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Getting All Dressed Up for a Good Cause

Molly McLaughlin

In case you haven’t noticed, winter (and winter fashion) is coming.

It’s the time of year again when we all revisit our winter wardrobes and realise we have nothing to wear. If you’re looking for some inspiration, Canberra boutique Things of Desire has partnered with the AIDS Action Council to host a fashion fundraiser on Thursday 7 April. TODX will show off new season styles from Europe and around the world and there will also be makeup demonstrations from MAC Cosmetics make-up artists and champagne cocktails and canapés provided by Mood Food & Co.

Even better, it is all for a good cause, explains Philippa Moss. Philippa is the Executive Director of the AIDS Action Council (ACT) and an advocate for a happy, healthy and inclusive Canberra.

Director of the AIDS Action Council Philippa Moss

Executive Director of the AIDS Action Council Philippa Moss

“People living with HIV are almost invisible in this country and we need to talk about it, support one another and educate people about what living with HIV really means,” says Philippa. “People living with HIV are everyday people, mothers, fathers, daughters, educated people, cultural people and people from all walks of life.”

Fashion from Things of Desire

Outfit from Things of Desire

The TODX Fashion Fundraiser is an innovative way to raise funds and awareness about people living with HIV and AIDS in our local community and around Australia, and to have a great time doing it. According to Philippa there are still many misconceptions around HIV and AIDS.

“The fear surrounding the emerging HIV epidemic in the 1980s largely persists today,” she says. “Over 50% of men and women report having discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV, and the consequences of stigma and discrimination are wide-ranging. Some people are shunned by family, peers and the wider community, while others face poor treatment in healthcare and educational settings, erosion of their human rights, and psychological damage.”

Fashion from Things of Desire

Outfit from Things of Desire

The AIDS Action Council (ACT) is working to change these perceptions and to remove the stigma around discussing health issues through community work and events like the TOD Fashion Fundraiser.

“We want to inspire, support, advocate, and give people living with HIV the platform to step up and be heard,” Philippa says. “People often go underground after diagnosis and hide in fear of being labelled, judged and stigmatised. Acknowledging that there are people living with HIV from all walks of life will, hopefully, encourage more people to test, understand that they are at risk and acknowledge the fact that this is a virus does not discriminate.”

the essentials

What: TODX Fashion Fundraiser
When: From 6pm, Thursday 7 April
Where: Things of Desire, 32 Lonsdale St, Braddon
Contact: RSVP is essential – please call Things of Desire on 6260 8844 OR the AIDS Action Council on 6257 2855 or email [email protected]

Photography by Martin Ollman


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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