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In 2009 we celebrated the United Nation's International Year of Natural Fibres. Along with renewable fibres we valued the handmade. Our textile techniques- knitting, crochet, felting, weaving are easy to learn and difficult to master. Amazing levels of technical skill can be developed to make ideas come alive. The 2009 winners attest to this. The ordinary beanie has become extraordinary. Thankyou for testing the possibilities of your creative fibre and the fibres you work with.The Exhibition was open from Saturday 27 June 2009.

2009 People's Choice Award Winner

Maria Schneider, Hackham-West, SA -It's Nearly Opening Time-
Sponsored by Textile Fibre Forum and Centralian Advocate

 Maria Schneider Beanie

Maria Schneider

1 Natural Fibres Beanie
For a fabulous beanie made from natural fibres, incorporating a great idea and skill.

Winner Imiyari Adamson, Ernabella SA
Special Mention Adi Dunlop, Springbrook QLD  Prize Sponsor MacDonnell Range Caravan Park

Imiyari Adamson Imiyari Adamson

Adi Dunlop Beanie Adi Dunlop

2 The Madcap Prize A festive beanie that invites interaction and fun.
Winner Jackie Keeble, Karalee QLD
Special Mention Christine Trull, McKellar ACT
Prize Sponsor Tattersall’s Fink Desert Race
3 The Rich Layering Embroider, scrumble, bead, dye, weave: use a mix of techniques
Winner Ruth Spence, Newcastle NSW
Special Mention Ernabella Arts Collaboration, SA
Prize Sponsor Yarn and Felt Magazine
4 Spirit of the Land
Explores the ranges, the bush, the sea, the desert
Winner Renate Kirkpatrick, Mooloolaba QLD
Special Mention Sue Eslick, Leederville WA
Prize Sponsor Desart

 Kirkpatrick Beanie

Renate Kirkpatrick

Sue Eslick Beanie 

Sue Eslic

5 The Passion
Make a beanie that reflects or embodies an aspect of a passion
Winner Maria Schneider, Hackham-West SA
Special Mention Louise Thackray, Black Rock VIC
Prize Sponsor Moving Pictures Photography
6 Best Animal Beanie
Animals, birds, reptiles, insects and strange invertebrates all welcome.
Winner Stephanie Campbell,  Titjikala NT
Special Mention Rosanne Fuller Alice Springs NT
Prize Sponsor Bill Robertson Optometrist

 Anita Larkin Beanie Alessandra-Pecorari beanie 
 Anita Larkin  Alessandra Pecorari

7 The Eileen Bladon Tea- Cosy Prize Tea- Cosies are sister objects to the beanie.
Winner Kathryn Coulston,  Kiewa VIC
Special Mention Janet Castle Brahma Lodge SA
Prize Sponsor National Road Transport Hall of Fame
8 Best Hand-felted Beanie
Including wet felting, needle felting or knit and felt techniques.
Winner Anita Larkin, Shellharbour NSW (pictured above left)
Special Mention Patricia Castillo,  Wyndham NSW
Prize Sponsor Ashford Australia Felt Magazine
Beanie Festival Committee
9 The Central Australian Prize  for an outstanding local piece of work.
Winner Amanyi Haggie Ernabella SA
Special Mention Roseanne Ellis, Amoonguna NT
Prize Sponsor Mr Karl Hampton
Minister for Central Australia 10 Festival Committee Acquisition Prize For wonderful and unusual work.
Winner Elsie Muu Muu, Mutijulu NT
Special Mention Sandie O’Neill,  Ambervale NSW
Prize Sponsor Polkadot
11 The Robbie Beard Handspun Prize
Prize for a work made with yarn handspun by the artist.
Winner Pamela Gillen, Woods Well SA
Special Mention Yurpiya Lionei, Ernabella SA
Prize Sponsor Trophy Central

 Janet Castle Beanie  Elsie MuMu
 Janet Castle  Elsie Muu Muu

12 New Wave Beanie Encouragement Prize
For a school-aged beginner beanie maker.
Winner Katie Thomsen,  Alice Springs
Special Mention Alessandra Pecorari,
Alice Springs NT Prize Sponsor
Youth Trax GTNT
13 New Wave Beanie Prize
For a school-aged advanced beanie maker.
Winner Georgina Kilborn,  Mt Eliza VIC
Special Mention Bonnie Aliotti  Mt Eliza VIC
Prize Sponsor Youth Trax GTNT 

In 2009, the Alice Springs Beanie Festival celebrated its thirteenth event. Over 12000 visitors came through the doors to participate and enjoy the 4 days of activities.
The lead up to the festival involved workshops to develop beanie making skills at Ernabella, Titjikala, Ntaria, Amoonguna Arts Centre, Mutitjulu, Alice Springs Aboriginal Hostels and many local schools of Alice Springs. These workshops were funded by an NT Arts Regional Arts Grant ($10000), and the Beanie Festival ($6000).
The women created works of  art for the exhibition, and the market place. The women were also invited to participate in the festival, some being paid to demonstrate traditional spinning, teaching basket weaving and beanie making. The women also cooked kangaroo tail for visitors for the first time in fire pits, providing a fantastic cultural experience as women sat by a fire, talking and singing in language, spinning, crocheting and attending the cooking. The women who visited the festival from Mutitjulu were so inspired that they performed traditional Inma and painted themselves up and danced for all of our visitors.  The women from the Ntaria choir drove into town on Sunday especially to sing for our visitors and see the festival adding yet another visitor experience. The women chose a beanie each to thank them for sharing their enchanting voices.
As a result of workshops held in Alice Springs an Arrente woman, Sally Heffernan opened the festival, and Hon. Karl Hampton MLA (Minister for Central Australia) opened the festivities, including several local bands and entertainment, a parade of the winning beanies and stalls selling home-made tucker.
The exhibition was held in Gallery One of the Araluen Galleries for the first time. It comprised over 400 beanies including international entries from Singapore, Finland, Russia, Holland and the UK.
In Beanie Central over 6000 beanies were received and visitors purchased over 4000 beanies. Highlights included bush beanie dinners, hot air balloon tours and a post festival tour to Uluru.
Managing the large number of volunteers willing to help during the festival has grown to become a challenge. This year we had volunteer co-ordinators to manage  over 150 volunteers.

We thank the Alice Springs community for sponsorship.
MacDonnell Range Caravan Park, Finke Desert Race, Felt Magazine, Yarn Magazine, Desart, Bill Robertson Optometrist, National Road Transport Hall Of Fame, Moving Pictures Photography, Ashfords Australia, Hon. Karl Hampton MLA, Polkadot, Trophy Central, Youth Tracks GTNT, Centralian Advocate, Textile Fibre Forum, Mayor Damien Ryan,
TourismNT, Araluen Arts Centre, Hon Warren Snowdon MP, AJH, Crowne Plaza, Dymocks Bookstore, The Avon Lady, The Gillen Club,
Grace Removals, Brushcraft, XLCOM.

National Beanie Tour  openied in Morwell, Cowra, Bega and Lake Macquarie.
Marketing has been another important job for the festival and beyond the enormous exposure gained through the tour we have website updates, magazine articles and advertising, radio advertising and interviews, TV stories.

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