GLAM it up for Charity Dinner is on again – Thurs 23rd October 2014

GLAM it up for Charity dinner is on again, and you are invited! 

This little charity dinner in Brisbane, is in its 8th year and has raised over $50,000 for small, local and grass roots charities.  Some of the charities who have benefited from GLAM it up for Charity in the past are Mummy’s Wish, Pindari Women’s Shelter, Second Chance Program, Chisholm Inc, Olive McMahon Lodge and Encore at YWCA.

This year I am proud to dedicate GLAM to the MND and Me Foundation – who help people diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).  MND is a neurodegenerative disease that causes rapidly progressive muscle weakness. Specifically, the disease affects nerve cells (motor neurons) that control the muscles that enable you to move, speak, breathe and swallow.

I am hoping to raise enough for the charity to buy multiple communication devices for people with Motor Neurone Disease who can no longer communicate.  This dinner is in memory of my friend Scott Sullivan who started this amazing foundation to help others.

Tickets are now on sale now and selling fast, so grab your favourite guys and gals and book your tickets today, also like the GLAM it up for Charity facebook page here too.

Heartfelt thanks to LOFT West EndLady Marlene’s School of Arts and I heart brownies for supporting MND and Me Foundation at the 8th Annual GLAM it up for Charity dinner! THANK YOU!

An extra special thanks to Jacqui and the team at White With One Graphic Design, who have again created this beautiful invite!

I hope you can come, full invite details below! Kind regards, Tara

GlamItUpforCharityInvite2014 copy


Posted in Brisbane Events, Causes, Community, GIVING, MND and Me Foundation, Mummy's Wish, Second Chance, Uncategorized, YWCA | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

help launch a new tv show for sick kids – Juiced TV

I would like to introduce you to another amazing Queenland based social entreprenuer; Pip Russell.  Pip, previously a presenter for children’s programs Totally Wild and Toasted TV, is hoping to raise $15,000 in the next two weeks, enough to launch a TV show called Juiced. A TV show made by sick kids in hospital, for sick kids in hospital.  I will let Pip tell you all about it, in this guest blog post:

juicedtv2The way sick kids experience hospital is about to change, with the goodness of Juiced TV.

At it’s core, Juiced is a TV show made by the kids in hospital, for the kids in hospital.

But, it’s also much more than that. Juiced will increase positive experiences for sick kids while in hospital, and create a unique way for them and their families to engage and communicate with one another, while also reducing the alienation felt in an environment that can be scary and sometimes painful.

The idea for Juiced is a culmination of more than 6 years volunteering and working alongside the Children’s Hospital Foundation, and my background in kids TV with Network Ten, but at the heart it’s driven by my deep seeded desire to serve others.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 1.15.24 pmIt’s grown from an idea to film a few of the entertainment acts at hospital party days, into a 4 tiered program that consists of: an internal television show, created and hosted by the little patients, days of ‘hands on happiness’ (core filming days that take place at the hospital), and experiences created for sick kids and their families based on patient needs and family wishes. Finally, there’s also the interactive website which will allow the kids and families to share TV segments and their positive experiences with relatives and friends, while also making Juiced TV content accessible throughout the country.

The content for Juiced TV is limitless – the kids can nominate nurses and doctors to do dares, learn arts and crafts and magic tricks, get up close with weird and wonderful creatures, and have the chance to meet some of their celebrity idols… and let’s be honest if I was to cross my fingers for a celebrity cameo, I unashamedly vote for Taylor Swift!

Juiced can be as big as we want it to be. Personally, I can’t wait to see it grow into a program that connects sick kids and their families right across Australia, with TV shows being made at every major children’s hospital in the country, as well as filming opportunities taking place in regional areas, and then to see it develop on an international scale.

juicedtv1 The more kids we can connect and bring together, the more Juiced is going to help give them back their childhood and create a sense of normalcy, in circumstances which can often be beyond what we’d like to imagine.

