On the 7th of July, KARI LTD held its annual Debutante Ball for its seventh year in a row.
The event was held at Revesby Workers Club and was an enchanting night for all who attended.
The Debutantes aged between 16-21 were a bundle of nerves before the event began. This would be their debut into the local community, however, the Police Officers from Liverpool PAC made sure that the night ran smoothly.
It was clear that friendships had formed between the Debutantes and the Police Officers. They laughed their way through the first dance before inviting family to join them on the dance floor.
As the night went on, the Debutantes relaxed and started to enjoy themselves. Attendees were treated to a two course meal as well as dessert. Dessert was a beautiful cake with the colours of the Aboriginal flag around the outside. It was a special moment when the debutantes cut the cake, celebrating their success together.
The Debutante Ball is held to bring the local Aboriginal community of South Western Sydney and their local Police Force together. It wouldn’t be possible without the strong partnership between KARI and the NSW Police Force.
The young women who participate in the program gain a sense of leadership and comraderie between the debutantes as well as gaining a stronger connection to themselves and their larger community.
As many of the young women are in an unfamiliar environment, they are given a chance to shine and gain new skills. Some of the women found themselves becoming mentors to the younger women within the group whereas others found that they had a stronger connection to their community.
The debutantes also found that they forged a strong connection with their local police force and found their voice within their local community.
A highlight of the evening was when three of this year’s couples were asked what their favourite part of the program was.
One Debutante said that:
As I’m older than most of the other girls, I think a few of them looked up to me as a mentor. That was really good.
One of the highlights of the program for one Debutante was:
It was really fun getting all glammed up. Getting my hair and makeup done and getting to meet all of the lovely young girls here was fun. The dancing was really fun as well.
Some of the Police Officers who participated in this year’s program decided to share why they volunteered:
‘I volunteered for this year’s program so I could be a part of the relationship between the police and the larger community. Everyone I spoke to about the program had really positive things to say about it.’
For one officer, we celebrated his fifth year of service to the KARI Debutante Ball. CEO Casey Ralph and Community Programs Coordinator Lauren Drayton presented him with an award and a slideshow commemorating his achievement.
The night ended in high spirits with a DJ, allowing Debutantes, Officers and guests an opportunity to kick their heels up all together one last time.
Keep an eye out for next year’s KARI Debutante Ball.