A crowd of 600 people is expected to descend on Perth’s stadium on November 14 for the cocktail gala featuring dinner, dancing, a silent auction and entertainment, with all money raised to go to Make a Difference WA Pty Ltd.
Happiness Co general manager Robbie Figg said the funds would be equally directed to three different charity initiatives, and the organisation was well on its way to hitting its target of $20,000 per cause.
“Make a Difference will receive all the funds and then distribute them for program usage so it keeps everything accountable and ensures that people who are giving us their hard earned money know that it’s going to the causes that it’s meant to go to,” he said.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of recorded victims of assault increased by 8 per cent in 2019 from the previous year to 31,097 victims. This marks a three year high in the number of assault victims with an increase to 1,186 victims per 100,000 persons.
Across the states and territories with data available, Western Australia recorded one of the highest rates of abuse and violence with 18,718 female victims, 60 per cent of the total.
No to Violence chief executive Jacqui Watt said in a media release last month, with over 300,000 people experiencing family violence in Australia each year, that number of people wouldn’t even fit into the empty seats at next week’s gala venue.
“This is why it’s important to raise awareness of supports available for people to reach out to if they are experiencing or using violence, wherever they are in Australia,” Ms Watt said.
With domestic abuse and family violence statistics rising, the need for immediate action is the reason behind many of the events, like Happy Ever After, and programs Happiness Co facilitate.
Mr Figg explained the more they can do as a social movement the better.
“That sort of importance comes from people we know going through it, people who are in our team who have gone through it but, more importantly, it’s about making sure those people use that pain for a bit of purpose going forward,” he said.
Perth media personality and event MC Ross Wallman is a big advocate of the encouraging effect and hard work of Happiness Co, based on personal experience.
“They create a safe space to talk about mental health issues, or whatever is going on in your life that you’re often conditioned not to talk about,” he said.
Mr Wallman’s belief in Happiness Co has landed him the MC role for next weekend’s gala.
He said it will be “an excuse to have a fun party but also to spread the message of what they’re about and the charities they’re trying to raise money for”.
For tickets, visit https://www.happinessco.org/events/happiness-gala-happy-ever-after.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.