Emily Has a Story To Tell

Emily Slade recognises one of her great strengths and she uses it to ensure women who are homeless or escaping family violence are cared for and that their voices are heard in business and in social settings.

“I know I can be very persuasive and if people know I am passionate about something then they will help me. I am passionate about McAuley and what it does and that’s how I bring people on board and get their support,” Emily says.

Emily is one of the women organising McAuley’s major annual fundraiser, the TwentyFour/7 Cocktail Party (formerly the Mercy Care event) on Thursday March 5 2015 at the Federation Court – National Gallery of Victoria. Along with Jodie Holckner, Laura Held, Sandra Jacobs, Eleni Karamihos, Amanda Oliver, Sarah Orloff, Monique Rosshandler and Kim Thurlow, Emily calls on her network of friends and associates to buy tickets, help as volunteers and donate prizes for the event. But she also asks them to understand a little more about family violence and homelessness.

“I don’t just want to get money from people. I know most of the people I go to and I want to talk to them about family violence and how it can lead to homelessness and many other social problems. People are certainly more aware now than they were a few years ago, but the conversation needs to continue,” she says.

“People are starting to understand that family violence cuts across all social and economic divides. Perhaps there was once a stereotype of the women who suffered family violence, but we know that is not the case.”

Emily, a commercial lawyer, spent some time as Chairperson and Director of the Springvale Monash Legal Service and saw first hand the impact of family violence on women and children. While she is now more removed from such cases, she is just as passionate about the services provided to women and children caught in family violence and homelessness.

The 2015 event will be Emily’s second as an organiser and the committee has set itself an ambitious target of ‘much more than last year’. The previous TwentyFour/7 event raised $107,000.

“We see this event as a very important fundraiser, but we also see it as a way of educating our sponsors and guests about the issue and the organisation. I learnt about McAuley when I attended the event a few years ago and realised that the money goes to provide services. It doesn’t go towards the event and that’s really important.”

“You don’t have to experience family violence to empathise with the women who experience it. You can know about it, try to understand it and then try to make a difference in whatever way you can. That’s why I am on the committee. It’s how I know I can make a difference.”

Emily said the reluctance by governments to provide adequate funds for family violence services was disappointing, but meant events like the TwentyFour/7 Cocktail Party were more important than ever.

“This event can help keep the safe house going. When I explain that to people, they understand why I am passionate about it and they want to support it.”

The TwentyFour/7 event is looking for sponsors. To be involved email kwood@mcauleycsw.org.au. All sponsorship money directly benefits McAuley Care safe house, the only one in Victoria open twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week. To be notified when tickets go on sale subscribe to McAuley’s e-newsletter.