It is time to axe the tax. Period.

AxeTheTaxIt is time to stop taxing the dignity of Australian women. Period. And we urgently need your signature!

This 2018 International Women’s Day, be part of the movement, to axe the tax on sanitary items in Australia.  Rochelle Courtenay, Founder of Share The Dignity is leading a nation-wide petition to lobby our government to remove the GST on pads and tampons.


One week, 12 months, 30 years, 12.2 million women. The time is up, don’t let your mum, daughter, sister, grandmother, or best friend continue to be a number where their human dignity is treated as a luxury.

Currently, all feminine hygiene products in Australia are classed as ‘non-essential items’, in other words a luxury product. They are not included in the Federal government’s list of important health goods such as sunscreen, condoms, nicotine patches and even incontinence pads. 

Before GST was introduced in 2000, a proposal was made to exempt such products, but it was dismissed by then Prime Minister John Howard. At the time, Health Minister Michael Woolridge, likened feminine hygiene items to shaving cream, saying “Well, as a bloke, I’d like shaving cream exempt, but I’m not expecting it to be”.

Far from shaving cream, feminine hygiene products are essential health products, without which, those women who menstruate every month for an average of 30 years, would have no way of pursuing a normal public or private life and would be at risk of jeopardising their health.

A federal petition was lodged on 1st March which requires 100,000 signatures by 30th March to be applicable to be heard. Should the petition succeed this would mean, after years of society treating this normal bodily function with shame, feminine products would be confirmed as a very basic necessity in Australia and therefore GST free.

Rochelle Courtenay, Founder of Share The Dignity, and author of the petition, is calling out for all women AND MEN, to sign by March 8th, International Women’s Day, to make this change. Sign the petition here!

“Justice Scalia once wrote ‘A tax on tampons is a tax on women’, but it goes further than that. By taxing feminine products, we as Australians are aiding to the violation of human dignity of those who we love the most. This is an issue for both women and men,” says Ms Courtenay.

With federal members believing this is ‘not an important issue’ Australians are implored to sign and share, to make 2018 a year where dignity is restored.

Sign the petition here, and share this post with your friends!

Posted in Australian charity, Causes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help PowerWells solve world energy poverty – pledge your support today

Can you imagine your life without a reliable source of electricity?

PowerWells project-imageIt is estimated that between 1.2 and 3 billion people around the world have little or no access to electricity and / or modern fuels, to meet basic needs such as cooking, heating, access to healthcare, education and employment.

It is common for people living in disadvantaged and remote communities to travel many hours in a day simply to charge their mobile phones or spend large portions of their incomes on dirty and hazardous polluting fuels such as kerosene, batteries and candles.

BradNick PowerwellsSerial social entrepreneurs Brad, Nick and Amatus, from Brisbane have a solution to solve world energy poverty, starting with remote communities in Papua, West Papua, Indonesia, PNG and Pacific Island countries.  They have launched tech start up PowerWells a small, self contained, off-grid solar energy and battery supply system made out of recycled e-waste, capable of delivering a basic, reliable power source.

Watch the PowerWells short video here.

The main goal of PowerWells is to extend the productive hours of the day for increased educational and economic activity.  On a recent trip to PNG they discovered a main use of mobile phones is to use the torch at night to read papers or books.

By using electronic-waste (e-waste) and ex-commercial solar panels, Powerwells can deliver a cheaper solution (a self contained system of solar energy production and battery storage) AND reduce the amount of hazardous materials going into landfill.

PowerWells is similar in concept to a community water well.  It is centrally located for communities to charge small electronic devices including batteries, phones or torches (up to 50 small devices per day) and power a light that is big enough to light up a communal space for 5 hours.

Kids PowerWellsThe PowerWells model will up-skill local people living in the countries where PowerWells are deployed, to source local materials and also construct the PowerWells. This will provide local employment opportunities and teach people new skills to make use of e-waste, beginning with how to construct PowerWells (including accessories) and in the future they hope it will extend to making products such as 3D Printers.

PowerWells NEED YOUR HELP! They have 12 days left to raise $12,000 on their crowd-funding campaign to create 100 self-contained power supply systems that will provide a basic, sustainable and reliable power supply to remote communities.  The campaign finishes on 19 January  – visit to make a pledge, even $5 will makes a real difference to this campaign!

