Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ultimate Girly High Tea: more love in Brisbane (Part 3)

When QLD went under water last January, many Australians like me, felt absolutely paralysed in terms of what to do, how to help. Most of us donated what we could financially, and those geographically closer also helped with elbow grease on the ground, working to clean up the city of Brisbane, affected suburbs and towns.

Like many authors, I was part of three separate writing-based fundraising projects: 100 Stories for QLD, the Authors for QLD Auction and last weekend I was part of The Ultimate Girly High Tea at the Sofitel in Brisbane.

When 300 women get frocked up on Sunday morning and sit down to little sandwiches and naughty cakes, and the odd glass of champagne, there must be a good reason for the meeting. And there was... we were also raising dollars for the Qld Premier’s disaster relief appeal. The entire event demonstrated the love each woman had for her state, for her country and the need to help those affected. It was truly an amazing event.

I am grateful for being part of the event, and most specifically, want to thank:

1. REBECCA SPARROW: The brains and beauty behind the UGHT was Rebecca Sparrow, the bestselling author of The Girl Most Likely and The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay. I’m grateful Bec asked me to be a guest at the fundraiser, and I’m doing a cyber-round-of-applause for all her tireless work to pull in favours and find sponsors to support the event, and on the day be entertaining, witty and effortlessly glamourous.

Not only is Queensland Writers Centre (QWC) the leading provider of specialised writing services in Queensland, the organisation, under the direction of CEO Kate Eltham, also set up Writers on Rafts to act as a fundraising arm of the flood appeal. Big cheer to Kate and all her team for being so proactive and motivating writers and readers nationally to participate in fundraising activities.

3. GENEROUS GIRLYS: The Sofitel’s ballroom was full of generous, warm, loving women (and one bloke) who were all there for same cause: to help heal QLD through cash donations. Each paid $130 for their ticket, then also dug deep to buy raffle tickets to take the tally of funds raised to $31,000. I pay kudos to those who shared the challenge and the tiny little sandwiches. Special mention to the women on table #1 – my table. The pic above includes from left to right: Bernie, Letty, Sass, Anita and Anita (yes two Anita’s at one table...), Leonie and Brooke in front. Such fabulously friendly women... I was tempted to hit a seafood festival with them afterwards but had to catch a plane.

4. SPECIAL GUESTS: When Rebecca put the call out to her gal pals, we jumped at the opportunity to do our bit, even if it meant flying interstate. I’m grateful to all the women who added their names and weight to the event including: Therese Rein, Jessica Rudd (author of Campaign Ruby), Frances Whiting (journalist), Mia Freedman (journalist, columnist, blogger and author), Emily-Jade O’Keefe (media), Shay Stafford (author of Memoirs of a Showgirl), Rachael Birmingham (one half of the successful publishing duo behind 4 Ingredients), Kate Morton author of The Shifting Fog), Erica Bartle (journalist and fashion blogger), Robin Bailey (broadcaster on 97.3FM), Carolyn Donovan (author of Chooks in Stilettos), Caroline Overington (author of I Came To Say Goodbye), Paula Joye (editor of, Juliette Wright (executive director of GIVIT) and Danielle Crismani (founder of Baked Relief).

There were many sponsors on day including Westfield Chermside, who not only provided a fun and entertaining styling session as part of the morning tea, but also dressed the hosts of each table. My frock was a fab Charlie Brown design courtesy of Myer Chermside. I didn’t really want to give it back.


Unknown said...

It was great to meet you after so many twitter chats! Look forward to catching up again the next time you are in Brisvegas. xx

Dr Anita Heiss said...

Absolutely. Great to touch base face-to-face at a wonderful event. Next time we eat MORE :) Peace. Anita

Leonie Odegaard said...

Hi Anita,

It was a pleasure meeting you and such fun.
You are an inspiration.

Leonie from Table 1.

Dr Anita Heiss said...

Hey Leonie! I still smile when I think about that Sunday morning and meeting you ladies. I feel blessed I was on Table #1!

Peace always,