Friday, July 3, 2009

Swap Til You Drop - 28th June

Dear friends,

On behalf of the swap team, I would like to thank every single swapper who braved the chilly, early Sunday morning and came to Crown Hotel to support our swap party fundraiser! Thanks to the generosity of our 80 or so swappers, and the hard work of my team and the Oaktree Foundation volunteers, we reached our initial target of $1000 in less than 2 hours!

It was great meeting our swappers, and based on the smiles and lovely comments and emails we have received, it seems like the event was a hit! We’re so happy to be able to contribute to the Timor-Leste Youth Livelihoods Foundation in a way that is also sustainable and beneficial for everyone involved. The success of our swap party stands as testament to the idea that one person’s ‘trash’, can truly be somebody else’s ‘treasure’ – we were so amazed by all the items that people were coming in and leaving with!

This swap party fundraiser was our first event as a team. We were grouped via the amazing Oaktree Foundation, and personally, I felt really lucky to have had the privilege and fun of working with such lovely, passionate and enthusiastic people who willingly dedicated so much heart, effort and time into this fundraiser. Our swappers might recognise them as the smiley people in the red shirts running around frantically, constantly making sure everyone was happy. Watch this space, because I am sure that this is not the last you’ll hear of Amritha, Anna, Monique and the Oaktree Foundation Generate Volunteers! It was really cool to see so many people interested in getting involved – and for those wanting to make a difference, I would definitely recommend getting involved with any of the Oaktree initiatives, and checking out any of the Global Poverty Project presentations coming to a city near you!

Again, we would like to thank our swappers and supporters for a great event. The staff at Crown Hotel were absolutely amazing, Mark at Wagamama supported our event from our very first baby steps on Twitter, Alix and the Australian East Timor Association offered our swappers amazing goods woven by East Timorese women, Salone Scalone and Sparkles Cupcakery generously provided amazing treats for our swappers, the Be Lured team were on hand to pamper our swappers, and as you can see from these lovely pics, Sam Koh did an awesome job of capturing the moment. We would also like to thank everyone who helped spread the word about our event and cause. And finally, we would like to thank our amazing volunteers who came and helped us keep the event running on the day – Celeste, Alex, Mel, Kate, Lewis, Liz, they say that friends are there not only in good times, but also in times of need!

It means a lot to us that people came and supported our idea and our cause. Poverty is a confronting issue that isn’t just prominent amoung our streets – the challenges of poverty, hunger and disease loom large in the lives of hundreds of millions around the world. The aim of our swap party was not only to raise money to alleviate the poverty of East Timorese youth, but to also benefit our community by allowing people to exchange their pre-loved clothes, books, accessories and so forth with others in the spirit of greater sustainability, and donating the rest to various local charities. Whilst poverty in East Timor is not an issue commonly discussed here in Australia, it is still a poignant issue as ever. With only seven years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we are in urgent need of a reminder of the challenges of extreme poverty everywhere around the world, and the opportunities and necessity of more concerted and effective action to support improved livelihoods for the poorest billion people on our planet.

Thank you again to everybody involved in this event. We are excited to see the idea of the Oaktree swap party taking off – Melbourne and Brisbane, keep an eye out!

If you have any feedback, questions or comments you would like to make, we would love to hear them. Please feel free to leave a comment here, or email us at - we still check our email regularly and look forward to working together again and hearing from you,

Cheers and many thanks,
Felicity on behalf of Amritha, Anna and Monique – the best swap team ever!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Special Announcement

To all our lovely swappers and supporters,

With 2 days to go, we are really excited to announce that there will be amazing gifts for the first 150 swappers!! Come early to ensure that you get dibs on some really great stuff, and take home some gifts from our generous friends!

Boy, do we have a Wagamama surprise in stall for you!

We’ve always felt that dining at Wagamama feels like eating at a friend or relative’s place; they really take you in and fuss over you, they put extra heart & soul into your dish and they make sure you’re having a top notch time. You can imagine our total surprise and excitement when Mark from Wagamama contacted us about our event! Their fantastic service and enthusiasm for little folks like us is really testament to their “positive eating + positive living” mantra. We especially love the mouth watering chicken katsu, and recommend joining the frequent noodler program.

