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Laughs for a good cause

Laura Peppas

It may sound like an oxymoron, but comedy can be a brilliant way of putting the spotlight on serious issues.

The Fearless Comedy Gala is a case in point. Bringing together some of Australia’s best comedians, including Sammy J, Gretel Killeen, Adam Richard and Catherine Deveny to Canberra Theatre Centre this month, the new event aims to raise awareness and funds for domestic violence, one of Australia’s most pressing issues.

Founded by local comedian Juliet Moody to mark 10 years free from her own experience of family violence, the Fearless initiative aims to raise over $40,000 for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service in the ACT, which will ensure families in crisis will continue to be supported with emergency care and services.

Their service is available 24 hours, 365 days a year providing practical support and advice for families fleeing dangerous and sometimes life threatening situations.

Long-time comedian Catherine Deveny says banding together with others to shine a light on domestic violence is a cause close to her heart.


Catherine Deveny

“I think comedy can basically be sort of a way of putting the pill in the dog food,” Catherine says.

“As far as covering issues, comedy is a effective tool for anything because the best way to get through to someone is when they’re laughing. As far as being involved in something like this, for me it also de-stigmatises domestic violence, because it’s entering the conversation in a public way.

“It’s something that’s very close to my heart, because domestic violence is a huge epidemic and affects men, women, children, babies and society. If we can help people get to the best possible place with the least amount of damage I am all for it.”

As a mother to three teenage boys, Catherine says domestic violence isn’t a topic “that is tough to discuss.”

“They were raised as feminists, and they’ve been brought up in a household of respect and fairness and equality,” she says.

“Every moment of their life, it has been threaded through the household, so it’s not an ‘other’ topic to me. You see it in society, and in public life between men and women. The more that you see each other, you see each other as allies.”

The gala will also feature award winning, local musical comedy duo Sparrow-Folk, the hysterically funny and delightful Kiki Bittovabitsch, as well as Canberra’s own rising comedy superstars Chris Endrey and Vanessa Conlin. MC for the gala is veteran comedian, author and TV personality Jean Kittson.

the essentials

What: Fearless Comedy Gala
When: 18 August 2016
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
How much: From $65


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author