CEOs take the stage to raise funds for Women’s Legal Service

CEOs take the stage to raise funds for Women’s Legal Service

18 May 2021 By Lauren Croft
Dancing CEOs competition

Ten of Brisbane’s prominent chief executives and executives performed for a good cause last week at the annual Dancing CEOs competition.

The event raised over $500,000 to help victims of domestic violence and saw a cast of distinguished Queensland CEOs don their dancing shoes and take to the stage.

This year, the competitors were:

  •         Jamie Shine, Women Lawyers Association of Queensland
  •         Dr Dinah Blunt, St Vincent’s Northside Hospital
  •         Caralee Fontenele, Collective Family Law
  •         Marguerite O'Sullivan, Yugen Love
  •         Andrew Reid, Icon Group
  •         Mick O'Shea, Loan Market
  •         Lorilie Cunningham, Investor and business mentor
  •         Francesca Webster, Brazilian Beauty and Australian Skin Institute
  •         Rachael Field, Bond University, Australian Wellness Network for Law
  •         Rafe Berding, The Search People

After months of preparation, Mr Berding, CEO of legal technology company The Search People, said he was extremely excited to show off his moves.


“I have taken dancing lessons and gained confidence rehearsing in my office countless times, but I know it’ll be a completely different feeling when I take to [the] stage next month,” Mr Berding said ahead of the event.

“I’ll be the first to say I’ve got two left feet, but I know this event is about more than dancing for all of us competing.

“It’s an honour to help raise funds for the Women’s Legal Service to support the amazing work they do.”

The funds raised from the event will go to the Women’s Legal Service’s provision of vital legal and social support services for vulnerable women and children ­– and totalled $578,378 this year.

Another competitor, founder and owner of beauty clinic Brazilian Beauty, Ms Webster, said this event was a particularly important one for her to be a part of, having faced domestic violence in her own life.


“I’ve competed in Dancing CEOs, and I know how great the event is and the impact it has, but this year is particularly special to me,” Ms Webster said.

“It was only in the lead-up to this year’s competition that I shared my story of survival.

“Being out of my relationship and having the confidence to use my voice to help others makes me feel better than I have for years.”

Ms Cunningham raised $160,970 and took out the categories for both Fundraising Champion and Record Break Fundraiser. The winner of the Spirit of Dancing CEOs award was Mr Reid, while Ms O'Sullivan won the Community Awareness Champion award. 

Founder and director of Collective Family Law, Ms Fontenele, raised over $39,000 in the lead-up to the competition and said the night was a “smash success”. 

“It was such a fun night for everyone that attended. The team at Women’s Legal Service and Mad House Dance do an incredible job of putting on a top class event,” she said. 

“As a family lawyer and leader of a family law firm, I see every day how debilitating domestic violence is for women and children. 

“Not only do I believe that this is a worthy cause, but it is necessary that we take a stand for our mothers, daughters, sisters and all the women in our community. We can help break the cycle for future generations.”

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CEOs take the stage to raise funds for Women’s Legal Service
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