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Women prisoners make poppies for Anzac Day

Two women prisoners making poppies

A group of women prisoners at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Melbourne has spent the last year crocheting and knitting poppies for this year’s Anzac Day remembrance.

The women were inspired by the 5,000 Poppy Project, which has so far attracted more than 250,000 hand-made poppies that will be displayed at Federation Square this Friday and on Anzac Day.

The prisoners have contributed more than 2,000 poppies to this project and have made a further 1,000 poppies to display in the prison grounds for a ceremony on Anzac Day.

The poppy project has had many flow-on benefits for the women – it has given them self esteem; it has created friendships among prisoners; it has also provided an opportunity to give back to the community.

It has also helped some of the women in their attempts to quit smoking ahead of the ban on smoking in Victorian prisons, which comes into effect on the first of July this year.

As prisoner Anne explains, the women are keen to mark Anzac Day as many of them have relatives and friends who were injured, died or were affected in some way by war.

Some of the women who worked on the project have been released and are looking forward to visiting Federation Square to see their poppies among the many thousands that will be displayed there.

Those on the inside will attend the Anzac Day ceremony in the prison and will try to catch a glimpse of the Federation Square display on television.