A long-running school good behaviour initiative at Cunnamulla has received an overwhelming response from Brisbane and the Gold Coast to a call for donated male and female formal wear.
Paroo Shire Council Librarian Tammy Hickey says the council, in association with both schools in town and the local kindergarten, had been running the Glamour Photo Good Behaviour Initiative for the past six years.
Each year, all students in all local schools who have achieved an 85 per cent attendance rate and have a good behaviour record are invited to take part in a glamour photo day.
Mrs Hickey says the students come in a week before the actual photo shoot to choose what they would like to wear for the photo event.
“The shoot usually takes an entire week to do with both the schools and the kindergarten. We bring the successful students in to the library; they have their hair and make-up done.”
“They then have their photographs taken in that formal wear for them to give their parents.’’
Mrs Hickey said the Glamour Photo Good Behaviour Initiative had won the Cunnamulla 2015 Australia Day Award for Event of the Year, Queensland Public Libraries Association 2015 Local Government Authority Award, QPLA 2015 Delegates Choice Award, as well as the 2016 Reconciliation Highly Commended Award in the Community Category.
“It certainly works well to encourage good attendance and behaviour. This year we had an even greater need for donated formal and evening wear as we are hosting a major fashion parade as part of a family variety show that will be held on 26th August to coincide with the Cunnamulla Fella Festival.”
“It will be an entertainment extravaganza for Cunnamulla. The students will be taking part in the fashion parade, along with some of their mums, young men and other models.”
This year things have taken a huge leap forward after South West Hospital and Health Service HOPE Project Manager Miriam Airey gave a speech about the project in Brisbane.
“I spoke about the Glamour Photo Good Behaviour Initiative and happened to mention that organizers were looking for donated formal dresses and other formal wear to send to Cunnamulla for their variety event.’’
Ms Airey says one of the ladies in attendance then put a message out on our internal Yammer corporate networking service and we’ve since been inundated with dresses, shoes, jewellery and even a couple of suits for young men.
“I’ve also been given a dozen formal dresses by a Gold Coast resident, Carol Millar, through a local Facebook community group there – and she’s offered more if they want them.”
But it didn’t stop there, according to Ms Airey.
“Out to dinner one night recently, I was speaking to Olivia Russell, the owner of Living Silk, an exclusive dress shop in Paddington here in Brisbane, and mentioned the upcoming Cunnamulla Glamour Photo Good Behaviour Initiative and fashion parade.’’
“Next thing I know, Olivia has donated 10 new designer evening gowns that would normally cost hundreds of dollars. We’re now up to nearly 80 donated formal dresses and gowns alone – quite apart from the formal menswear, shoes and other accessories.”
The outfits and all have now been boxed and are about to be shipped by courier to Mrs Hickey at the Cunnamulla Library.
Project HOPE – which stands for Harmony, Opportunity, Pride and Empowerment – is a State Government and community-supported initiative and works as a partnership between the South West Hospital and Health Service, the Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health, the Paroo and Murweh shire councils, police and the Charleville and Western Areas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Community Health.
Project HOPE is designed to address the particular needs of the Charleville and Cunnamulla communities by creating locally tailored programs to address social disadvantage among young people.