It was an evening of infinite possibilities and its impact continues to be felt after Paralympics Australia’s ground-breaking Infinite Possibilities Gala was recognised as the 2019 Cause Related Event of the Year at the recent Meeting & Events Australia Awards.
To mark one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games, the event saw 15 Australian Paralympians swap their green and gold uniforms for cutting-edge fashion and glamour, as they took ownership of the catwalk to celebrate the Australian Paralympic Team and its unique ability to create social change.
And while the Gala was a primarily a celebration, Paralympics Australia challenged its 300 guests to evaluate the way society recognises and acknowledges the 20 per cent of Australians currently living with a disability, including Paralympic athletes.
“Infinite Possibilities is an event we are very proud and even after all this time, we still receive feedback about the meaningful effect it had on our guests. And of course, to receive this wonderful recognition is humbling,” Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said.
“It was obviously very important to us to celebrate the ‘One Year To Go’ milestone in an unforgettable way. And with the support of our wonderful partners and guests, a fashion show with 15 Paralympians acting as models, and the atmosphere in the room, is something that will stay with me for a long time to come,” Anderson said.
“We consciously chose to highlight the fashion industry through a different lens, and our athletes did an unbelievable job to highlight how the Paralympic Movement celebrates the best of humanity, in this particular case through fashion.”
Brilliantly hosted by Chris Bath and the Seven Network’s Jim Wilson, the Gala was set against a backdrop of food, fusion culture and entertainment, while also raising vital funds for the 2020 Australian Paralympic Team. It was delivered in collaboration with event studio This Space.
Christine Manfield, in collaboration with Pearl Catering, created a unique Australian and Japanese fusion menu for the inaugural event, and Australian singer-songwriter Conrad Sewell wowed guests with a couple of his originals.
“We were delighted to work so closely with This Space and this award would not have been possible without them and the way they embraced our vision,” Anderson said.
“Our heartfelt thanks are also extended to our Para-athletes who were so pivotal to the event’s success, as well as Paralympics Australia’s incredible sponsors and supporters who purchased tables, donated items and assisted in other ways to raise much-needed funds. Their belief in our movement helps to keep it alive, and we are very grateful.”