BaptistCare’s fourth annual Halo Ball was held on Friday 3 May, 2019 and attended by more than 500 guests in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s The Westin, providing an elegant backdrop for an evening of vital fundraising and magical entertainment.
Together, guests raised $146,000 in much-needed funds for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Returning as Halo Ball’s MC was Sandra Sully, Anchor of 10 News First and Consulting Editor of 10 daily. Sandra was effortless in leading guests through official proceedings and rounds of entertainment with grace and professionalism.
A key element to awareness-raising on the night was recognising all seven types of domestic abuse: economic, sexual, spiritual, verbal, emotional, physical and social. Rob Ellis, General Manager of BaptistCare Community Services, spoke to guests about the real impact on the safety and security of those who suffer from the lesser-known and less-physical forms of abuse.
“Domestic violence is so much more profound than a few men with anger management issues. The seven forms of abuse find their origins in a lack of respect for women and a desire to exert power and control over them in intimate relationships,” he said. Rob then called for those present to be part of the change needed.
“Don’t settle for less. Model respect with your friends and colleagues. As fathers, teach your sons. As grandfathers teach your grandsons. Find ways to deal with differences that don’t lead to the use of power, control and violence to assert your own needs. Strong and happy marriages and families are not perfect, but they are relationships in which respect needs to be the norm. That experience benefits us all.”
In support of Rob’s address, CEO of BaptistCare, Ross Low, also shared details of research commissioned by BaptistCare, to measure the public’s awareness of the seven types of domestic abuse.
“The research found older Australians are most likely to recognise all forms of domestic violence than our younger generations, indicating a concerning lack of awareness of the many signs of domestic abuse among our young people,” Mr Low said.
The very real impact of emotional, verbal and social abuse on the life of one woman and her two children was shared with guests in a newly commissioned video. The heart-stopping film told the story of Naomi, a young woman who lived through abuse and has now ‘found her light’ again after accessing the support of BaptistCare Domestic Violence Accommodation Services. Her story of trauma and recovery had guests mesmerised.
Naomi’s story was told through voice-over narration and animated ‘sand art’ that breathed life into her story of trauma and triumph. Unable to join guests at the Ball, Naomi opted to let the film tell her story.
In amongst the serious messages and opportunities for fundraising, guests were treated to a stellar entertainment line-up. Headlining the night was grand illusionist, Cosentino, who stunned the crowd with his stage illusions and logic defying escapology. Guests were once again treated to the fun and thrill of The BlackTies Magician Sydney card tricks and close up magic. Rounding out the evening was the exceptional musicianship and high energy party-vibe of the Baker Boys Band, who played until midnight to a packed dance floor.
The Halo Ball is BaptistCare HopeStreet’s major fundraiser in support of its domestic and family violence services. Over four years, the generosity of guests has seen over $446,000 raised; funds which have gone directly to support the important work done in this space and transformed the lives of families supported by HopeStreet teams.
As a result, more than 300 women and their children have been provided with supported accommodation; more than 350 women have undertaken group support programs, and many hundreds of hours of specialised counselling have enabled women and children to rebuild their lives beyond the impact of family and domestic violence.
The 2020 event will be held on Friday 8 May 2020, at The Westin. Details to come at haloball.org.au
Visit hopestreet.org.au to discover more about BaptistCare HopeStreet and the work done to support women and children impacted by domestic and family violence.