PW Supporters.jpg

So how did this all come about? PowerWells formed in late 2017 as part of the Logan Social Enterprise Startup Weekend. They won the Get Started category of the event.  Nine days later they were on their way to Jakarta. They met a local, Johannes, who lives in a remote village eight hours (including a two-hour walk) out of central Jakarta that didn’t have electricity. Thirteen days after the Startup Weekend, they had their first PowerWell installed in Johannes’ village, where it continues to provide power and lighting for the community!

Learn more about PowerWells on the PowerWells crowdfunding page or facebook page,

AND….if you have any electronic waste in your home or workplace (anything with a plug or a battery) PLEASE consider donating it to Substation33 a social enterprise based in Logan in South East Queensland who use electronic waste to help disadvantaged job seekers get employment ready.  Read more about Substation33 here.


Posted in Children, Community, Social Enterprise, Uncategorized, youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 gifts that do good

If you are anything like me, Christmas has only just hit your radar, and rather than buying boring gifts like socks and jocks, or something destined for landfill, here is a short list of gifts that do-good ideas – gifts that give twice, helps a charity or cause, as well as is a nice gift for under the tree:

OneGirlTote1. Girls With Dreams tote supporting ONE GIRL

The perfect tote for carrying school books, groceries, or gym gear. Extra roomy with reinforced shoulder straps. Proceeds from every sale help fund the One Girl education projects – so this bag won’t just look good, it’ll do good too. Tote is 100% cotton canvas, and measures 42cm x 42cm and is $19.95 from One Girl.
About One Girl: profits from this bag will go to helping educate girls in Africa. Buy here and learn more at

IMG_5753 2. Fight for Our Reef t-shirt supporting the Australian Marine Conservation Society

Buy this FIGHT FOR OUR REEF tshirt for $30.00, and support the Australian Marine Conservation’s Reef campaign. 100% cotton, navy t-shirt (dark navy, almost black), ethically produced, W.R.A.P. certified garment. The front of the shirt has the FFOR logo, the back has the website.
About AMCS: defenders of Australia’s oceans for over 50 years. Buy tshirt here and learn more at

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 10.25.59 PM3. Words With Heart notebook

A beautiful A5 size lightweight notebook that’s super durable, splash resistant (cover), made to survive a lot of planning, dreaming, creating and scheming. Price $8.95 and funds one day of education for a girl in a developing country.  Buy here.
*Gorgeous hand illustrated inside and outside cover design

*44 lined pages, made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper
*Cover made with 100% recycled card and coated in an eco laminate
*An outline of our social impact detailed on the back cover
About WWH: Words With Heart is an eco-friendly stationery and printery social enterprise that funds women’s and girls education projects.

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 9.58.35 PM4. Stronger Than You Know t-shirt supporting Women’s Legal Service

‘Stronger than you know’ tee supporting Women’s Legal Service. Featuring a bat wing sleeve and scoop neck, this 165 gsm poly viscose tee is soft, relaxed fit and super stylish. Wear your strength with pride, or give as a gift with heart. Team with active wear or your favourite denim. Price $29.50.  Buy here.
About Women’s Legal Service: funds raised from each tee will go directly to Women’s Legal Service Queensland – to build safer futures for women and kids affected by domestic violence.

SSKeepCup 5. Keep Cup supporting Sea Shepherd

Every minute around the world over one million disposable cups are discarded to landfill or end up in our oceans. Sea Shepherd has partnered with Keep Cup to make sure you enjoy your coffee or tea safe in the knowledge that it won’t threaten marine wildlife. Enjoy your brew while reducing your waste and supporting Sea Shepherd. Cost $22 and you can buy yours here.

About Sea Shepherd: Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization.  Their mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 10.12.21 PM6. Sunday Rose Bunny supporting Global Sisters

Sunday Rose Bunny is $49.00 and was made exclusively for the Global Sisters Marketplace store. She is handmade in Australia, with natural materials, ethically produced AND supports the financial independence of a local female artisan.

About Global Sisters:  Global Sisters provide disadvantaged or marginalised women with the tools, networks and resources to establish or grow a business.

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 10.40.09 PM7. Handbags With Heart supporting Share The Dignity

The Jane bag is a chic black tote bag with long straps and top zipper, a zippered back pocket, multiple inside pockets and the signature Share the Dignity lining. It is a perfect bag for the workplace, out and around town.

