MORE than 600 people gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day and the 10th year of the Redlands Centre for Women.
There were cheers, laughter and tears as the work of the centre was recognised and guest speaker Tarryn Brumfitt talked about body image and her journey towards self-acceptance.
Ms Brumfitt runs the Body Image Movement, which has documented her journey towards self-acceptance.
She said women were surrounded by messages about getting their body back after having a baby.
This way of thinking led her to a cosmetic surgeon after having children.
“I was so hell bent on having the perfect body,” she said.
Before going ahead, she started to question what message that would give to her daughter.
“I cancelled the surgery, but I was still stuck in a body I hated.”
Ms Brumfitt trained for and entered a body building competition, but realised she was looking in the wrong place for happiness.
She published on social media before and after photographs that showed herself at the competition and another taken a few months later.
It was seen by more than 100 million people.
“It gave my story a platform through the media.
“I got over 7000 emails from people sharing their heartache about how they feel about their body,” Ms Brumfitt said.
This evolved into the production of a social impact documentary Embrace which was Australia’s most successful crowd-funded documentary.
High tea history
The first high tea was held when Redlands Centre for Women founder Katrina Beutel took up a challenge from the Star of the Sea Parish at Cleveland to grow $100 into a sizeable amount to help people in need.
Ms Beutel launched the Pink Pamper Pack project, donating special hampers of goods and vouchers to struggling women in the community.
The project was launched at the first high tea fundraiser on March 8, 2008, which raised sufficient funds to distribute two packs per week for a year.
In 2011, the intiative was registered as the Redlands Centre for Women.
Passionate about the empowerment of women of all ages, Ms Beutel was a single mother at the age of 18.
Inspired, supported and helped by numerous women, she has created a centre that provides programs for women of all ages, including young mothers, nurture packs for the mums of babies born at Redland Hospital and connects women through different projects.