Are you a Stella Fella?
On the surface it seemed like any other party. Flowing drinks, loud music and an energetic vibe. Yet, in reality there was a more serious issue that had brought these people together.
Attending Project Futures’ Stella Fella event in St Kilda, people from all walks of life gathered to celebrate what it means to be proactive in society, have a social conscience and take action against violence against women and human trafficking. In short, Stella Fella is a campaign that educates and empowers men to stand against human trafficking and slavery.
CEO of Project Futures Stephanie Lorenzo believes women need more help in stopping this issue through positive male role models engaging with the community.
“We need more guys to stand up, we need more guys to be a face to this [human trafficking] and we need more guys to say no to exploitation, no to human traffic and no to abuse of women and children”, said Lorenzo.
Men at the event wore bowties to illustrate their commitment to the cause. Bowties are used by Stella Fella as a symbol for respect towards women and children and being a gentleman in society. Bowties along with raffle tickets and drinks were sold on the night to help raise money. Project Futures itself has earned over 3.1 million dollars in six years for this cause.
A Q&A session with leaders of similar charities was also conducted. The panel chatted about how they started their respective organisations and how we can create change.
Panellist and creator of Man Cave Hunter Johnson mentioned how we need to actively shun anti-social masculine behaviour to cause an attitude change.
“If you’re sitting with a bunch of guys and there is some sexist or racist comments and if you let that go then that tolerance is built up. Sometimes it takes someone to have that courageous conversation to call something out”, said Johnson.
Celebrities and media personalities Dan Anstey and Clint Stanaway and Home and Away actor Andrew Morley threw their support behind the charity by attending the event.