The Jane bag is $49.95 and is made from a good quality PU faux leather and is vegan friendly. Bag Dimensions are 46cms wide, it has a base width of 11cms, it is 32cms deep with a 24cm handle length.  Buy here.
About Share the Dignity: Share The Dignity collects thousands of pads, tampons and personal hygiene products every YEAR for women experiencing homelessness and poverty. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.54.24 AM8. Glass water bottle supporting Healthy Land & Water

Reusable glass bottle with green silicone grip, supporting the work of environmental charity Healthy Land & Waterways for $14.99.  Buy here. Product features:
– 450ml, 22.5 cm high and 6.5 cm diameter 
– Durable borosilicate glass with silicon protection
– Contour design with comfortable food grade FDA standard silicon sleeve 
– Stainless steel screw-top lid with convenient carry strap
– Compact size makes it easy to take with you wherever you go! 
– Dishwasher safe (top rack only)
About Healthy Land & Water: Healthy Land & Water is an independent organisation working to improve the sustainable use of land and waterways in South-East Queensland. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 11.00.48 AM9. 2018 Calendar supporting Pet Rescue

The 2018 PETstock Assist and PetRescue calendar is only $3 and raises much needed funds for PetRescue.
About Pet Rescue: to help save the lives of all homeless pets by giving them the very best chance of finding a human to love for life.


MummysWishbear10. Talking teddy bear supporting Mummy’s Wish

For every Talking Comfort Bear purchased, Mummy’s Wish can fund the purchase of a talking bear for the children of Mums with cancer. Each bear comes with a voice recorder so that you can record a special message, offering stressed and lonely little ones a feeling of safety, warmth and assurance when they need it most.
This adorable talking bear is sure to delight every child. He is also super soft making him perfect for cuddles.
All bears are 16 inches tall and include a 10 second voice recorder for you to record a special message for your lucky recipient. The voice recorder uses 3 x 1.5v LR44 alkaline batteries (included).  Cost is $40.00 and you can buy one here.
About Mummy’s Wish: supporting Australian families with children aged 12 years and under through the provision of practical, immediate and non-means tested support whilst Mum is receiving treatment for cancer.


Know another good gift?  The type of gift that gives twice – please tell me all about it in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading!

Posted in Australian charity, Causes, Children, Community, CSR, Environment, Ethical Shopping, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Queensland charity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You are invited to the 11th Annual GLAM It Up For Charity dinner – Friday 27th October at Darling & Co. Paddington

It was 2007, I was on maternity leave from my corporate job, and feeling very grateful for my life – I wanted to do something other than nappies and night feeds.  So, alongside my beautiful friend Michelle we decided to host a little charity dinner to raise money for a cause.  I had recently heard of a pool based exercise program for women with breast cancer at the RBWH that had lost its funding. We put the word out to our friends, enlisted the help of local publican Neil Shannon, and hosted 120 people at the very first GLAM It Up For Charity dinner.  That year we raised $3,080 for the YWCA Encore program.

Fast forward 11 years, and how GLAM has grown!

This year, GLAM It Up For Charity is set to have raised over $100,000 for local causes, always with a specific focus on vulnerable women and children. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of so many people  – we have collectively funded a special care bed for a children’s hospice, iPads for people with MND, teddy bears for kids of mums with cancer, laptops for mums with cancer, a kitchen for a homeless women’s shelter and more. (see the full list below).

This year is no different, GLAM It Up for Charity 2017 is thrilled to be collaborating with Mums 4 Refugees, to support Mercy Community Services’ Romero Centre and Global Sisters, in providing practical and emergency support to refugee and asylum seeking families in Brisbane.

The Romero Centre in Dutton Park was established in 2000 in response to the needs of people arriving in Australia seeking safety and human rights. The Romero Centre currently supports 300 individuals and families, many of whom can’t access food, shelter, employment, legal pathways and counselling support.

The #GLAM17 goal is to raise $20,000 to fund one Global Sisters workshop that will directly help up to 40 women at the Romero Centre to start their own micro business, and to establish an ’emergency fund’ for Romero Centre to provide emergency relief to families.

GLAM It Up For Charity dinner details are below – I hope you can come along! Follow the GLAM facebook page, and book your #GLAM17 tickets here:


History of GLAM

Year Charity How much raised For what Venue
1 – 2007 YWCA Encore $3,080.00 New Encore program at RBWH Onyx Bar Milton
2 – 2008 YWCA Encore $3,300.00 Encore Program Queensland Onyx Bar Milton
3 – 2009 Mummy’s Wish $3,700.00 Ipads / computers for mums in hospital receiving cancer treatment Onyx Bar Milton
4 – 2010 YWCA Encore $3,350.00 Encore Program Queensland The Villager Hotel
5 – 2011 Mummy’s Wish $3,790.00 Teddy bears for children of mums with cancer The Villager Hotel
6 – 2012 Olive McMahon Lodge $10,875.00 Olive McMahon Lodge provides free accommodation for people receiving cancer treatment in Toowoomba The Villager Hotel
7 – 2013 Second Chance Program $9,379.00 New kitchens in women’s homeless shelters / refuges The Villager Hotel
8 – 2014 MND and Me Foundation $14,217.00 Communication devices for people with MND Loft West End
9 – 2015 Hummingbird House  $18,125.00 Building the new hospice Loft West End

