Last week we held our fundraiser Refugee Ball, and once again we were humbled by the amazing show of support for our work. For seven years now the Refugee Ball has been growing into one of the biggest, most diverse and most exciting events on the calendar. For three years it has been completely sold out, and once again it was inspiring to see the room filled to capacity with so many people from different walks of life coming together for the common cause of supporting our work with trauma survivors.
Guests at the Ball this year came from across the spectrum – refugee community leaders, settlement services, support workers, law firms, sporting organisations, politicians, government agencies and many more. The Ball is a place where people come together – to have fun, to connect, and to unite in their support of a better life for refugees and trauma survivors.
Our incredible guest speaker this year was Dr Munjed Al Muderis – Iraqi refugee and also one of the world’s foremost orthopaedic surgeons – a living example of the kind of amazing contribution refugees can make to society if given the chance. His speech at the Ball – a heartfelt reflection of his personal journey on what he calls the ‘wheel of fortune’ had everyone enthralled. The wheel of fortune is life’s way of taking you from the highest highs to the lowest lows and back again, a journey that Dr Al Muderis has certainly lived. We are incredibly lucky and grateful to have had him as our speaker at Refugee Ball 2015.
This year we were raising money for the incredibly important Settling In project, part of the STARTTS School Liaison Program. At a time when 12,000 refugees are soon to arrive in Australia – many of them children – a program focusing on helping kids to settle in, overcome their trauma and do well at school could not be more important. As usual, our wonderful guests rallied behind the cause and gave generously – and won some great prizes in the process! We haven’t tallied all the money up yet, but stay tuned!
To cap the evening off, in true Refugee Ball style, our amazing band had the crowd dancing the night away to a multicultural musical bonanza. The extraordinary C Major, backed up by our long-time supporters Son Veneno, kicked it off with some funky Latin tunes and chart-topping favourites. Then special guest Edmon Lazar wowed the crowd with his unique blend of Syrian, Lebanese and Egyptian music to add a different flavour to the evening. The Refugee Ball crowd is always ready for a dance – so much so that we might need a bigger dance floor next year!
Overall it was an amazing evening and we are so grateful to everyone who supported us – as sponsors, prize donors, speakers and performers, or by just coming along! Special thanks to our Gold Sponsors Network of Caring, SSI and Stacks Goudkamp, and our Media Partner SBS.
Until next year…