“By being natural and sincere, one often can create revolutions without having sought them.” 

― Christian Dior

From simple beginnings 4 years ago, the sincere project of Hats for Hope has transformed into a chic high tea fundraiser that brings together high society and young people in need.

The annual fashion parade on September 8th 2017 features never-before-seen vintage Christian Dior hats from a private collection in Melbourne with all proceeds going towards the vital work of Orygen- The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.


Guests will enjoy an afternoon filled with friendship, food and fashion, in the beautiful and historic Myer Mural Hall, while supporting suicide prevention research at Orygen.

Arlene Bennett is a founding member of Hats for Hope who donated her wardrobe back in August 2014 in the spirit of creating awareness for the issue of youth suicide. Although Hats for Hope is a glamorous way to appreciate the beautiful things in life, it also shines a light on the delicate issue of youth suicide.

According to research from Orygen, around one quarter of deaths by people between the ages of 15 and 25 are attributed to suicide. Suicide-related behaviours are more common with lifetime rates of 17% and 30% for suicide attempts and suicidal ideation respectively.

The suicide prevention research program at Orygen involves discrete projects that seek to examine the efficacy, safety and acceptability of interventions specifically designed for at-risk young people. It also has a strong focus on informing and evaluating national, and state-based, suicide prevention policy.

The vision for Orygen is for all young people to enjoy optimal mental health as they grow into adulthood and Hats for Hope not only helps provide funds for this mission but also gives young girls a chance to grow their confidence by walking the runway.

The young women modelling the hats are from all walks of life, each with their own connection and reason for being a part of Hats for Hope. Some of them are students who were mentored or taught by Horseshoes and Highheels’ very own LaToyah Asha and others volunteered because of their personal experience with the youth organisation Orygen.


For these girls, being part of the fundraiser helps to build confidence, inspire creativity and participation, make friends and learn more about the history of fashion through the exquisite vintage Dior collection.

The profile of Hats for Hope is rapidly rising and Professor Patrick McGorry, Executive Director of Orygen and Professor of Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne is proud to show his support of the event, clearing his busy schedule to attend each year.

Professor Patrick McGorry, Executive Director of Orygen and Professor of Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne

Several well-known celebrities are also proud to be a part of Hats for Hope, including Patti Newton and Andrew O’Keefe, who are media ambassadors for the fundraiser. They are passionate about the success of the event and are proud spokespersons and supporters of Professor Patrick McGorry and Orygen.

Athol Guy, Patti Newton and Buddy England
Athol Guy, Patti Newton and Buddy England

It is a truly unique and beautiful event, promoting fashion and improving the lives and happiness of young people. As Christian Dior himself says:

“Happiness is the secret to all beauty. There is no beauty without happiness.”


For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/hatsforhope/

Horseshoes and Highheels – Editor Jade Hunter


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