In 2016, we raised $20,648 for Orange Sky Laundry develop a new targeted service for women experiencing homelessness in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. In 2017 I hope we can again raise over $20,000 to provide practical and emergency support for refugee and asylum seeking families living in Brisbane.



Posted in Australian charity, Brisbane Events, Causes, Children, Community, GIVING, KINDNESS, Queensland charity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Become someone’s fairy godmother

Have you always wanted to be someone’s fairy godmother?  Well, here is your big chance…

FairyGodmotherProjectIpswich mum Sam Harrison wants your old formal dress or suit to lend / gift to disadvantaged students in Ipswich, to create magical school formals to remember. 

The Fairy Godmother Project (formerly Gift of the Gown Ipswich) was founded from Sam’s own experience as a single mum who struggled to pay for her daughter’s formal dress. Sam believes that many young women (and men) in Ipswich simply cannot afford to attend their school formal.  Sam took inspiration from a similar project on the Gold Coast, Gift of the Gown run by Carol Millar.

Much to her delight, Ipswich non-profit the Hearts & Minds Foundation stepped in and took Sam’s project under its wing, providing a committee of helpers, a shop front and the infrastructure needed to take the initiative to the next level.

The Fairy Godmother Project is about gifting confidence and self worth to these young people, via the gift of a formal dress or suit, shoes and accessories. By donating to The Fairy Godmother Project you are granting a beautiful Cinderella (or Cinderfella) the opportunity to fulfil their school formal dream, and you become his or her fairy godmother! 

How does it work?
You clean out your wardrobe and donate good quality formal dresses and suits to the project.  Ideally these dresses and suits are clean, not stained and in an acceptable condition for the girls/guys to wear immediately.  If you have a dress or suit that needs dry cleaning, you can drop it at Ipswich Dry Cleaners, mention that you’re a fairy godmother and they will dry clean it for a reduced fee of $33 (less than half the usual cost).   Sam says vintage dresses are okay, but to PLEASE avoid donating your puffy sleeved, shoulder padded 80’s number.  

These items are then provided free of charge to anyone in need, or to anyone struggling to afford their school formal. If a family can afford a cash donation, that is certainly appreciated, but not a requirement of the project

Sam says it is a system based on honesty and integrity. If you don’t need the help, please don’t apply. Sam requires school ID to be sure that only year 12 students from the local Ipswich area are being supported. 

Two things in return
All Sam asks is that one day the recipients of The Fairy Godmother Project pay the gesture forward, either by gifting their dress or suit back to the project, or by donating when they’re financially able. Sam loves seeing photos of the formals, and always hopes to share pictures to donors of The Fairy Godmother Project so fairy godmothers can see the joy that they have gifted.

FairyGodmotherThe Fairy Godmother Project is now a registered non-profit through the Hearts & Minds Foundation, and can issue tax deductible receipts for cash donations.  Sam will soon have a shop front for dress and suit fittings upstairs at 156 Brisbane Street, Ipswich (Top of Town Precinct) thanks to the generous support of Steve and Jaye Mallet from Choices Flooring who have offered the space free of charge.

If you’d like to donate a dress, shoes, handbags, accessories or a suit, please send Sam a message via the facebook pageor drop your donation to Ipswich Dry Cleaners at 255 Brisbane Street, Ipswich – the main drop off location. 

Milton State School mum Zinta is also helping collect items.  Drop items to Bayswater Street, Milton in a bag marked Fairy Godmother Zinta for collection. 

On Sunday August 13 The Fairy Godmother Project will be holding its first Ladies’ High Tea fundraising event at the Ipswich Club from 1pm. Head to the facebook page for details. 

A message from Sam
Thank you so much for your support, and for helping fairy tales to come true for so many worthy local teenagers who could do with a helping hand. 

To get involved, visit The Fairy Godmother Project facebook page, send an email or call 0477 909 459.

