My story is a journey that has taken me from loss, shame, trauma, and pain, to survival, determination, love, and commitment.
Bond Hair Religion
Shop 6, Green Square, 68 Jardine Street
My ongoing healing – and the many challenges along the way – has given me a profound sense of empathy for others. It has also filled me with a burning desire to help those who are vulnerable in our local, national, and global communities.
Our world is filled with beauty in so many ways: the sight of the sunrise; the smell of freshly mown grass; the sound of laughter; the touch of a newborn baby’s cheeks; and even the taste of juicy mango. In a state of trauma and/or despair, even these simple joys seem out of reach somehow. It’s almost like the darkness robs one of the ability to connect. The world can seem relentlessly harsh and grey.
My aim is to bring a sense of connection to people in need, so they can reconnect with the delight of the simple things around them: a glimmer of hope; an easier night; some dignity; to be seen; to be heard; and to feel ‘of value’. Of particular importance to me is helping vulnerable women and children. I am acutely aware of the horrific mental, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse they suffer from my own experiences. I want them to know they are valued by giving them a helping hand, in whatever way is most beneficial for them. The healing journey requires courage, and courage is boosted by support from others. If I can play even a tiny part in the healing of others, I will.
I have spent many years building up the success of my businesses, Bond Hair Religion, and Bond Body & Brow Bar. I use the businesses and the large client base as a vehicle to raise funds and awareness for the many worthy causes I support. Over the last seven years over $160,000 has been raised along with thousands of dollars in donated goods, and priceless awareness-raising of the plight of others. Details of my philanthropic efforts from June 2019 to 2021 are outlined below. I will continue to help others until my last breath because I DO see them and I DO hear them: I AM them.
Have you ever heard of something called ‘Compassion fatigue’? It is defined as:
“Indifference to charitable appeals on behalf of suffering people, experienced as a result of the frequency or number of such appeals.”
Charitable fundraising has become a highly competitive industry. Some organisations spend so much on getting the attention of the public, a chunk of the donations are spent on marketing rather than the cause. The reality of this situation has led me to:
Select charities/causes where the money goes directly to the people enduring hardship;
Create fundraising/awareness campaigns that capture the attention of people in my network. I am a Champagne and fashion-parade kind of a gal, so when I come up with my ‘out-of-the-box’ challenges, people are far more likely to donate.
Please note: I pay for all my expenses for any fundraising activity, not a cent comes out of the fundraising money.
Here are some of the activities I have engaged in during the submission period from June 2019 to 2021.
July 2019: Raised $9,000 for Samuel Johnson’s ‘Love Your Sister’ campaign to find a cure for cancer. My sister, who works at Bond, also has cancer so this cause was near and dear to the hearts of many in my network.
July 2019: My ‘Invisible Homeless Project’ was inspired when I discovered that thousands of women and children in Canberra were living in their cars due to a shortage of crisis accommodation.
I spent seven days sleeping in my car during the coldest month of the Canberra winter – minus temperatures over each night. I am 180 cm tall and my car is a small Barina hatchback. I had $20 per day and could only use public bathrooms to wash etc. I made every attempt to make the experience as authentic as possible to promote awareness for this ‘hidden’ problem. The ‘Invisible Homeless Project’ campaign raised over $15,000 including cash donations, and many boxes of toiletries and nappies for the homeless in Canberra.
September 2019: In celebration of my 50th birthday, I wanted to use the well-wishes of my network to enhance the lives of others. I created the ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ project. People were sent an invitation to perform a random act of kindness and then write to me and tell me what they did. I was blown away by the number of contributions and the many ways people responded to the ‘call for kindness’. Examples included: blanket drives for the homeless; buying motivational books and mailing 20 out to random addresses; donations to the Red Cross; and even a 24 hour kayaking campaign to raise funds for boys with educational challenges.
June 2020: I created the ‘Give A Hand’ project asking for donations of non-perishables to people/families struggling with the effects COVID. Over 40 large shopping bags were filled with donated items. Members of the Bond client community were invited to take a bag and give it to someone they knew who were in need.
August 2020: $8,220 was raised for the fundraiser I called, ‘Industry Friends with Helping Hands’. The money went to help those in the hair and beauty industry struggling due to COVID lockdowns.
December 2020: We did the ‘Bond Christmas Drive for Toora Women’s Refuge’. Over $1,800 in cash, along with 120 new toys and gifts were donated to 97 children and 74 mothers in refuge accommodation across Canberra who might not otherwise have received a Christmas gift.
April 2021: Started training for my next big fundraising challenge – walking from my salon to Moruya, NSW. I will be walking 160 km in four consecutive days for two charities – Toora Women’s Refuge and ACTforKids to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. The challenge will take place in September (COVID allowing). As at this submission date, over $5,000 has been raised. The fundraising goal is $20,000.
This challenge follows in the footsteps (pardon the pun) of previous grueling fundraisers including: walking the Kokoda Trail; climbing Mt Kilimanjaro; and riding across Mongolia on horseback (I am terrified of horses). In reality I am very much an indoor person who doesn’t care for too much exercise!
June 2021: Created and launched the ‘Women’s Empowerment Project’ to give a helping hand ‘up’ for survivors of family violence to get work experience. Participants will work as a salon assistant, in our cafe, at reception, and in administration. This enables women to get back on their feet, have recent experience on their resume, and be more able to support themselves and their family. This is an ongoing program.
I am honoured to submit my entry for the KEVIN.MURPHY Icon Award. I know that philanthropy is a core value of the KEVIN.MURPHY brand, which is one of the many reasons I am proud to be a stockist. The choices we make every single day can really impact the choices made by those around us. When we make open-hearted choices for the betterment of others, each of us everyday heroes can build a better tomorrow.