Global Sisters to host Wodonga Sister School

AN ALBURY artist wants to turn her love into a full-time living but knows she needs a bit of help to get there.

So Jinyapa Oupatham signed up for a Wodonga program designed to provide the real world business education she would need.

Sister School, a project by non-government organisation Global Sisters, follows on from a series of initial workshops held late last year.

Oupatham works in batik art, using wax and paint on fabric to produce colourful pieces.

She said this technique, learned while studying fine arts in her native Thailand, was not difficult.

“Very easy, in Thailand everyone comes to learn; kids, mum, dad and all the family,” she said.

“It goes everywhere around the world, in China, Japan, Thailand, everywhere, Europe, Canada, everyone can paint batik.

“Everyone is just so happy about painting on fabric.”

Oupatham arrived in Australia a decade ago, living in Perth and Hobart before coming to the Border about four years ago.

As well as sell products like dresses, bags and hair accessories, she wishes to teach others and will host a masterclass at Murray Art Museum Albury on March 18.

The artist said Sister School would help her learn more about the Australian market and research what customers wanted.

Global Sisters Hume co-organiser Mary-Anne Scully said Sister School was aimed at women with a business idea who might face obstacles in their way.

These could include language, education, confidence, disability or age.

“Any kind of barrier to self-employment,” she said. 

“There are a number of older women coming to the course who have either been made redundant or are now at the point in their life where they actually can start to think about self-employment.”

Ms Scully said participants should end the five-day course with “a very practical plan of action to get their business going”.

As well, those who completed all modules would be then entitled to about 20 hours of additional coaching or technical support.

Ms Scully said the women involved in Sister School might also wish to further their skills through a future TAFE course or similar.

“The best way I can explain it is either opening the door or helping someone walk across a bridge,” she said.

“It’s allowing people to start on that journey of self-employment.”

  • Sister School will be held February 27- March 3 at The Cube Wodonga. Free but registration essential. For more information, email maryanne@globalsisters.org or go to globalsisters.org.
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