What a night! The end of year bash for SWL Melbourne was truly a night of surprises. Located in the Melbourne home and private studio of artists and all round rock stars David and Yuge Bromley, the back drop for our evening was a fantastical and eclectic jamboree of art, design and creativity.
The evening was created and organised by Lisa Blundell and me, Monica Brown. Food was exceptional from chef Stevie Nairn who is launching his own elegant restaurant in 2019, fried chicken and caviar anyone? Cocktails, wines and libations were courtesy of the Wine Gallery with owner Banjo Harris Plane, curator of private cellars and importer of fine wines, keeping everyone’s glasses full.
It is hard not to be emotional in a setting of such creative power, there was magic in the air that night and the joy and fun and love just poured out. Our latest member Cate White was given her bracelet and pin amid the celebration and welcomed to our powerful collective giving community.
The evolution of SWL in 2018 has been nothing short of outstanding and after the Annual Members Meeting we are all aware of the impact we are having on the global humanitarian agenda and our objectives for the future. Our end of year gathering celebrated the love and hard work that got us to that point. It was the perfect energy of joy to end our year and look forward to the adventure ahead.
I spoke of love and sisterhood and what SWL means to me, because folks, it means everything. Whilst our focus is always outwards, the healing power of us, reaches deep into all our lives. United through purpose and our egoless compassion, it’s about what we all mean to one another. Lisa couldn’t even join us on the night, as typically she was off helping a friend in need. For the guests of members who were new to SWL I introduced Anita who explained beautifully and eloquently as always, the values of SWL. (word: potential 2 new members for Victoria). Then host David Bromley welcomed us to his home and delivered a beautiful speech. He spoke of the endless magnitude of creativity and its alignment with philanthropy. He talked of our energy in that room and how he and Yuge could feel how loving and powerful we were together…..oh and for context this was whilst he painted. Throughout the evening he painted in the middle of the room. After all it is also his studio, so it seemed utterly natural for us to be chatting and drinking with DB just there simply painting. A big shout out to the most senior and yet youngest of us all…. Svetlana Kestleman we all know is courageous in all she does and her boundless energy sees her participate fully in all we do, so it was only natural that whilst we chatted she quietly picked up a brush and joined David painting an original Bromley. The woman is an inspiration. David fell in love with her and is now donating a painting to be auctioned at one of our events in 2019.
In his home there are many rooms and all were open to us, whilst we wandered through those rooms full of art from his collection of a million artists, I was struck by one of his own pieces. It was a painted mirror with a young adults face, still childlike and innocent in the eyes and the words David had painted around the face were poignant. They felt appropriate as I thought of those in need that we support, those displaced and vulnerable, especially the refugees and the young children. I thought of the women who are in plight and struggle with their self worth, indeed women everywhere who face that challenge. And finally I thought it could be a little message for anyone who underestimate our power as we look to SWL 2019
If I am worth anything later, I am worth something now. For wheat is wheat, even if people think it is a grass in the beginning.” Van Gough
Words Monica Brown
Pictures Anna Ryan