Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

We have selected our 2013 charity!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013


It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. —Charles Darwin


What a week…or two, it’s been.

So, after the flurry of changes, meetings, research, conference calls and a few sleepless nights, we have selected a charity doing incredible work for women and children who have been subjected to the harrowing experiences of sex trafficking.

Every time we select a charity we extensively research around the cause and researching this particular topic is hard on the soul. Even just the thought of a child or young girl or woman being subjected to that reality is horrifying at best.

The bright side to this is that we get to see many wonderful organisations that are working incredibly hard to liberate, empower and educate the victims as well as educate us: the rest of the world, about this growing human rights issue.

So without further ado, the charity we have selected is the Somaly Mam Foundation. The Foundation works alongside AFESIP Cambodia to rescue, rehabilitate, reintegrate and educate women and children that have been sold into the sex trade in Cambodia. The Foundation works to eradicate sex slavery, liberate its victims and empower survivors to create and sustain lives of dignity.




We’ve added a twist to this year’s approach. Dine for Life has joined forces with Sydney-based not for profit Project Futures, who are representatives of the Somaly Mam Foundation in Australia. The story of how Project Futures started is not unlike that of Dine for Life’s, so when we found the Somaly Mam Foundation and saw that this Aussie posse over in Sydney were also champions of the cause, we gave Stephanie; the founder, a call and proposed a collaboration that would strengthen our ability to raise awareness and deliver the funds raised at Dine for Life’s dinner to the right place.

Cheers to strength in numbers!




A letter from the founders

Monday, August 19th, 2013


Dine for Life has been made aware of the allegations of financial mismanagement directed at SISHA founder and chief executive Steve Morrish.

As our first priority is to our restaurants, corporate sponsors, contributing sponsors, our guests and the public, we have made the decision to withdraw our support from SISHA for the immediate future pending an independent audit of the organisation’s finances.

Dine for Life is proud to have supported SISHA last year in raising funds for their Raids & Rescues department, which helped SISHA rescue and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking, bonded labour and rape.

Dine for Life is continuing its focus on helping women and children affected by human trafficking with its Dinner 2013 event in both Perth and Melbourne and is currently reviewing potential charities who work in this specific field to become the beneficiaries of these two fantastic events.

We look forward to announcing the recipient of the Dinner 2013 shortly.

Thank you for all of your support to date. We are working incredibly hard to ensure the event is a success and most importantly that your donations are going to directly help the women and children in need.

Andjelka Matic & Natasha Di Ciano








Thursday, July 18th, 2013

By: Andjelka Matic



Dine for Life is an all-volunteer-based fundraising organization that started in 2009 with two girls wanting to ‘make a difference’ to the world around them, in their spare time, outside of their working hours. Four years and five events later, our organization has grown to an amazing annual fundraising event that donates 100% of the proceeds directly to the charities we are supporting.

The annual event has grown, seen volunteers come and go and Natasha and myself still remain at its helm driving it forward, eager to make it sustainable and continue to affect change in people’s lives who need it the most.

Up until this point, both myself and my partner-in-idealistic-crime Natasha have been dedicating our time in guiding this annual event to organically grow into something bigger and better each time.

It has grown and gathered enough momentum whereby it has now become too big to be run by two women, on a volunteer basis, without it taking over our lives completely and impacting our ability to earn a living.

Reality check time!

Dine for Life was a personal mission for us to prove that you can successfully run a fundraising organization or charity operated solely by volunteers, that would allow for a 100% donation model to be possible. Perfect! Why wasn’t EVERYONE doing it this way? Charities didn’t need overheads, they needed volunteers. We thought we had all the answers.

With each event, the eager and willing volunteers we brought into the fold at the beginning became exhausted and overworked by the end. Volunteering is an extracurricular activity but when so much work falls on a few key people, this time expands and takes over. It’s only natural that a university student is going to have to set aside her volunteer work in favour of studying for exams or an employee do the same to complete their work deadline.

Watching this reality unfold event after event and after a revolving door of volunteers to manage, Natasha and I were starting to see the idealism with which we began this project was starting to develop cracks. Yes sure, if only we could win Lotto and somehow find wealthy women and men who were not required to work for a living, who were just as passionate as we were and would “volunteer” what is essentially a full time work week in order to grow and develop this charity platform for helping the world.

And so we come to today.

Not only have we depleted most of our volunteer pool (to those amazing volunteers that are still with us and continuing to give your time and hard work, THANK YOU), dipped into our own pockets to fund expenses, taken time and resources from our own lives and businesses to make Dine for Life events as good as they can be and are now faced with the decision of expanding to be able to make more of a difference to the cause we support because what we have done has the power to change lives. It’s knowing this, that drives us to continue doing the work despite its challenges. I would never have imagined that Dine for Life would be where it is now or that we would be privileged enough to be able to help those less fortunate. And now that we have really harnessed our focus on the issue of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation of women and children, our drive, passion and determination to make any difference to those affected has truly been cemented.

