ACT News


Cross-country meets cross-dressing in a good cause

Readers will remember (indeed some of you may never ever be able to forget it, however hard you try) a photograph in a recent column of knobbly kneed, mature-aged John Evans standing in Canberra bushland wearing a schoolgirl's dress.

Evans was about to take part in one of those Do It In A Dress/One Girl initiatives in which, to raise funds for the deserving, underprivileged schoolgirls of Sierra Leone, men and women dress as schoolgirls and perform some outlandish feat. He and others had promised, dressed in that surreal way, to climb on Mount Tennant.

He reports that it all happened last Sunday, on ''just a perfect day of early spring weather'' with the sparkling mountain beautifully decorated with wildflowers.

There were 10 of them altogether, all dressed as schoolgirls. He has sent me a shocking photograph of the group (one of the 'schoolgirls' is surreally bearded!), but, thank goodness, refuses us permission to use it. They raised $1700, and now, he rejoices, seven more girls in Sierra Leone will be able to go to school ''and maybe this crazy world is a fractionally kinder place''.

In Sierra Leone, the Do It In A Dress charity informs, only one girl in six has the chance to attend high school, and almost a third of girls will be married and pregnant before their 15th birthday. However, when a girl is educated, everything changes. She will marry later and have a smaller, healthier family. For every year she stays in school, she increases her income by 10 per cent and invests 90 per cent of that in her family.

Please go to the Do It In A Dress website to make your own fractional difference.