave stars to make a collective statement for against violence and for peace.

 

I’m excited to announce that not only did we reach the target of one million stars, we doubled it!
A massive 2.4 million stars were contributed.

 

We’ve been able to create this amazing one million star installation, plus a number of smaller star installations at games and festival sites across the State.

 

I am so pleased that our message of peace will be spread across four cities during the Games.

 

Local artists in Townsville and Cairns have created installations as a part of their Festival 2018 celebrations.

 

On the Gold Coast, Athletes will be able to see smaller installations at the Multi-faith centre in the Games Village and Carrara Stadium.

 

WOW at Festival 2018 will also be displaying a beautiful paper star installation at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

 

And all the stars that have been contributed to the project will receive a second life. After the Games, our stars will be lovingly gifted to the ‘Keep Them Shining” movement, which is a sustainability initiative of local co-op Reverse Garbage Queensland. Reverse Garbage Queensland care deeply about sustainability and the environment and for many years have been collecting beautiful materials for communities and artists to reuse.

 

I am so pleased that our stars will live on.

 

I will also be taking some of the star strings from the installation for future arts projects.

 

This is not the end for One Million Stars project but I’m going to take some time to work out what’s next.

 

I would like to thank the Queensland Government specifically the Office of the Commonwealth Games for your invaluable support. This project and installation could not have happened
here without you. A special shout out to Louise Doble and Gillian Gardner who have been incredible support and love for me and this project over the last 2 years.

 

And thank you to Minister Farmer and Gillian for joining us here today.

 

I would also like to thank Museum of Brisbane and Lumen Cloud, for capturing the heart of this project in this record breaking installation. And Human Ventures who were also engaged by the
Queensland Government for a period last year to support the project.

 

I’d like to thank my family. My mum, who has travelled from Samoa to be here. My husband Mark, our children, our parents and our extended family for their unlimited love and support.

 

I want to finish by thanking our star weavers. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your belief and your courage. Thank you for your vulnerability, trust and strength. Thank you for leaning in and being part of this powerful message of hope, peace and solidarity during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.


Like my seafaring ancestors before me who used the light of the stars to navigate the oceans. May these stars light our way, give us hope and guide us in our quest for making peace and
ending violence together.

 

Thank you everyone for coming today and for the people across the world that have tuned in via live stream.

 

I invite you now to join me inside the installation to see the lights come on and to hear a beautiful soundscape produced by local artist, Michelle Xen.

 

Enjoy everyone.

 

LOVE, LIGHT AND ONWARDS TOGETHER

 

 

 

 

 

 

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