However, for the project to be a success we need the support of individuals and businesses in our community to help provide experiences and entertaining content for the show, and on a bigger scale, we’re in search of sponsors to join the Juiced crew so that we can bring big smiles to little faces, for years to come.

Juiced is running a crowdfunding campaign to assist with initial production of the show, and to help us reach our target of $15,000, we’ll be hosting a fundraiser at Riverlife Kangaroo Point, on Sunday September 21 from 1pm. Drinks, food, entertainment, and raffles a plenty.

Be part of Pip’s crowd funding campaign to raise $15,000 and bring Juiced to life – donate here today. Find out more on the campaign on the Juiced website, facebook and twitter.

 Juiced will begin basic production at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane before an official launch at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. Good luck Pip!

Posted in Brisbane Events, Causes, Children, Community, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Social Enterprise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A brighter future for Indigenous kids thanks to The Indigenous Literacy Foundation

I have a secret crush.  A love of social entrepreneurship.  You will be surprised to learn, (or maybe not) that Brisbane has quite a few social innovators in its ranks.  One I highly admire, is Suzy Wilson.  By day Suzy runs a gorgeous suburban book shop and tea-house in Bulimba, on the south-side of Brisbane called Riverbend Books, and by night she has founded an amazing charitable foundation, tackling the complex issue of indigenous literacy, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 4.41.14 pmSuzy tells me she didn’t ever intend to start a charity.  In 2004, Suzy learnt about the plight of Australia’s Indigenous kids at a book industry conference, and simply wanted to do something to help.
“It very quickly developed a life of its own and has proceeded to drag me along in its wake ever since!”

One alarming statistic shows that between 40% and 60% of Indigenous children in very remote locations across WA, SA and NT are achieving below minimum standard in Reading in Year 3. Suzy believes this is something as a nation we cannot ignore.  

Suzy’s small thing was the Riverbend Reader’s Challenge, a reading competition to raise funds for disadvantaged Indigenous Australians living in remote communities who were missing out on vital literacy resources.  It became a nationwide challenge in 2006 as The Australian Readers’ Challenge, growing and evolving firstly into The Indigenous Literacy Project and then, in 2011, became The Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 9.14.00 amSuzy never dreamt that Indigenous Literacy Foundation would become so big.  To date, the Foundation has delivered over 120,000 books to more than 230 remote communities.  The Indigenous Literacy Foundation now has an impressive list of ambassadors, including Andy Griffiths, Katie Noonan, Dr Anita Heiss and Alison Lester to name a few.

Suzy credits the amazing support of her staff, friends and family for the success of The Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and offers this advice to budding social entrepreneurs;
1.  Be bold (Quentin Bryce’s advice to Suzy);
2. When things are tough, be patient and know you will learn something very valuable;
3.  Surround yourself with good people.

Suzy’s dream for the future is that the Indigenous Literacy Foundation will continue to thrive beyond her own lifetime.

“I believe many Australians want to help “close the gap” and don’t know what they can do. It is confounding and distressing and shameful that we are not as a country doing better for the first people of this country. ILF offers everyone a simple practical way to help.”

Today, Wednesday 3rd September is Indigenous Literacy Day, learn about how you can get involved here, follow them on facebook and twitter.

A $25 donation can help buy up to four books for an indigenous child living in remote Australia – donate here.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 9.12.26 am

You are one amazing lady Suzy!  Thank you for making the world a better place.

Posted in Australian charity, Children, Community, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Wild Thing


Project Wild Thing is a film led movement to get more kids (and their folks!) outside and reconnect with nature. The film is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature. Take a look at the trailer here.

Filmmaker David Bond is a worried man. His kids’ waking hours are dominated by a cacophony of marketing, and a screen dependence threatening to turn them into glassy-eyed zombies. Like city kids everywhere, they spend way too much time indoors.

