Wednesday night’s annual Dress for Success catwalk fundraiser saw a number of Australian celebrities attempt their best “blue steel,” donning attire through the ages– a celebration of 200 years of fashion empowerment.
Adam Spencer, Ben Fordham, Deb Knight and Julia Baird were among the array of public personalities joining the festivities, strutting their stuff in the name of charity.
As usual, the event was uplifting, inspiring and pretty damn hilarious (a mid-catwalk pash between The ABC’s Jeremy Fernandez and Channel 9’s Ben Fordham, a particular highlight).
The funds raised from Wednesday’s event (more than $127,000) will be used to support more women across Australia in the Dress for Success network, achieve economic independence by providing professional attire, individual career support programs, training, mentoring services and access to a support network.
DFS has become of the world’s leading not-for-profit organisations driving positive change for women in the throes of emotional, physical and financial hardship.
Women like Fiona Smith, who, before the fashion show began, shared her story with attendees. Years of a debilitating health condition had forced Fiona to stop working and slowly lapse into helplessness.
When she was finally in a position to work again, Dress for Success helped her rebuild her life–prepare for interviews, be mentored and kick start a new career.
“There are over 95,000 women across New South Wales of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds who are seeking employment, facing a variety of life’s challenges, that need our help” said DFS’ Sydney CEO, Ursula McGeown.
Since the start of DFS Sydney in 2009 the organisation has supported more than 12,000 women navigate the journey from welfare to work.
Westpac’s continuing partnership with Dress for Success has also helped propel the organisation further. Starting September, the bank will offer Money Management workshops to help DFS clients build a greater understanding of budgeting, borrowing, superannuation and life planning. Gaining strong financial literacy will “help women reach their full potential” says McGeown.
In a world so full of chaos right now, the ethos and commitment of Dress for Success gives us much needed reassurance that there is still a lot to be hopeful about.