Tuesday, June 4, 2013


It's not often I go bananas with images. Can you sense my excitement? Uncontainable. Actually, I'm not a big one for posting about my day job either - but occasionally my worlds collide and when they do collide this well, with such impressive results, I have to write it up. Also, this is a way of explaining my uncharacteristic silence these past few weeks. I've been a busy lady. We've been flat-out organising our inaugural fundraising gala at The Dax Centre. When we were in the early planning phase it became apparent we would need a stylist to pull the night together. My first and only thought was craft ladies Poppy Lancashire and Beck Harris, whose friendship stretches back to school days when they would spend weekends making beautiful things out of paper together. They share an effortless and original style that is a little bit Steiner and a little bit Scandinavian but their very own.

They took one look at the cavernous space of the Melbourne Brain Centre, our building and the venue for the sit down dinner for 94, and came back with a single simple idea: a paper garden suspended from above lit by fairy lights. Their vision was to bring the ceiling down to create a sense of intimacy, something enchanting that reflected our gala theme: nurture our growth. We just listened and took notes and felt a little overwhelmed calculating the number of volunteers we might need and hours it might take to make the hundreds of flowers we would need to make it work. Years, according to someone's smartphone. We hosted working bees, took them home, even talked strangers into giving over their precious time to participating. An army of workers cut, folded and fluffed tissue paper for what felt like weeks but in truth was no more than nine days. And when my thumb started bleeding from a RSI/pressure blister I just pushed on. Can't. Stop. Now. Can't. Let. Beck. And. Pop. Down.

Did I mention it was a lot of hard work? We actually had a lot of fun. For an organisation dedicated to creativity, it felt good to be doing creative work, to be making things together in the name of a good cause. I'm no missionary but on Thursday night I felt like a true believer.

Photos: Brendan Finn, Folded Bird

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