The Met Gala and Academy Awards might be done for another year, but for one night only, Broken Hill Civic Centre played host to a red carpet filled with a sea of sequins and sparkles for the Glitz & Glamour Ball. There were dapper lads aplenty, dressed in sensational suits and a multitude of ladies in fabulous frocks.
After two years of pandemic postponement, the ball made it’s triumphant return for customers, employees, and supporters of LiveBetter to enjoy and dance the night away.
Preparation for this event has been months in the making. Tanya Bacich – Disability Support Worker, turned hairdresser, turned seamstress, turned jack of all trades – spent five weeks altering nine different dresses. The biggest challenge? One dress having five skirt layers and a train!
“I might get called Captain Chaos from time to time, but there was nothing chaotic about these alterations. I’m happy to do this work for the girls, so they can look and feel their best for their big night,” Tanya adds.
As the sun rose over the red dirt and scrub on the morning of the ball, the energy at LiveBetter was infectious as the activity room was transformed into a makeshift hair and beauty salon. The hairdryers were working overtime, curling irons received an honourable mention and the waft of hairspray and nail polish filled the halls. But amongst the roar of the hairdryers, was the sound of laughter – especially from one client at the LiveBetter Beauty Salon, Miss Molly, when Captain Chaos, aka Tanya, suddenly dropped all her combs on the floor!
Pre-event nerves were put to rest with karaoke, dancing and a barbeque feast prepared by customers and staff. The dish of the day? It had to be the famous Broken Hill Cheese Slaw, of course!
By 5pm, the clicking and clacking of heels started to make its way up Chloride St, as the stars of the show made their way up the front doors. Ballgowns were shimmering in the autumn sunset, with light flecks of sequins painting the streetscape, like a disco ball at a 1970’s discotheque.
Simple, yet sophisticated, dinner suits were favoured by the men, giving James Bond a run for his money in the style stakes.
Pastels seemed to be the hue of choice with the ladies, with Tia shining in lilac with matching tiara and Robyn dashing in light celeste, perfectly paired with her carefully selected necklace and ring combination. Everyone’s favourite Miss Molly looked like a 1920’s starlet in a glitzy off-white two-piece ensemble, shimmering like a full moon hitting the Menindee Lakes in the middle of the night.
Accessories sparkled, with crowns and tiaras favoured by most, and other’s opting for rainbow capes and diamante encrusted clutches. One singing superstar even managed to match her dusty rose-pink dress, to her shoes and her scrunchie – talk about a lesson in colour coordination!
The Chips Rafferty Room at the Civic Centre did not disappoint with beautiful table centrepieces and table runners made by LiveBetter customers and staff setting off a room filled with balloons and ambience. Nathan, who travelled all the way from Nyngan, exclaimed “Wow! This room is beautiful! It is the most beautiful thing I have seen in my whole life!”
The locally constructed photo-wall, made from recycled timber by the local Men’s Shed, acted as the perfect shimmery backdrop for selfies and professional photos alike. Local photographer, Tim Gilbert, was tireless as he moved around the room to capture the glitz, glamour and the joy of the occasion.
Longstanding customer, Brendan, gave a heartfelt thank you on behalf of the customers before inviting everyone on to the floor for a boogie, or two, or three… As Pink once famously sung “Let’s get the party started!”
Cutting some shapes, hitting the dancefloor… whatever you want to call it, all attendees enjoyed boot-scooting their way around the floorboards, showing what happens when you don’t open a dancefloor for two years. You wouldn’t have seen the Nutbush performed better anywhere in the world!
Broken Hill’s very own band, Reflections, gave everyone something to tap their toes along to, until an impromptu karaoke night unfolded for customers to show off their musical prowess. Clients enjoyed belting out tunes by ABBA, James Blunt, Shania Twain, and Johnny Cash, to name a few, before their chariots awaited, ready to take everyone home on a high.
But as the frocks are put away and the suits go in for dry cleaning, the countdown now begins for the next Glitz & Glamour Ball!
Where and when will it be? Watch this space.
Photo courtesy of Tim Gilbert Photography