The One Million Stars to End Violence Project began as one woman's personal response to the rape and murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne in 2012. Local residents expressed their grief and outrage at the violent act that had taken place in their community by leaving flowers and written messages on the forecourt of a nearby church. One of the messages quoted the words of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr:
“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Those words prompted artist Maryann Talia Pau to begin weaving stars as symbols of light, courage and solidarity to counteract the violence in the world. She soon was conducting workshops to teach others the art of star making.
In the Hunter, a small group initiated by Libby Levey, began meeting at Timeless Textiles to teach star making. Workshops were conducted at a number of venues in the area and star making groups multiplied. Some people made stars at home and delivered them to Timeless Textiles.
The aim was to make 10,000 stars in the Hunter region as part of the One Million Stars which will be on display at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year.
Newcastle's contribution to this international project is on currently display in the Earthball Gallery.