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Crafting from the heart is a group for like-minded mums and dads in Beachmere, who created a club where parents can socialise and learn craft together. Following the philosophy of Steiner they only use natural products causing no harm to the environment.

This group soon expanded to include anyone from the community interested in learning or teaching their skills from stitching, weaving, crochet and many other art forms. They soon outgrew their small site at the Birali Steiner School on Progress Avenue and moved to a shop at Beachmere Plaza Shopping Ctr. This location also has a great outdoor area for young children to play. They will possibly move the group to the new school being built at the end of the year.

Holly Mercer was a very welcoming host the day I attended and personifies the natural environment of the Centre. She is more than happy to speak to prospective crafters and introduce them to the group. You can find out more about their art and craft workshops by checking their face book page, ‘Birali Craft’, which has their contact details and vibrant pictures of the crafts they make and sell in the shop.

Currently the group meet every Wednesday from 9 am till noon. There is no charge per session but participants pay for the materials they use if they take their art home. They can also donate it to the Craft shop. Morning tea and coffee is provided and participants are asked to bring a plate to share.

The Shop has a fantastic array of crafts for sale and they specialise in dying wool to order. They also sell crafts on consignment. Watch their face book page or Beachmere Community United page for pop up market stalls open to the public.

The Creative Spirit Fair held recently at the Birali Steiner School was a great showcase for their art, craft and engaging with the community. The children’s next school project is making lanterns for the celebration of the Winter Solstice on 21 June, where anyone is welcome to join in the parade to the beach led by the Birali Steiner School Principal Chris Jack.

When I asked what “Birali” meant, Chris explained that a local Aboriginal elder, Auntie Minnie Mace, had suggested the name. It means “Creative Spirit” which Chris believes is a fitting description for Steiner philosophy.

All going well, the 26 acre new school will open in Beachmere by the end 1018 and will cater from Prep to Year Six students. An application has already been submitted to the Education Department for years Seven to Ten. If you need more information on the school please email

Story and pictures by MJ Donovan

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