Silver Wattle was established as a sheep grazing property in the late 1800s. In 1995 it was sold, and a small conference centre established to provide outdoor activities and team-building exercises for community and corporate groups. The property then became the home of St Joseph House of Prayer, a Catholic community.
In 2009, Australia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends leased the property for a trial two years to offer courses and retreats. By mid-2010, it was clear to many Friends not only that such a centre was needed for Quakers and others, but there was also a strong leading that Silver Wattle was the right place.
A new company, Silver Wattle Quaker Centre Ltd., was formed to purchase the property and operate the centre and funds were raised by an appeal for donations and loans among Quakers. Silver Wattle came into our hands and under our care on 30 September 2011.
The vision for Silver Wattle Quaker Centre is to:
- Demonstrate prayer, simplicity and gratitude before God
- Embody Quaker practice in all its aspects and activities
- Welcome the spiritual presence in all who come to Silver Wattle
- Encounter willingly and deeply the spirituality of Australian First Nations’ peoples and their care for this land
- Reflect a way of life that is spiritually, physically, environmentally and economically sustainable in Australia
- Silver Wattle Quaker Centre has been established as a place to promote social and religious education, witness and service.
- Silver Wattle provides opportunities to live the Quaker testimonies – Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Earthcare in the context of a Quaker community. We welcome seekers in all spiritual traditions and encourage guests to take opportunities for rest and healing in the beautiful environment of the Silver Wattle property.
The circles in the composition indicate the importance of the circle at SW, in worship, study, consultation and conversation. The two larger circles are linked by the smaller one of the fire circle. The 'kangaroo trails' (same colour as the lettering) link the other elements together.
Animals are represented by the kangaroos and the sheep (which could be George, but which also stands for all the sheep on the property) and the echidna.
The birds, just a few of the many to be seen there, are wedge-tail eagle, blue wren, yellow-rumped thornbill and red-browed firetail finch, and the robin, perched on a twig of silver wattle.
As well as the productive gardening efforts indicated in one of the circles, many young trees have been planted as a way of re-vegetating the property. These are indicated by the tree in the tree guard behind the kangas and some more distant ones on the hill.
The bell (inset into people circle) is included to indicate the importance of the rhythm of the day.
Panel designed by Robin Sinclair and stitched by the South Australian Friends in Stitches.