How to change the world

sunrise 4

The sun rises


The CHO fundraiser on Friday night was just wonderful. I keep thinking about it – about the fun it was, about people’s faces, the laughter, the food, the music, the contributions that so many people made that added up to a very special occasion. This has had me thinking about what makes a difference and how to create change, because, in small but important ways I think that the event on Friday night at Port Noarlunga shifted the world a little bit in a better direction.

We often think that overcoming violence and oppression are too hard, that we aren’t good enough, that we’re not smart enough or important enough, but maybe that’s not how things really change at all. Friday night had many of things going for it including:

  • lots of people doing something to contribute to the whole
  • stories of growth and change
  • fun and laughter
  • focusing on what we can do and how we are strong, not getting stuck in our shortcomings
  • lots of different kinds of people
  • a sense of encouragement, generosity and hopefulness

This is all pretty general though, and at the risk of not mentioning some of the many special aspects of the night, here are a few sweet ingredients that went to making up the glorious whole:

  • Andria, Imy and Ki buzzing around for hours on end before during and after the event. They did so much to make sure the night went well.
  • Richard and his lovely waistcoat/girdle. What a treasure. What an MC
  • Rubia and Mia singing and playing like a dream
  • So many people looking like a million bucks in their cocktail gear
  • Sharon and Angela in glamourous black staffing the bar
  • Robyn and Trish waiting on tables
  • Matt videoing all the speakers (how good is that!)
  • Shelley, Mandy, Andria, Fiona and Yvonne telling such moving stories. Wow wow wow they were great.
  • Katrine and Deirdre speaking so well also, setting the scene, telling their stories, introducing others
  • Luke’s fantastic massages going on up the back throughout the night. That man has golden fingers!
  • Sarah everywhere with her camera (many thanks for the photos coming up)
  • Titus playing lovely music and singing for us – his gentle melodies accompany my memories now
  • Reunions between old friends – eg Mandy and Kylie, who both Dared to Dream many years ago
  • Danielle who came to support her student colleagues
  • Nadia and Andria and maybe more who came without knowing anyone after reading about the night in the paper
  • Brendan who was the go to guy for just about any job that needed doing
  • Craig on the sound and lights
  • Nicole in the kitchen producing such tasty morsels for us all
  • Fiona B who supplied drinks at very low cost to us and organised many of the donations
  • Lorraine (the mayor) who came in response to Imy’s request for her support
  • Anne introducing herself to new people and then introducing them to others
  • Friends supporting each other. Shayne and Mandy, Shelley with her mum, sister and aunt, Hayley and Trish, Nicky and Dee (Nicky is such a wonderful friend to me). Sue, Linda, Jonquil and many more
  • Donations from many people who couldn’t come, which enabled us to have others attend on subsidised tickets
  • Wendy’s beautiful donated vase that attracted lots of interest in the silent auction
  • All the prizes at the auction – the generosity of their givers
  • Hearing about the Photovoice exhibition from Jesse, Sharon and Colleen
  • Carina from my work coming unexpectedly, and the lovely Megan, and one of the other lovely Megans, and the donation from our third lovely Megan
  • Fiona V making me laugh out in the back room while we organised the presents
  • People meeting each other for the first time
  • So many friends supporting CHO and helping us to get off the ground

Obviously I could go on and on,  and on and on and on! But it was that sort of night. Please feel free to add to these thoughts in the comments. Before I finish with some of Sarah’s pictures, I will just say that just like the sun rises every day with such beauty, so we can bring our own beauty to the daily task of living well and helping each other to have good lives. Thanks to ALL for being part of the event.

Rosalind, a new friend whose name I don't know, and Anne

Rosalind, a new friend whose name I don’t know, and Anne

Imy, one of the students on placement with CHO, greeting people as they arrived

Imy, one of the students on placement with CHO, greeting people as they arrived

Richard with the mic

Richard with the mic – and a hint of the waistcoat/girdle

CHO fundraiser Titus

Titus with his guitar

Yvonne speaking about community change with Fiona's book Imagine if... in her hand

Yvonne speaking about community change with Fiona’s book Imagine if… in her hand

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8 Responses to How to change the world

  1. Kaye mehta says:

    wow! What a great blog Elizabeth, congratulations! I am a late reader, on holidays a long way from home with time to read, and so impressed by your warm and generous writing about people, community and connecting. the CHO cocktail night sounds. Beautiful, congratulations to all. I do believe these ways of being you write about contribute to abetted world, with love, Kaye

    • Kaye hello my dear! How good to hear from you over there in Portugal! We did have a lovely night, and your contribution in your absence made a real difference – as I said those subsidised tickets made it possible for many more people to come. Please wave to Lisbon for me – and sending you lots of love.

  2. Mandy says:

    What a wonderful night, and how proud I felt to contribute in a small way. I wish some of my family could have been there for support….Never mind I had lovely , lovely support from Elizabeth, Robyn and Shayne. thank you. CHO is a fantastic group of passionate people coming together for a great cause. Lets all support as much as we are able. When you give you get back. Thank You once again for inviting me to be involved, I am walking a lot taller today X X X

  3. Mandy how lucky we were to have you with us with your inspiring and uplifting story. I felt very thrilled and honoured to have you there, and was so pleased too that you got to catch up with Kylie too. Thank you so much my dear.

  4. nickypage says:

    Yes it WAS a great night. I think the stories were a highlight for me, and the wonderful food that just kept coming. But the power of the stories, and women’s courage in telling them is what has stayed with me and kept me thinking about violence and the silences around it. Tonight I finally listened to Imy and Andria talking on the radio about the evening. What a great job they did talking up CHO. Fabulous work. You can hear them too at
    BTW I still haven’t worked out how to get new posts on this blog arriving in my inbox. I AM following. What else do I need to do? I’ll try liking but I expect that just puts the page up on Facebook?

    • Hi Nicky,
      Thanks a lot for the comment – the night was terrific and yes I agree Imy and Andria did do a fine job on the radio – what lovely talented people are part of the group. Thank you so much for your support of the night, and Dee’s as well, as well as your media connections. Re the blog, I don’t know really what you have to do to get it to come to your inbox. I will try and work it out and tell you forthwith!

  5. pam says:

    hi all just reading the blogs and I love reading about life over there my life here is ammmmmazing but I do miss bits over there love to all even though I don’t no many of the people any more have fun oh ps love seeing mandy on here x

    • Hi Pam, It is always a thrill to hear from you! I miss you and having your contributions to the blog – I need a story! I hope all is going well with you my dear. I must give you a call sometime soon to have a bit of a catch up. I especially thought of you on Mothers’ Day – I always do, especially given the poem you wrote for me on that theme. Anyway dear, lots of love and look after yourself…

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