On June 3 2017, VWT hosted a birthday party and fundraiser Let’s Dance in honour of feminist luminary, Eve Mahlab AO. The tagline for this sold-out event was ‘celebrating the past and future of feminism‘ and celebrate we did. Held at Leonda on the Yarra with ABC’s Virginia Trioli as MC, the room was lively and warm, filled with family, friends, and feminists from across the political spectrum.
Virginia Trioli gave a rousing speech on the importance of Eve’s work over the decades and her thirst for fun, made clear in the event theme. “As Emma Goldman said, ‘ If there won’t be dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming,’ declared Virginia.
Before too long, we were up and dancing at the behest of Anna Go-Go, our dance instructor extraordinaire. With minimal encouragement, Anna had the 350 strong crowd dancing in sync to beloved disco track from BeeGees ‘You Should Be Dancing’. So much action before entrees had even reached the tables.
Once we had resumed our seats, Eve rose to speak and was met with an immediate standing ovation. Eve urged attendees to give where it will have the most impact — such as to the Victorian Women’s Trust . “It’s always struck me why money for building bridges is considered investment but money for childcare is a cost,” said Eve to firm applause. “The VWT is simply the most effective organisation for advancing women and girls in Australia. VWT works at the top to influence public policy and it works at the bottom, to give grants to those who need it.”
VWT Executive Director Mary Crooks AO asked in her speech, “What are we waiting for? We are a big enough country with enough resources to fit our gender equality ambitions within it..we are at a very real moment in time in our country. One to be seized. We need policy and action that doesn’t tinker at the edges.” Hear, hear!
Nu-soul singer Hailey Cramer closed the night with a stirring rendition of ‘I am Woman’ with the crowd joining in with gusto. Heartfelt thanks for all who came, danced and raised funds for gender equality. And thanks most of all to Eve, for paving the way and inspiring the next wave.