ACT News


Shrills and spills as Merici does its bit for Movember

Pirates who shrill like damsels! Muscle men who shriek like sheilas frightened by mice! We're so used to the moustache-blessed among us being relatively deep-voiced blokes that the shrills and shrieks of hundreds of moustachioed folk at Tuesday's Movember Fundraiser at ''Mo-Rici'' (Merici) College was a surreal experience.

But once an onlooker got over that little hurdle the occasion was enormous, though ear-splitting, fun. Of the girl's College's total enrolment of 1100, several hundred dressed up as various species of manly, Mo-sporting men for Tuesday's Student Representative Council's Movember Fundraising Day. And while those in false moustaches and fancy dress took part in a fashion parade, hundreds of other pupils (for this was, moustachioed and bloke-costumed principal Ann Carey pointed out, a ''whole-of-school event'') cheered, shrieked and shrilled them on. The decibel level was indescribable and the racket was a severe test for the roof of the college's gymnasium, which somehow stayed glued on.

The funds raised by gold-coin donation at the supportive sisterly event will go to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue in their work with two great health issues faced by the authentically moustachioed gender, prostate cancer and depression.

One of the MCs for the event was the (needless to say) tache-wearing former student Ellie Mobbs, now a broadcaster on Sydney's 2DayFM. Dressed as a Canberra Raider (but with an unconvincing physique), she stoked the mood, for example demanding the occasional ''drum roll'', which the crowd provided by hammering on the floor.

Some of the dancing during the fashion parade was so unabandoned that Mobbs told us that if she'd danced like that while a pupil at the school, not so long ago, she'd have been expelled.

Late in Tuesday's riotously successful occasion and with the gym still rocking - as well as a thousand excited sopranos cheering there was thumpingly amplified dance music full of sentiments such as ''I'm sexy and I know it!'' and ''Hey! Sexy Lady!'' - teacher Ros Parisi showed us out. She wasn't sure how the students, stirred into such a frenzy, could be calmed down to become teachable, but what a success it had been.

''I think it went really, really well,'' she said. ''The students are so supportive of it. And a lot of them have brothers, uncles, grandfathers, fathers. It (prostate cancer) affects the whole community.

''Whether you're male or female we're all touched by it. Having them so involved and so enthusiastic about helping men's issues is wonderful.''