Related links:

Gift of the Gown – Gold Coast


Courier Mail article – 4 July 2017

Posted in Causes, Community, Pay it forward, Queensland charity, Recycle or upcycle, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Mother’s Day (or any day you need a gift) support Global Sisters

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and if you are looking for a great gift in a hurry, then check out the amazing range of gifts that do good at Global Sisters.

Global Sisters exists to enable women to be financially independent and stand tall.

Founded by Australian social entrepreneur Mandy Richards in 2013, Global Sisters provide a genuine alternative for women who aren’t able to participate in mainstream employment.  Global Sisters work with women across Australia, provide training and coaching, remove start up barriers, and make self-employment a viable option.  Global Sisters are currently working with over 50 Australian women, helping them start a micro business.

Global Sisters do this by providing women with the tools, networks and resources to establish or grow a business – helping with practical business know-how, marketing and sales, microfinance and technology.

Take a look at the wide range of beautiful gifts available on the Global Sister’s online store:

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.58.26 AM

Leather wrap – Pewter 
One size fits all stud wrap bracelet handmade from Peacebomb aluminium with leather wrap in pewter and sterling silver adjustable closure. This piece is made by artisans in Laos from Vietnam War-era bombs, plane parts, and aluminium scrap. Each Peacebomb is hand poured and cast in wood and ash moulds.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.01.41 AMBoho Earrings
These sweet circle earrings are handmade in Melbourne by Maria Alejandra from Chile. Silver plated with glass and paper, choose from: black and white (featured image), turquoise, blue star, pale blue paisley and pink floral.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.03.35 AMFreshwater Pearl Necklace & Earrings
This elegant, handcrafted freshwater pearl necklace and earrings set is made with no less than over 50+ soft white pearls. The hand crocheted wirework on the necklace is a traditional craft out of South America that can be adjusted to style a shorter or longer length necklace. The piece is finished with a fob-style silver plated clasp and was custom made exclusively for the Global Sisters store.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.06.25 AMHeartbeat Scarf – Indigo Blue
100% cotton scarf hand dyed with natural Indigo by master dyer Tigidankay Daramy in a Heartbeat pattern. The pattern is created by hand through a system of knots in the fabric. The placing of the knots produces the different patterns. Please note due to the handmade nature of this product, the pattern on each scarf will be unique. Length: 178cm, Width: 51cm

Visit the full Global Sisters business directory here.

Read Cleonie’s story & support her work at
Read Angela’s story & support her work at
Read Jo’s story & support her work at

Shop the full range here, like on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Can’t decide what to buy? Then purchase a gift card and let mum to choose for herself.

Posted in Australian charity, Community, Ethical Shopping, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Social Enterprise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t give chocolate this easter

This Easter, I would like you to consider a different type of Easter gift, one that does not involve chocolate, well not directly.


The Fig Tree Children is a Brisbane-based charity supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in Sierra Leone. In a country with more than 70% of people living below the poverty line, basic needs such as: food, water, clothing, shoes and medicines often go unmet. Access to education is even more scarce.

The Fig Tree Children work to identify the most at risk and needy children, to meet their basic needs and provide access to education.

Fig Tree kids_Newton

The Fig Tree Children would like to throw an Easter party, for all the kids supported by them, but they need your help!

The Fig Tree Family is made up of 52 sponsored children, 50 children on the sponsorship waiting list, carers and volunteers. Despite The Fig Tree Family being scattered all over the country, there is a deep sense of camaraderie and pride in being a member of that family.

Unfortunately, because of distance, The Fig Tree Family will never meet unless there is an active effort to bring them together. Bringing everyone together for such a treasured celebration will continue to build the community spirit. Reminding everyone that they are not alone, that people far and wide do care about them.

There are two ways you can help:

Jane at The Fig Tree Children is looking for 24 businesses to donate $100 towards the Easter Party Celebration. To donate as an individual or business visit the MyCause crowdfunding campaign.The Excite Media team have kicked off donations and are now offering their expertise and time to the first 24 business to donate $100. Read more here.


Buy a Jungle Critter…

Instead of giving chocolate this Easter, give a cute ‘Jungle Fun Critter’. They are so much fun and children, young and old, love them. Each one is individually hand crafted by a lady in Kenya, which provides her with an income and enables her to send her children to school. As well as this, for each one sold, $10 is donated to The Fig Tree Children, helping orphaned children in Sierra Leone. They last longer than chocolate and is treasured furry friend kids can keep forever.

Order yours here or email Jane, or call Tel: +61 (0)7 3378 7888

Posted in Australian charity, Children, Community, Ethical Shopping, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Social Enterprise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment