Two worlds collided overnight as Australia’s Paralympians and the Australian fashion industry came together to celebrate one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The ‘Infinite Possibilities’ Gala in Sydney, NSW, 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.
Paralympics Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Lynne Anderson said the aim of the evening was to bring attention to the way Australians acknowledge people with a disability, by shining a light on an industry not often known for embracing diversity.
“We wanted to celebrate the ‘One Year To Go’ milestone in a meaningful and 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 Games celebrate the best of humanity, in this particular case through fashion.
“We called the show ‘Infinite Possibilities’ because we saw it as a celebration of the values and the diversity that shape us as a society, particularly those qualities we don’t always shine the brightest light on.”
The concept by Paralympics Australia in conjunction with renowned stylist Courtney Humphries centred around the fashion parade, against a backdrop of fashion, food, fusion culture and entertainment, while also raising vital funds for the Australian Paralympic Team and their quest for Tokyo 2020 glory.
Some of Australia’s finest Paralympians showcased the wares of Australian designers in a fashion show spectacular, while Australian singer-songwriter Conrad Sewell wowed guests with his soulful voice.
Australian chef and author, Christine Manfield, in collaboration with Pearl Catering, created a unique Australian and Japanese fusion menu for the inaugural event.
“What was clear tonight was just how much our athletes captured the attention and touched the hearts of our guests in the room, some of whom had never experienced a Paralympics Australia event before,” Anderson said.
“Our athletes’ stories of sporting and personal excellence, their determination and passion to be the best athletes they can be, and their pursuit of further success competing for Australia was just a taste of what’s to come in a year’s time in Tokyo.
“Paralympics Australia would like to thank all of our sponsors for getting behind the Australian Paralympic Team and our inaugural Infinite Possibilities Gala night. We can’t wait for what’s to come this time next year.”
By Sascha Ryner, Paralympics Australia