Project Wild Thing is a response to kids’ addiction to iPads and consoles, getting obese and insidiously depressed in the process, and parents letting it happen. Growing thoughts that the outdoors are dangerous, pointless and irrelevant. “We think we’ve outgrown nature,” says Bond.  He crafted a a diagram (below) breaking down the barriers to playing outdoor and promoting nature as a brand, so the kids can “get” it and”choose” it; with boyish enthusiasm, he devises wacky ad strategies through billboards and social media to spread the good word (see image below).


Project Wild Thing is much more than a film, this is a growing movement of organisations and individuals who care deeply about the need for nature connected, free-range, roaming and outdoor playing kids in the 21st century.

There are lots of great ideas to inspire outdoor play.  I like Nature Play’s list of 51 things to do before you are 12, and there are also Wild Time vouchers that can be may be used anywhere outside, in the woods, up a tree, by a stream, in the park, in the mud….download your voucher here.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 6.13.19 pm


For more inspiration, download the free Wild Time App, or follow these guys on facebook Project Wild Thing, Nature Play QLD.

If you live in Brisbane, then today is your lucky day!  Nature Play QLD are hosting a free screening of the movie Project Wild Thing at 12noon this Friday 29st August at Palace Barracks Cinema.  Yes FREE!!! and you get a chance to meet the film maker David Bond – email for your tickets.

See you on the outside.

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show some heart for HeartKids

My friend has a dream that I would like to share with you. A dream that no child is born with an untreatable heart condition.

Daniel at 6 weeks old recovering from his first open heart surgery

Daniel at 6 weeks old recovering from his first open heart surgery

In 2011 my friend’s nephew, Daniel, was born with a severe and complex heart condition that required multiple open heart operations.  Daniel spent the first six months of his life in hospital. Everyday fighting for his life.

Six babies, just like Daniel, are born with a heart defect in Australia every day. It’s the biggest killer of Australian kids under one years of age. There is no known cure. Thanks to medical advances over 32,000 adults have survived with a heart defect since childhood.

HeartKids Queensland provide support, encouragement and hope to families of children with Heart Disease.  They raise awareness and critical funding for life-saving research into the causes, treatment and prevention of heart disease.

HeartKids provide practical support to families; a friendly chat, prepared frozen meals, care packs and emotional support.  Daniel’s mum Karen credits Heartkids Queensland to getting them through this terrible time. “Daniel is doing brilliantly now and a lot of that is to do with HeartKids.  They exceeded my expectations with their unconditional generosity, and now it is time to give back.”  But Karen needs your help!

HeartKids have entered the Sunsuper Dreams competition for the month of August, to win $5,000 and they urgently need your vote!  It only takes a moment to vote, click here.  

Daniel at 2.5 years old walking for the first time independently

Daniel at 2.5 years old walking for the first time independently

Learn more about HeartKids here.

Sunsuper’s Dreams for a Better World competition is all about doing something positive for the community in a meaningful way. Each month a $5,000 grant is awarded to the dream with the most public votes.

Learn more about Sunsuper Dreams here.

Here are some other easy ways you can help HeartKids:
Follow HeartKids on facebook or twitter
Join the HeartKids Bridge to Brisbane team
Volunteer for HeartKids
Host a cuppa for HeartKids this August / Septemer

Posted in Australian charity, Causes, Children, Community, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

drink coffee, do good, action against homelessness

cafesmartThis Friday 8th August 2014, take action against homeless and buy your Friday coffee from a cafe across Australia participating in CafeSmart 2014 and they’ll donate a $1 from every coffee sold.  To find your local do-gooder cafe, click here.

Some cafes that you already might know are signed up….

