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Mahalir Sakthi - Opening dance at Mahalir Sakthi's anniversary celebrations

A Few Good Women

Tritia Evans

We all have one of them in our lives.

You know, that person who sweet talks you into doing something you’d never even thought of because she makes you feel like you’re the only one who could do such a good job. You simply can’t say no to her because she’s just so passionate about the cause, and because she works twice as hard at it than you ever will.

For me, that person is Libby Lloyd AM.

Chances are you know Libby Lloyd. If you don’t, tap the person sitting next to you – they probably will.

And if they don’t, you will both certainly know about her work because Libby Lloyd is way more than a charmer who pulls us into her projects on the strength of irrepressible personality and powers of persuasion. Think: White Ribbon campaign (co-instigator and board member), National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (Chair) and UNIFEM Australia (President), to name just a few.

Former ABC personalities Virginia Haussegger and Alex Sloan certainly know Libby Lloyd, having fallen under her well-meaning spell years ago.

Virginia H with Libby Lloyd

Virginia Haussegger with Libby Lloyd

That’s why they will – for the first time – be co-hosting indigo foundation’s annual fundraising dinner at the Arboretum on Saturday 21 October. Another person who can’t say no to Libby is Janet Jeffs, from Ginger Catering, who is providing the dinner at cost.

All this because Libby Lloyd is Patron of indigo foundation, which I discovered when Virginia introduced us five years ago. At the time, Libby explained that the foundation was set up in Canberra 17 years ago by five women who had worked in international aid and community development for a number of years.  Women such as Zoe Mander Jones, Sally Stevenson and Jenny Noble.

Increasingly disillusioned by the number of potentially effective grassroots projects for women and girls in developing countries that were slipping through the cracks – because they didn’t hit all the required (restrictive) criteria for funding – the women established indigo foundation and funded it by tithing their income.

Since then, more than $2,500,000 has gone to community-based grassroots organisations supporting the education, health, economic advancement and human and legal rights of women and children in countries such as India, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Namibia, Rwanda and East Timor. These low-cost interventions have had a massive impact on the life opportunities available to women and children.

Uganda_Students supported to stay in school

Ugandan students who have been supported to stay in school through the indigo foundation.

For example, the $15,000 raised at indigo foundation’s Canberra dinner in 2015 was enough to fund Mahalir Sakthi, an organisation for Dalit women and children in the slums of India, for a year. And more than 3,000 girls have been educated through the network of schools indigo foundation has supported in remote Afghanistan, with over 20 percent progressing to university.

This will be Virginia Haussegger’s eighth time hosting the indigo dinner and she’s looking forward to sharing the fun with Alex Sloan, Canberra Citizen of the Year and self-described “happiest retiree in Canberra”.  “Everything about indigo foundation ticks boxes for me,” she said.

“Their values, their focus, their very lean administration – and most of all the practical, on the ground, grassroots approach to supporting community projects. This is an incredibly effective model of aid delivery that champions partnership and project sustainability. These people really know what they are doing, and they deserve our support.”

The annual dinner is always a hoot, according to Virginia,  “and this year will be one of our best, thanks to the fabulous ACT Citizen of the Year, lending us her talents and her infectious laughter!”

Alex Sloan copy

Alex Sloan – a champion of the indigo foundation

Yes, our Citizen of the Year, Alex Sloan, also fell for Libby Lloyd’s charm. “You can’t say no to Libby Lloyd, because our Canberra community owes her so much,” Alex said. “Her initiatives for women, children, refugees and people with a disability are huge. Everywhere she goes, Libby brings warmth, intelligence and a ‘can-do’ unstoppable momentum.

“She gives and gives and gives and then a bit more. I could never say ‘no’ to Libby Lloyd because she’s one of the best people I know and I’m just so chuffed to be able to help her just a little bit.  Come along to the indigo dinner, support the cause and give her a big hug.”

Yes, please join Alex, Virginia, Janet Jeffs – and #SayYesToLibby, the irresistible Libby Lloyd – for what will be a wonderful dinner.

the essential:
What: The indigo foundation’s 8th Annual Canberra Dinner
When: Saturday the 21st of October
Time: 6.30 for 7pm
Where: The National Arboretum
Buy your tickets here now
And here you can see where your money goes

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Tritia Evans

Tritia Evans worked at ABC Canberra for 12 years as a reporter, producer and Content Director. These days she's a Public Affairs Officer in the RAAF Specialist Reserve. Since being charmed by Libby Lloyd five years ago, Tritia has happily volunteered for indigo foundation. More about the Author

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