Toowoomba’s Grand Central hosted some of the locally woven stars from the One Million Stars to End Violence project.

The project’s aim was to inspire individuals, groups, and communities to join in the conversation of ending violence and to weave one million stars by July 2017. The final installation will be featured at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The stars have been hanging in the Retail Galleria for around two months, and the centre has also hosted three workshops, inviting customers to take part in the project by weaving stars. Local groups involved include Star Weave Fairies, the University of Southern Queensland, Grand Central Shopping Centre, and the Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools.

Councillor Geoff McDonald, chair of the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Embracing 2018 Regional Working Group, explained that the Games will provide great opportunities for the region.

“I’m confident that having an event as significant as the Commonwealth Games staged on our doorstep will lead to a range of benefits for us. We’ve always been a proud sporting region and I see this continuing in the lead up to 2018,” said McDonald.

“This event provides even greater opportunities for us, which is why we have identified Regional Working Group members to cover the key themes of Arts, Education & Culture; Sport & Community; Economic Development and Supply Chains and Tourism & Events.”

“We continue to work closely with the Embracing 2018 team on the programs they have partnered with such as One Million Stars to End Violence project and we have facilitated a procurement workshop through the Industry Capability Network (ICN). The 2018 Games might seem way off, but we need to get ready now if we want to be in a position to see regional benefits from the event,” he said.

Around 8000 stars locally-woven stars will be handed over to the Regional Working Group. They will then be taken to the Office of the Commonwealth Games to be included in an installation at the 2018 Games hosted on the Gold Coast.

The installation will be a collective statement against ending all forms of violence, including violence against women, bullying, and racism, signifying how much can be achieved when we work together as a community.

Read about Grand Central’s new retail options here.