HUMAN rights activist and orthopaedic surgeon Munjed Al Muderis will share his inspirational story at Positive Vibes Foundation’s Masquerade Ball.
Prof Muderis will share how he resisted pressure from Iraqi dictator Suddam Hussein to mutilate the ears of people trying to avoid military service, and fled Iraq and spent time in an Australian detention centre before being released.
Ryan Tracey, who will be the MC at the Masquerade Ball, said it was a huge honour to have Prof Muderis at the event, which will raise money and awareness of Positive Vibes Foundation’s mental health programs.
“We have had some great speakers who have shared their incredible stories,” Mr Tracey said.
“Last year we had Deng Adut, who went on to become NSW Citizen of the Year.
“It is a really good night, and I am sure people will get a lot out of it.
“The event is a fun way to help remove the stigma and highlight mental health.”
As well as Pawsitive Steps for Mental Health, this is one of Positive Vibes Foundation’s major annual events.
The masks are symbolic as they represent how people can mask their emotions, and encourages people to seek help instead of hiding their mental health problems.
It is set to be a fun night, with dance performances, a live band, a three-course meal, auctions and raffles.
“It is always an enjoyable night,” Mr Tracey said. “There is a bit of everything.”
Consultant psychiatrist Padmini Howpage, who is also a Positive Vibes Foundation member, said the annual event aimed to challenge the stigma of mental health.
“Often people who have a mental illness have to wear a mask in society,” Dr Howpage said.
“We want to unmask stigma through the masquerade ball and it makes people think about mental illness.
“It’s important people understand that mental illness doesn’t discriminate.
“The community response has been amazing.”
The Masquerade Ball will be held at the Madison Function Centre at 632 Old Northern Road, Dural.
Tickets cost $130 per person, and dress code is black tie.
People can purchase tickets for the Masquerade Ball via trybooking.com/259868.