The simple reality however, is that in order to move forward we need to rethink our position. I’m exhausted, Natasha is exhausted and now, instead of each event being an exciting adventure for us, it’s a case of anxious sideward glances in each others’ direction. Knowing how much work lies ahead, knowing we’re about to tackle another event with almost no volunteers and knowing that by the time the event is over we will be shadows of our former selves, trembling with exhaustion, praying for a pause button somewhere that can give us a few months off before embarking on the planning of the NEXT event. No such button exists, trust me, I have turned my house upside down looking for it.

So, with this picture painted, we look at the now. Natasha is eager to develop Dine for Life into a charity and I am still clutching at the last few shreds of my idealistic view on how it can be done the way we set out initially, if only we could find those perfect volunteers, and if only we could win Lotto.

I still struggle with all of my own personal judgments on charities and shake my head in disappointment when I hear that charities in some countries are required by law to give a meager 3% of their earnings to the cause itself.

Or the fact that a charity CEO can earn in excess of $200k to do this saintly work…where is the altruism in this? Where is the spirit of giving? Couldn’t some of that $200k be better spent on the people who really need it? These thoughts and judgments recycle themselves over and over in my mind and I know that these thoughts are ones I share with a large portion of the public. I too am the public. I too wanted to give everything while taking nothing. I believed that a charity could run and succeed and sustain itself long-term on the passion of a few. I think I may have been dreaming.

And then came the email.

Subject: Very interesting perspective – changed my view!

Sender: Natasha.

I highlight this email as a reminder to review at a later time and carry on with my day. Two days later I sit down and open it again, click on the link and the next 18 minutes revolutionises the way I think about charities. The speaker in the video is Dan Pallotta. I Wiki him and check to see any controversy surrounding his viewpoints or any critics but all I find is literature he’s written and critical acclaim on his viewpoints and perspective on the not-for-profit sector. I note his book title for purchase and forward the video link to everyone I know with whom I have had the conversation about charities making large profits and the CEO’s rolling in their Benzes and wait eagerly for their feedback.

In the meantime, I would like to share with you this same video and eagerly await your thoughts and feedback.


1907 Back for Third Dine for Life Dinner

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Interacting with restaurants is one of the best parts of organising a Dine for Life event. Their dedication to improving Perth’s dining scene and giving back to the wider community is downright infectious. And boy, do their offices smell delicious!

So when it came time to lay down the plans for the 2012 dinner (happening 28 November), one of our first calls was to a restaurant that never ceases to inspire us: 1907 Restaurant.

This fine dining restaurant’s classic style and elegance carries over into every aspect of the restaurant experience. The service, headed by restaurant manager Harold Faizal, is refined, attentive and top class. The menu, with a strong emphasis on fresh, seasonal, quality ingredients is creative, international and delivered to perfection.

Driving the kitchen is Indian-born head chef Alan Desouza, who came to 1907 after a successful international career spent in 5-Star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, including Gordon Ramsay’s much-celebrated Maze Restaurant in London.

The hard work has paid off. 1907 Restaurant was recently awarded a ‘star’ in the 2012 West Australian Good Food Guide and earlier this year won Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the 2012 Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence. The foodie blogosphere has gone wild for the restaurant’s state-of-the-art cheese trolley and cocktail-making courses.

This is 1907’s third Dine for Life dinner and Harold Faizal told us how thrilled he and the 1907 team is to participate.

“It is always good to give something back to the community; not just nationally but also internationally,” said Faizal. “Events like these bring restaurateurs, chefs and the industry as a whole back down to earth.”

As in previous years, Dine for Life diners will be treated to a WA-inspired seasonal menu, showing off the best of what the restaurant’s Toodyay farm, local producers, and chef Alan Desouza has to offer.

“This year our chef Desouza will be debuting some new dishes, incorporating new cooking techniques on the evening of Dine for Life. We are very excited to unveil these and get feedback from the diners,” Faizal told us.

Judging from past Dine for Life dinners, 1907 can expect the feedback to be very good indeed.

Charities you have supported

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Three great events and three inspiring charities that are doing incredible work to help WA’s community in three different ways. Here’s a look at what they are all doing and how your time, effort and donations are helping.

Our first event, the 2010 Autumn Dinner raised money to help the Global Good Foundation whose purpose is to create a safe and joyful world for all people affected by domestic violence, through empowerment, opportunity and education.

The funds raised have gone to establishing Global Good Education Centers as a second step to crisis centres in the rehabilitation process. Each centre will house a small community of people and family pets affected by domestic violence in a rural environment, set in a community based design, and will offer conventional and therapeutic programs as well as business programs.

Here are some images of GGF’s vision of the educations centres for which building will soon get underway.

The 2010 Summer Dinner supported Samaritans Crisis Line who provide a 24 hour call line to individuals from all walks of life, who find themselves overwhelmed with their current life situation, no matter what that may be, and want to share their personal crisis with someone willing to listen. They are working towards a society in which fewer individuals die by suicide.

Your donations helped Samaritans Crisis Line create a marketing and awareness campaign on 6PR and 96fm. This campaign raised public awareness of the vital support that is available to anyone in their time of crisis as well as recruit more volunteers.

Have a listen to the two ad campaigns, Awareness Campaign Ad and Volunteer Campaign Ad.

And most recently our 2011 Spring Dinner allowed People Who Care establish their Power A Pensioner program that will enrich the lives of WA pensioners who are living below the poverty line. The money raised at this event is allowing PWC to deliver its first 150 food hampers in early December just in time for Christmas as well as paying some bills for those who aren’t able to do so themselves.

Thank you to all three charities for allowing us and the people of Perth help our communities in such important ways.

Join us on Facebook & Twitter for updates on what we are doing next!

We have selected the charity!

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

The recipient of the 2011 Spring Dinner is…People Who Care!

It was such a difficult decision to choose just one charity out of all of the worthy organisations that applied to be the recipients of our 2011 Spring Dinner.

This cause resonated so deeply with us at Dine for Life because it is of such great concern that in today’s society and in our own prosperous community, the elderly and frail are being subjected to living their lives below poverty level.

People Who Care is a not-for-profit volunteer based agency whose aim is to look after the frail aged, younger people with disabilities, carers and other people in need. People Who Care has 37 staff supported by 300 weekly volunteers, 1000 youth volunteers and 12 corporate volunteer groups. People Who Care are commited to their mission of “realising a caring community where people who are able, look after those in need.”

People Who Care recently launched its first fundraising program ‘Power a Pensioner’. This program is about helping Perth’s frail aged, who rely solely on the pension not be forgotten or left behind in extreme poverty. As a community over the last three years we are all aware of the increased cost of living. Utilities have increased by 30%, as has transport, mortgages, rents and food costs. Yet for those reliant on an aged pension with no real increase to pensions, life has become a battle of survival.

Unlike many other problems in our community, this is one we really can put a stop to and ensure a brighter future for our elderly, frail and disabled.

For details on the 2011 Spring Dinner click here!

Call for Charities!

Monday, May 30th, 2011

In our preparation for the next event we at Dine for Life are also on the most important search of all, the search for a charity to support.

The call to Western Australian charities is out again for the third event in the Dine for Life dinner series – the Spring Dinner, which aims to raise $30,000.

We are seeking charities that do not currently receive any major corporate sponsorship.  Charities must also be officially registered as a non-profit organisation and have the facilities to directly receive funds generated from the event’s ticket sales.

Based on a unique 100 per cent donation model means all funds raised at the event are donated to the selected charity.

Dine for Life’s first event raised $12,500 for the Global Good Foundation and it’s second raising $19,500 for the Samaritans Crisis Line

Charities can apply by registering their interest at or by emailing Upon registration an application form will be sent which must be completed and returned by June 30th 2011.

We look forward to your submissions!

A Fashionable Donation by Aurelio Costarella

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Tonight’s Summer Dinner is gearing up to be an incredible event. We exceeded our goal of securing 10 restaurants and now have 13 of Perth’s best dining establishments on board, surpassing our goal of raising $15,000 for the Samaritans Crisis Line. Our soon-to-be-disclosed after party will be attended by 100+ diners, celebrities and media figures, all of whom will be enjoying dessert and cocktails concocted especially for the night by the mixologists at Cocktail Gastronomy.

If the Summer Dinner is anything like last May’s Autumn Dinner, the event offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate the featured charity and donations raised for it.

This spirit of giving has prompted the involvement of award-winning fashion designer Aurelio Costarella. The WA-based designer has dressed the likes of Rihanna, Sharon Stone and Eva Mendes, and is fast becoming an internationally recognised luxury brand.

The fashion house has generously donated the exquisite Cunnard Cape (pictured above) to be won by one lucky female diner. The Cunnard Cape is one of only five created by the designer. Made from silk and hand beaded, its retail value is $1600.

Aurelio Costarella has also donated hand-made silk flowers that will be worn by the Dine for Life Ambassadors – the representatives who will be welcoming the diners at each of the restaurants and attending the after party.

We are extremely grateful to Aurelio Costarella for their generosity and look forward to discovering which lucky diner will be taking the gorgeous Cunnard Cape home with them.

Thirteen is a Very Lucky Number

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

For anyone following the flurry of activity surrounding these last few months leading up to Summer Dinner, you’ll know that we were cheering when we reached our goal of 10 restaurants a couple of weeks ago. You might also have heard the squealing when we hit 11, the screaming when we reached 12.

Now might be a good time to plug your ears – we have THIRTEEN restaurants on board for the Summer Dinner!!! That means on 1 December, diners will be toasting the fact that together we raised an incredible donation – the total amount will be announced at the after party – for the Samaritans Crisis Line.


Samaritans Crisis Line Wins Best Not for Profit Award

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

We at Dine for Life chose Samaritans Crisis Line as the official charity of the Summer Dinner because of the inspiring work it’s doing offering emotional support to the lonely, despairing and suicidal in Perth.

Clearly, we are not alone in recognising the merit of this organisation. Last night at the Subiaco Business Association’s inaugural 2010 Subiz Awards, Samaritans Crisis Line won the Subiaco Business Association Best Not for Profit Award.