Every year, hundreds of Australians fundraise for Team UNHCR, from bake sales and trivia nights to garage sales and mountain treks. What unites these acts of generosity and compassion are everyday people who want to help change the plight of the world’s refugees.

Craftivists Stephanie Dunlap and Tal Fitzpatrick are one of these heroes for humanity. They wanted to re-interpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (one of the United Nations milestone achievements) as a hand-embroidered textile quilt incorporating all 30 of its Articles.

Tal and Stephanie reached out to artists around the world: each was to be responsible for embroidering an Article of the UDHR which was then assembled into four quilts.

The quilts were completed in September 2018 and the #UDHRquilt Project exhibition was formally launched as part of the UN Day celebrations at the Museum of Australian Democracy.

How did you raise funds for Australia for UNHCR through this project?
All artists made a commitment to raise funds through the sale of this quilt in order to support the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. When the four quilts were purchased by the Museum of Australian Democracy in 2019, 100% of the money was donated to Australia for UNHCR.

When did you first become interested in human rights and refugee issues?
Stephanie’s interest in human rights and refugees, as well as in the work of the UN, came from an early age. She remembers being mesmerized by a photo of her mother and grandmother in front of the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland. It represented something much bigger than she could conceive at the time, but it helped spark a lifelong interest in human rights and advocacy.

Why do you think it’s important to support refugees around the world?
Stephanie thinks it is important to support refugees and asylum-seekers because everyone deserves help during their time of need. Everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed and lead a fulfilling, safe life. Everyone deserves a place to call home and a community that embraces them.

What motivated you to donate all of the projects proceeds to Australia for UNHCR?
Tal and Stephanie both chose Australia for UNHCR as the beneficiary of their project because they wanted to support refugees as directly as possible. They trust UNHCR for our reputation, our transparency, and the steadfastness of the aid we provide.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming an Australia for UNHCR fundraiser?
Tal and Stephanie would encourage anyone who feels passionate about human rights to consider fundraising for Australia for UNHCR. Refugees and asylum seekers are often denied basic human rights and are some of the most vulnerable people on this planet.

Find out more about joining Team UNHCR



Tal Fitzpatrick at the UN Day celebration and launch of the #UDHRquilt Project exhibition © Tal Fitzpatrick

One of the four quilts incorporating all 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Articles © Tal Fitzpatrick

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