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Plenty Valley Christian College Alumni Tara Whalley

Tara Whalley

After High school I applied for a range of different courses, but I fell in love with Textile Design because it combined together a variety of interests. It was a course that focused on creative process, but had product outcomes.  It was a path that could take me to homewares, fashion, designer maker, surface design- the opportunities were broad.  When I graduated from my 3 year BA, I moved to the Guatemalan Highlands to develop ethical lines of products and work with the war affected Mayan Weavers.  My favourite project from this time was my collaboration with Alas The Label, designing an ethical and sustainable footwear collection.  It was a brilliant project where I was able to travel to small villages to experiment with traditional techniques and create a range with the women.  The collection was naturally dyed with local flora and vegetation, woven on back strap looms, and cobbled by third generation shoe makers by hand.

Since moving back to Melbourne I have been freelancing, creating commercial Prints for Australian fashion labels while designing and producing my latest clothing collection “Loose Line”. I recently had my first stall at Finders Keepers which was a brilliant opportunity, and Frankie Magazine will be featuring my latest collection in their next issue.

At Plenty Valley, a great importance was placed on noticing the needs in the world, and it moulded a lot of my thinking as to how we can make a difference to those in need in new and creative ways.  Whatever your natural giftings, they can be used for a positive impact.  I remember how invested the teachers were, and how much they were invested in us as individuals.  They encouraged us to work hard, and impacted how I felt about my work.  I found the learning environment really encouraging.  I loved my time at PVCC.  Going ‘above and beyond’ would be how I remember my teachers, I am so grateful for them.