THE woman who arranged for the suits and gowns that were sent to Aurukun for the PCYC’s NAIDOC Ball says she was blown away by the community.
Tammy Robinson is the founder of Formally Ever After, a charity that puts formal wear in the hands of those who need a helping hand.
“I’m from Logan and everyone says there are a lot of disadvantaged people here,” she said.
“I don’t look at them as being disadvantaged, I look at them as needing a helping hand.”
All of the gowns or suits were practically brand new, donated by people from all over the country.
Tammy said she supported last year’s inaugural NAIDOC Ball in Aurukun, but this was her first time attending.
“I’m still buzzing,” she said on Friday.
“The girls looked so beautiful and the boys were so handsome.
“It was everything I hoped it could be – and more!”
Organised by Steve and Norma from PCYC Aurukun, teenagers from the community were able to pick out a dress or a suit of their choosing.
On Wednesday afternoon, both the boys and girls, as well as some Elders, got glammed up at the PCYC before posing for photos and walking to the Wo’uw Ko’alam Community Centre.
There, they walked down the red carpet, brushing shoulders with politicians, community leaders and PCYC head honchos. They were then treated to a buffet dinner.
“I thought it was an amazing night and the kids were rightly the centre of attention,” said Tammy, who said the outfits would remain in Aurukun, to be used at next year’s NAIDOC Ball.
“I had to keep telling myself ‘don’t cry, don’t cry because it was just so beautiful.”
She said Formally Ever After was made possible by generous donations. The pictures of smiling faces from Aurukun will no doubt travel far and wide.
“Our motto is that we want to be the best. I don’t want kids having to wear gowns with stains on them or with tears, so we make sure that they are thoroughly cleaned or in great condition or they don’t make the cut,” she said.
“For many of these kids, this will be their big chance to dress up and feel special.”
Tammy said she loved that the girls opted to go bare-footed.
Norma said: “We gave them the option of wearing shoes to match their dresses, but they said to me that it’s Aurukun-style to wear thongs or bare feet!”