Women on a Mission. They are a resilient bunch the women of outback Australia. I've had the privilege of seeing this first hand this weekend when Miss 14 and I took a road trip to be part of the Beach to Bush Ladies Day in the Carinda/Walgett area of outback NSW.
Expecting to chat with 30 women over a cuppa and a scone about Cossie Confidence when Maz and I first hatched this idea back in January, the Carinda Sewing Group girls decided to take it a giant step further. Mainly because finally, the media was getting behind this drought that was already years old and the time was now.
30 became 130 in true bush style. Many women drove up to 3 hours to attend ('cause that's what you do in the bush!) and were massaged, manicured, hair-cutted, facial-ed, makeup-ed, fed and watered. And they grabbed rare swimwear that suited them too. They were so very grateful and happy. It was bloody awesome to see in action.
Sequins and Sand also fitted out 5 models of all different ages, shapes and sizes and put on a swim and resort parade to the cheers of those who attended. It was so much fun.
But we also did something else whilst all this was being organised and it's pretty darn BIG.
Launched at the event was a Beach to Bush Calendar where the women of the Carinda Sewing Group (including 88 year old Pat) put on cossies, work boots and hats and produced an amazing calendar to showcase the drought in their area and to raise precious funds for their struggling communities. See how it came together here.
70 pre-sales were taken from locals on the day and now you get your chance to hop on board and grab one too!
Just head over to the GIVE section of the S&S website. They are $17.50 + postage and you can be assured that every last cent of profit will go to the local charities and Drought Angels, as nominated by the Carinda Sewing Group girls. The girls are co-ordinating the dispatch themselves and S&S is taking the orders, so there's no red tape or overheads. And those of us involved have volunteered our products, time and services too to keep costs down.
Sue Currey, a brilliant photographer and local Walgett grazier, took the stunning photos and gave up her precious time in between keeping stock a live and other demanding farm duties.
Me with fitting and providing the swimwear as well as PR and Marketing co-ordination with the amazing Ernestine Lavalle.
A massive thank you to Calendar Print in Melbourne for donating their resources to get the samples printed in record time and for looking after us with further production. Viv and the team specialise in Community Calendars and really do a fabulous job. Do consider them if you've ever the need to do the same.
The girls want to raise $100,000 for their struggling communities. And I can honestly tell you after being out there (and writing this from Goondiwindi on our way home) that their area is the driest I saw. Once you get past Moree (heading south west) it dries up considerably. Paddocks that have lay barren for 4 years now. No crops. No stock. No viable rain. Bloody heartbreaking. It's going to be a long road back.
The Calendar will make a great gift this Christmas girls. Printing will start in early November so it will be in your hands well and truly before then. Pre-orders help to fund the print runs in advance.
Please support these amazing women who are not sitting back, waiting for help to come to them. They are digging even deeper when honestly, there is less and less to give as this drought tightens its grip even more. $17.50 + postage will get you one. If you'd like a bulk order, please email me at . Otherwise head over to the GIVE section of S&S to grab your copy now.
Thanks girls. Together we can make a difference.