It's a piece that captures the essence of the Taree Quota Club. Featuring butterflies and out stretched hands, the new timber bench seat on Taree's Victoria Street is a symbol of what Quota represents in the community.
Butterflies have long been a symbol for organisations support the deaf and hearing impaired which is a cause close to Quota members, while the hands represent the service they provide to the women and children in the community.
Members of the community and Quota gathered for the unveiling of the hand-crafted seat on Friday, October 11. Positioned out front of the Spotlight store, the bench is a gift to the community to help mark the 100th anniversary of Quota International.
To celebrate the milestone, as well as the 72nd anniversary of the Taree club, members decided to have a seat made to mark the occasion.
Member Gay Embury and her husband, David donated a massive Tallowwood log weighing nearly three tonnes, which Quota then arranged to be transported to the backyard of Biripi artist, Russell Saunders OAM.
Using a range of tools from a chainsaw to a chisel, Russell spent several months carving out the bench seat. For Russell, the hands are a traditional signature for his people, indicating, "I've been here; this is my place."
Club president, Nancy Boyling officiated at the unveiling, thanking all those who helped make the bench seat possible. Along with the donation of timber, the club received an anonymous donation to help cover the cost of the artist, while MidCoast Council assisted with the placement of the bench in Taree's CBD.
"This is a very exciting and proud day for Quota," Nancy said.
She spoke about how the bench is a communal resting place for everyone to use.
"The results of (Russell's) skills will be here for everyone to enjoy for years to come," she said.
Also on hand were a few representatives from council, including general manager Adrian Panuccio, director of infrastructure and engineering services, Robert Scott and mayor David West.
Cr West said council's assistance in the project was all about supporting a club that supports the women and children in the region.
"I'm in awe of what Quota provides to the community," he said.
After the formalities, everyone was invited to the council chambers to enjoy morning tea.
Did you know?
Founded in February 1919 in Buffalo, New York, Quota International is a non-profit organisation empowering women, children, the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and people with speech difficulties in local communities around the world.