Born in Samoa, Maureen Unasa moved to New Zealand with her parents when she was five years old. Now living in Australia and with five children of her own, Maureen is reconnecting with her homeland and traditional culture through her weaving business and blog, Samoan Weaving HQ.
Using traditional weaving practises she specialise in contemporary one-off pieces such as wedding decorations, costume jewellery and wall hangings using raw materials such pandanus and raffia. Maureen has also quickly developed a fabulous little niche for herself up cycling everything from old bags to unused jewellery with her clever weaving!
Maureen plans to launch a range of garments using old practices from the time when there were no sewing machines. She also hopes to set up a social enterprise in Samoa to provide villagers with the opportunity to earn an income from their traditional weaving practices.
A substantial portion of family incomes in Samoan – particularly in village communities – is from either foreign aid or money sent from family members living and working overseas. Through a village weaving project she hopes to be able to make a contribution to my people by helping them earn more and providing opportunities for them to educate their children and build a better life through new income streams.
Maureen’s artistic abilities engage life, find causes in her community, and allow her to support her family’s financial independence. Her work is unique as she is able to build bridges and weave communities together. Her strong belief that all areas of life are interwoven and independent have allowed her to accelerate her life learning processes and succeed across all genres, goals, and projects in the both her personal life and work ventures.
Some of Maureen’s most notable points in her career are showcased in her active pursuit to share and synthesize knowledge. She has facilitated fantastic workshops for the Campbelltown Arts Centre and the Parramatta Artist Studios. Maureen’s work as a community activator and advocate with a creative twist is unique, inspiring, and necessary.
Follow her personal blog at www.maureenunasa.com