PS We’d also recommend following Mark on twitter @ noodle_bar … stalking just got a whole lot tastier.

Our talented friends at Be Lured Make Up Artistry & Mobile Pamper Events will there on the day to pamper you like a princess!

As Sydney’s best mobile beauty service, they offer the latest look in cosmetic beauty services such as manicures, pedicures, body treatments, bridal make up, special occasion make up, facials, relaxing massages, waxing, tinting, spray tanning. They were the masterminds behind the makeup of the models at the Le Black Book Event at the Ivy as part of Rosemount Fashion Week 2008. Contact the lovely Belinda if you’d like to feel and look beautiful for your special occasion!

Their next event is on the 17th of July - there'll be fantastic manicures, makeovers, massages, cocktails & canapes for $65/ticket. Not one to miss!

We will also have special treats for our swappers, courtesy of our fab friends at Sparkle Cupcakery!

With mouthwatering, adventurous flavours from Banana Toffee, to Green Tea & Bubbles, to Oriental Flower, we dare you to stop at just one! Each little gem is made from scratch and baked fresh every day, from the highest quality ingredients including free range eggs, creamy butter, the world’s best vanilla and Belgian chocolate. These cheeky indulgences are perfect for any special occasion – or just when you need a quick, tasty, pick-me-up :)

We are excited to announce that the hair wizards at Salon Scalone have kindly offered us vouchers for 30% off colour hair treatments on Mon-Fri for our swappers!!

Scalone Salon have been specialising in all modes of colouring, cutting, hair extending and thermal straightening, for eastern suburbs residents and film & TV personalities for well over 10 years, and would now like to share a special treat with our swappers! The fun won’t end when the swap party ends – come into their salon and enjoy a cappuccino or glass of wine and relax while they work their magic at an amazing 30% off. If you’re not happy, they’re not happy.

They have also kindly offered a service for the fashion parade winner! So be sure to snap up some great finds at the swap party, and bring on the catwalk!

The talented Sam Koh has kindly offered to be our style event photographer for the day!

Smile and strike a pose for our gallery. Check out Sam’s amazing photo gallery, and be sure to look at the photos of the recent Vivid event.


We can't wait!!

Happy Swapping!

The Global Poverty Project - you are invited!

Hi everyone,

Are you ALL ready?

The countdown is on to the Global Poverty Project’s launch of ‘1.4 billion reasons’! - 45 presentations in 42 days…

As you may have heard or noticed on the Youtube Featured page, '1.4 billion reasons' is a thought provoking presentation that encourages audiences to make simple changes to their lifestyles, enabling the world’s poorest to break the poverty cycle.

The challenges of poverty, hunger and disease loom large in the lives of hundreds of millions, exacerbated by rising fuel and food prices, triggering inflation that hurts those in extreme poverty the most. The astonishing and continued growth of China and India mask the reality that the world’s poorest billion people – those living on less than one dollar a day – remain on the edge of existence. The world has fallen significantly behind our goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015, yet the world’s attention and cameras have moved away from the issue.

With seven years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we are in urgent need of a reminder of the challenges of extreme poverty, and the opportunities and necessity of more concerted and effective action to support improved livelihoods for the poorest billion people on our planet.

The Global Poverty Project will catalyse the international movement to end extreme poverty by creating a 90 minute feature slideshow that clearly but deeply communicates the challenges and opportunities of extreme poverty, and what can be done about it. It will be simple yet sophisticated, accessible for every person and grounded in best practice and scientific knowledge.

The GPP will present on how your everyday actions – in what you learn, say, buy, give and do - is connected to ending extreme poverty. Small actions at your end can create big opportunities for the world’s poorest.

We are excited to present the info for the Sydney launch event:
10th July 2009
7 - 11pm
The Barnett Long Room, Customs House
Alfred Street Circular Quay

We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event!

Places are limited so you MUST RSVP by 30 June 2009 to secure your place to:

Don’t forget to invite your friends and family and RSVP for them too!

This event is a FREE event. Check: out the FB invite at:

To everyone at Usyd, you guys will be lucky enough to have the GPP come to you! Keep an eye out for more info and save the 10th of August.

Hope you can all make it – we’ll be there for sure!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A big thank you!