Brisbane: Di Bella Coffee (Bowen Hills), Hotel Urban (Spring Hill), Thrive on George (CBD), John Mills Himself (CBD), Toby’s Estate Brisbane (CBD), Campos Coffee Brisbane (Fortitude Valley) Expresso Train (Nundah) and Pasta Pantry (Rosalie), Bunker Coffee (Milton and my favourite!) Sydney: The Cook and Baker (Bondi Junction) Lize & Bath Cafe (CBD), The Q on Harris (Ultimo), Oliver Brown World Square, Greenheart Expresso (CBD), BangBang Cafe and Lucky Pickle (Surrey Hills), Cafe Morso (Pyrmont). Melbourne: STREAT (all locations), Cherry & Twigs (CBD), Mister Close (CBD) Hub Cafe and Miss Jackson (St Kilda), Alice Nivens, Footscray Milking Station, 30KER65 (Fitzroy). Canberra: Coffee Guru (Erindale and Mawson), Good Brother (Dickson), Little Oink (Cook) and Tranquillo Expresso (Braddon). Perth: Yelo (Trigg), Dimattina (Osbourne Park), Mercado Negro (CBD), Jessie’s Cafe and Roastery (Myaree).

streetsmart_logoAll funds raised go to StreetSmart who take action against homelessness, raising funds and awareness for small, ‘hard to reach’ grassroots services and projects. Projects that provide critical services and emergency aid as well as promoting social inclusion, empowerment and sustainable change for people who are homeless or at risk. 100% of donations raised through Streetsmart events are distributed in the form of grants. To date they have raised $3,031,680 and supported 843 grassroots projects.  Like what they do on facebook or follow them on twitter.  Dont forget to post a selfie Friday using hashtag #drinkcoffeedogood and donate direct to the cause here.

Would you like your local café to be involved? then download this flyer, print it off and hand it over and encourage them to get involved.

Posted in Australian charity, Brisbane Events, Children, Community, CSR, Ethical Shopping, GIVING, Homelessness, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charity Polo Day – Sunday 3rd August 2014


Last year, Sandra Carder organised her first charity polo day. There were 14 teams, over 1000 spectators, and most importantly funds were raised for charity Destiny Rescue, directly helping rescue young Cambodian girl Sreyta Sok Hang.

Sandra tells me that Sreyta lost her six brothers and her father, and as a young girl was forced to leave her mother and live on the streets, where she was subjected to sexual exploitation and human trafficking.  Sreyta is 14 now and living in a Destiny Rescue rescue home and is learning new skills and living in a safe and loving environment.

Destiny Rescue exists to rescue children from red light districts, brothels and sexually abusive situations. They operate in five countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and India, and rely on the generoisity of the community, fundraising events and donations to fund their life saving work.

Sandra heard about Destiny Rescue through a friend of a friend, and was so inspired by the cause, she repurposed her family’s annual polo event that had been running for 25 years, The Carder Cup, to support this very worthy cause, Destiny Rescue.

“I have a four year old daughter, and to think there is a need to rescue children from the sex industry is horrific to me. Even if I am just doing a tiny bit, I know I am doing something”.  Sandra sells real estate by day, and is organising the next charity polo day, Sunday 3rd August, by night.

The 2014 Destiny Rescue Polo Match is being held on privately owned  ‘Alsace’, the country estate of polo aficionado and Yellow Cab Managing Director, Neill Ford and his wife Trisha.

Entry starts at $20, and there are car boot picnic options, or seats and tables in a corporate marquee.  There will plenty of polo, raffles, silent auctions, children’s entertainment and much more.  To book your ticket/s contact Sandra on 0418 2222 57 or email

Dress: what does one wear to the polo?  Sandra says anything goes; jeans, hat, jacket or dress.  The offical Alsace Polo website says “sophisticated and tailored day wear” and that “Polo is a stylish outdoor event and subject to weather. Linen jackets, ties and sundresses are valid options. Footwear should be practical – high heels are not a smart choice due to grassed areas for the majority of the event. Racing style hats will look out of place, though more casual headwear is often worn”

Make a donation to Destiny Rescue here, follow the charity polo match event details on the official facebook page and see the full event invite below.

Destiny Rescue Polo Match 2014 V2

Posted in Brisbane Events, Causes, Children, Community, GIVING, KINDNESS, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment