Strength, power, beauty: these were the themes at Mewburn Park Homestead, Maffra, on Friday, October 13.

The marquee at Maffra’s Mewburn Park Homestead emitted a blushing rosy glow as guests turned out in force for Gippsland-based not-for-profit charity Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer’s sold-out Pink Party.

Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Awareness Party
The Pink Party raised more than $8000 for Gippsland-based charity Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer.              Photos: Contributed

It is only fitting that Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer’s Pink Party was hosted in October, October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with the nightly festivities aimed to raise awareness and funds to support the local charity as they continue to help young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Founder and executive director of Defining Beauty and a breast cancer survivor Jo Francis described the evening as one of reflection, connection, support and fun.

“It was amazing; it was just a sea of pink,” Ms Francis said.

“Everyone was happy and there for a great cause.

“I think with the entertainment we had, the guest speakers we had, it was educational, it was fun, and it just goes to show what a great community we have here in Gippsland.”

Jo Francis, founder and executive director of Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer with psychologist Tegan McKay.
Jo Francis, founder and executive director of Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer with psychologist Tegan McKay.

Fire dancers, acrobatic performances and tunes from local DJ Ashley Ruff (Beats by Ash) followed the evening’s formalities, with the Mewburn Park Homestead marquee a pulsating pink mass as guests danced and sang.

“We had guests from all over East Gippsland,” Ms Francis said.

“A lot of the nursing staff from Sale and Maffra Hospital were there, people from the specialist school, a lot of local teachers and many of the women we’ve supported, who we call Brave Beauties.

“It was a real array, but it was really poignant because there are a lot of people who have supported us from day dot, and it was nice to have them all in the one space.”

Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Awareness Party
It was all smiles from these Pink Party guests.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women in Australia, with approximately 57 Australians diagnosed per day, equating to more than 20,000 Australians per year.

It attacks your hair, skin, breasts, fertility, literally stripping away the very fabric of your femininity, what makes you feel woman.

Ms Francis knows the harrowing battle against the beast called breast cancer all too well, with the now mother of two first diagnosed with Grade 3 breast cancer in 2001.

Seventeen years, a marriage and two beautiful little girls later, Ms Francis was diagnosed again with breast cancer at the age of 42.

It was during Ms Francis’s second fight against breast cancer that Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer was born.

Since 2019, Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer has supported women with breast cancer through its mentorship program Boozum Buddies, Defining Beauty Care Packs and workshops.

The Gippsland-based charity has gifted 286 Defining Beauty Care Packs to young women recently diagnosed with breast cancer, matched 16 of the trained 23 mentors and will next year host its inaugural Brave Beauty Retreat.

Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Awareness Party
Best dressed winners.

Ms Francis was delighted by the response and is overjoyed with the Pink Party’s success.

“It was one of those nights where it has created a buzz; people are talking about it, wondering when the next one is,” Ms Francis said.

“We were raising funds to help support women with breast cancer, and it is going to go a long way to help the Gippsland community.”

More than $8000 was raised through ticket sales, raffles and an auction, ensuring Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer’s ongoing support of young women with breast cancer.

Defining Beauty Through Breast Cancer’s inaugural Breast Cancer Awareness Month fundraiser was made possible by local sponsors including Gippsland Accounting Solutions, Houseproud, PhysiPole Studios Traralgon, The Hunting Ground, Boudoir Boutique Gippsland, Vintage Graze, Colmac Homes, Nurse Next Door, Khayaam Hair, Makeup & Beauty, Ferguson Civil Construction, Metung Hot Springs, Jeremy Fleming Jewllers, Mariner’s Cove, Cosmosis Lifestyle, Three double8zero and Fitted by Renee.