We have been really lucky thus far to have been blessed with such amazing support. We would like to thank everyone who has helped spread the word about our fantastic cause – The Timor-Leste Youth Livelihood Programme in conjunction with the Oaktree Foundation.

Swap ‘Til You Drop is an idea we developed as part of the Oaktree Foundation Generate Volunteer Program. Oaktree is an amazing, entirely youth-run organisation which is working to empower developing communities through education. It has provided us with the skills and confidence to branch out (pun not intended) and really push ourselves to help create lasting change in the lives of the disadvantaged. We have met some fantastic people who are passionate about raising community awareness and fundraising for great causes, and whom have played a huge role in the planning and promoting of Swap ‘Til You Drop – especially Mel and Lewis.

If you are interested in getting involved in making a difference, and have something amazing to offer the world around you, you should definitely consider getting involved with any of the Oaktree initiatives!

Why not organise or participate in a Barefoot Party this month too? To find out how you can get involved, check out the website and/or Twitter page.

The lavish lounges, beautiful Baroque wall, and friendly staff are just a few of the things that really set apart Crown Hotel as the perfect venue for our swap party and other special occasions! They have been so incredibly supportive of our cause, that we don’t know where we’d be – literally – without them.

Be sure to support our buds at fbi radio! Become a supporter today, and help keep the best new music and emerging sounds from Sydney, Australia and overseas, on air!
Tune in to 94.5 FM between 6-9am on Tuesday for our little shout-out. We would like to specially thank the lovely producer of the morning show on Tuesdays, Deelini Wettasinghe for her support!

It’s not every week that you get featured in 9 to 5 next to the Empire of the Sun guys! Pick up your copy every Monday to find out what’s on and what’s buzzing in Sydney. Don’t fret if you’ve accidentally missed the alarm, or hit the snooze button one too many times – you can catch up via a digital copy online.

Check out the City of Sydney website to find What’s On in Sydney! They do a fantastic job of keeping everyone in the loop with everything that’s happening, and we are really flattered to be featured on it.

If you are excited by the idea of finding something lovely to wear at Swap 'til You Drop, you will absolutely love the e-magazine MyLookBook!

The trendy girls at MyLookBook do a fantastic job of showcasing everything you love about fashion – beauty, trends, designers, awesome finds, and let’s face it, what other people are wearing. It is compiled by amazing designers & boutiques, with each image linking directly to their website or online store – that look you like is just one click away. The lovely Krista, who has been a great supporter of our cause and event, also updates the MyLookBook blog with great looks and finds.

Found something amazing from the Swap Party, but not quite sure how to wear it? MyLookBook will provide you with plenty of ideas and inspirations to create a look you will love. Looking stylish is as easy as sitting back and relaxing.

We were really stoked to be noticed by one of our fave Aussie blogs, Girl With a Satchel. We love Erica Bartle’s propensity for entwining interesting insights & credible critiques of magazines, with glimpses of glossies, covetable fashion, beauty, and all things pretty (and guiltily girly) in life… GWAS definitely makes for a compelling daily read!

For the latest in fashion, beauty and living, and for some fantastic shopping tips and trends, look no further than Shop Til You Drop! Check their newsletter for constant updates of bargains and events – including our Swap Party ;)

(The screenshot has been slightly modified.)

UTS Vertigo is a really cool website that isn’t just for UTS students – check it out for interesting interviews, reviews, events, and don’t miss out on the competitions!

Our friends at Grapeshot run the Macquarie Uni tri-weekly magazine, providing info, entertainment, and opportunities for all students to get engaged. Feel free to check out their neat blog!

Creativity. Activism. Careers. Fashion. Travel. Thoughts. Feelings. Confusion. Celebrations. Lip magazine gives perspective on these real issues through writing, art, fashion, photography and vision of their contributors, in a way that will make you laugh, make you cry, and give you something to think about.

With style to boot, My Style Australia is definitely a blog and website to keep an eye out for!


This is just a preview of what’s to come! We are still working on making this swap party the best it can be. In the meantime, if you have Facebook, please rsvp to our event, to provide us with a rough number of guests to expect.

We hope you’re looking forward to the swap party too!

Amritha, Anna, Felicity, Monique x

PS If you can't make it to the swap party, and would still like to support us, please make a donation - your generosity will help us make a difference to the lives of East Timorese youth and families.